June 06, 2018 2 min read
Learn more about the '59 Messerschmitt at Secret Location. For sale in store only.
Throughout World War II, the Messerschmitt Company was popular for producing German fighter planes. Shortly after the war ended, the company turned to manufacturing automobiles, leading to the first model of Messerschmitt being produced, the three-wheeled KR175 Kabinenroller (cabin scooter), designed by Fritz Fend in 1953.
The model at Secret Location is a KR200, which was introduced later on, powered by a large, two-stroke engine that displaced 191cc, with 10 horsepower. A cockpit-style bubble canopy top made from plexiglas was used as cover. The KR200 also had a reverse gear, meaning the engine could be spun the opposite way to go backwards, and a self-starter; as opposed to the previous model KR175, which did not have the reverse gear and had to be picked up or pushed manually in order to go backwards.
The KR200, along with its four-wheeled derivative, the FMR Tg500, shared the slender body that was a microcar trademark, and the transparent acrylic bubble canopy. The canopy door on the right side of the vehicle acts as the opening into the car. For most vehicles of its kind except the Roadster, the door is comprised of all windows and the frame in which it is set, and extends from the right side of the monocoque tub to the left. A wider curved glass windshield that formed A-pillars with the side window frames on the KR200 was a much simpler version from the previous KR175. This made the vehicle cover much more condensed, which also makes it easier and slightly cheaper to produce.
Very much like flying an aircraft, the KR200 is operated by pushing instead of turning. The steering bar provides a direct response best suited to small, measured inputs, owing to its connection directly to the track rods of the front wheels. Putting the car in neutral no matter what gear it had been in before when operated, there's a secondary lever on the gearshift lever. Transmission would have to be shifted back to first before the car could be able to move from a direct stop. The KR200 highlights a full set of pedals that includes brake, clutch and accelerator, in contrast to its forerunner, the KR175. The mechanical brakes are operated using cables.
Messerschmitt cars are rarely seen nowadays, especially in North America. Back then, most of them were sold in California. The Vintage Rod Shop, located in Surrey, BC, revamped this model, using the same vintage wool fabric that Porsches in the 70s used for their seats, and gave it new paint to match Secret Location's signature colour. Visit in store for more details and marvel over it in person!