Property of a deceased's estate 1955 Messerschmitt KR175 Microcar Registration no. KJY 656 Chassis no. 9537 Engine no. 3132795
Introduced in 1953 as the 'Fend', after its co-designer Fritz Fend, the Messerschmitt Kabinenroller microcar was soon being marketed under its manufacturer's name, the change coinciding with a switch from the original's 148cc Fichtel & Sachs engine to a 174cc unit. Sited at the rear, the single-cylinder two-stroke produced a modest 9bhp, enough nevertheless to propel the lightweight and aerodynamic KR175 to around 55mph. The Plexiglas canopy, so reminiscent of those of Messerschmitt's wartime aircraft, hinged sideways to enable access for the two occupants who sat one behind the other, tandem style. Tandem seating and handlebar controls were retained for the 191cc KR200 of 1955, which featured revised bodywork, an improved turning circle and a floor-mounted accelerator and clutch. By reversing the electric starter the KR200's engine could be made to run backwards, thus providing four reverse gears and the hair-raising possibility of 60mph going backwards! Later models carried the diamond-shaped FMR badge, standing for Fahrzeug und Maschienenbau GmbH Regensburg. Production ceased in 1964 after some 30,000 KR200s had been made.
This Messerschmitt KR175 was sold to the late owner in 1994 by marque specialist Nick Poll, who restored it for him circa 2001 (see photographs on file). One Alan Hitchcock owned the Messerschmitt before Nick Poll, and the car has had six previous owners in total. Finished in black with yellow leather interior, 'KJY 656' appears in generally good condition, and we are advised that it would start if connected to a fresh battery. It should be noted that the engine capacity is recorded as 148cc on the accompanying V5 registration document.