Perhaps the biggest mystery concerning Ernest Heinkel's 'Kabine Cruiser' is how its creator got away with producing a design outwardly so similar to BMW's Isetta. Launched in 1956, the Heinkel used a 175cc four-stroke single-cylinder engine originally developed for a motor scooter and, while closely resembling the Isetta, was both lighter and roomier, even providing children's seats in the rear. Production was discontinued in Germany in 1958 but continued in other countries, Ireland included, where around 8,000 were built before the rights transferred to Trojan in the UK in 1961.
Trojan had been manufacturers of unconventional light cars in the 1920s and 1930s, and the acquisition of the Heinkel marked the company's return to motor manufacture after a break of 25 years. The firm only built the later 198cc (10bhp) version, latterly with right-hand drive, marketing it as the Trojan 200. Capable of reaching 55mph, the Trojan has adequate performance in and around town, where speed limits have changed little over the years. With an advertised fuel consumption of 100mpg, it is one of the original economy cars and a forerunner of the Mercedes Smart car, which is also able to park 'nose to kerb'. Around 7,000 Trojan 200s were built before the firm quit car production again in 1965.
This right-hand drive example has belonged to the same family since new and has been kept under cover all its life. The car remains in excellent original condition and has just been renovated, including rewired electrics (bills on file). Running and driving as it should, this beautiful little 'bubble car' is offered with MoT to May 2016 and a V5 registration document.