Property of a deceased's estate 1960 Messerschmitt KR201 Roadster Replica Registration no. GJM 603 Chassis no. 75766
Introduced in 1953 as the 'Fend', after its co-designer Fritz Fend, the Messerschmitt 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. Tandem seating and handlebar controls were retained for the 191cc KR200 of 1955, which featured revised bodywork and 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! Production ceased in 1964 after some 30,000 KR200s had been made.
Introduced in June 1957, the Messerschmitt KR201 Roadster is one of the most glamorous of all the 'kabinenroller' (cabin scooters). The 191cc Fichtel & Sachs engine featured a raised compression ratio of 8.0:1 compared to the KR200's 6.3:1, producing an extra 2bhp and endowing the sporting KR201 with a maximum speed of 65mph. In creating the Roadster, the bubble effect of the closed car was lessened and a simple elegance created by the frame-less windscreen and scissors-type hood, while the interior featured handsome black-trimmed upholstery picked out in imitation snakeskin. The front seat was adjustable and could be tipped up for convenient entry. A Cabriolet version (with fixed side windows replacing the Roadster's de-mountable screens) was introduced late in 1958.
According to letters on file from the owners' club, this KR201 Roadster replica is believed to be a converted hardtop, although when and by whom the conversion was carried out is not known. 'GJM 603' was acquired for his collection by the late owner in 1988 from one David Garner, who had owned it since 1980. Last taxed and MoT'd in 1988/89, the car will require re-commissioning before returning to the road following long-term storage. Offered with V5 registration document.