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Property of a deceased's estate
1958 Messerschmitt/FRM TG500 Microcar
Registration no. DSV 200
Chassis no. 20578
Engine no. 2763

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.

Derivatives included the KR201 Roadster and Cabriolet soft-tops and the fearsome four-wheeled TG500 sports model, known unofficially as the 'Tiger'. As its nomenclature suggests, the TG500 was powered by a 500cc engine: a twin-cylinder air-cooled two-stroke designed by the firm of Fichtel & Sachs. Unlike that of the single-cylinder KR175 and KR200, the TG500 unit came with a reverse gear in the 'box. The basic monocoque bodyshell of the KR200 three-wheeler was retained, albeit modified at the rear to accommodate two wheels and independent suspension. The front track was extended slightly, and with the 10" diameter wheels placed at its extremities, the low-slung TG500 possessed excellent handling characteristics. Tandem seating and a hinged Perspex canopy were other KR200 features carried over, and the TG500 likewise was manufactured in hardtop and open Roaster/Cabriolet variants. With 19.5bhp on tap, the Tiger was capable of reaching 78mph, and to cope with this increased performance came with hydraulic brakes as standard instead of the KR200's mechanical stoppers.

This example of one of the rarest and most desirable of Kabinenroller variants was purchased from marque specialist Nick Poll by the late owner for his collection in 1993; he paid £20,000 for the car, which was described at that time as 'immaculate' and, presumably, had been restored. The accompanying V5 registration document indicates that the Tiger has been in the UK since 1984 and lists Nick Poll as the only other owner in this country. Last taxed and MoT'd in 1995, 'DSV 200' will require re-commissioning before returning to the road. We are advised that the fuel line is blocked but the car did run recently when connected to an auxiliary fuel supply. Finished in blue/green with black leather interior, this ultimate Kabinenroller is offered with the aforementioned V5 document.

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