The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

15-16 February 2013

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Lot 564

1957 Messerschmitt KR 201 Roadster

  • ID No. 65814

Sold for $103,500

A limited production, special edition model with unique features and accessories.


Manufacturer: Regensburger Stahl und Maschinenbau

Origin: Regensburg, Germany

Production: 300

Motor: Fichtel & Sachs 1-cyl, 2-stroke

Displacement: 191 cc

Power: 9.5 hp

Length: 9 ft. 3 in.

Identification No. 65814

Messerschmitt customers, particularly in warmer climes, had issues with the heat-buildup inside the Plexiglas dome. The factory had always been aware of the issue, and popular accessories for protection from the sun included a suction-cup tinted panel for the inside, an adjustable exterior visor, and a white linen sunshade, which clipped onto the top frame.

The year 1957 would be a busy one for the new F.M.R. Company, because, in June 1957, during the introduction of the special KR 201 Roadster, the press could see evidence of an upcoming four-wheeled version making its rounds.

A proper solution to the bubble-top issue would be that of a fully convertible roof. Indeed the result was easily the most stylish and elegant Messerschmitt ever produced. A freestanding windshield supported by polished brackets and a multi-bow folding top frame and fabric top that had somewhat lower, more rakish lines than the bubble, gave the new roadster a sporty, svelte look that was in sharp contrast to the somewhat more utilitarian sedan version.

The Roadster was a limited-production special edition, which had, in addition to its completely demountable convertible top, numerous equipment upgrades. The interior was in black, the first time that color was used, with striking accents in a faux-snakeskin pattern, highlighted by bright red piping throughout. The interior side panels featured twin polished aluminum trim strips. The leather belt was in white, and the shift lever had a white knob. The dash panel layout followed the new 1957 specification, with a cream ashtray in place of the clock and a rearranged switchgear incorporating a new light switch. The radio opening had special white speaker cloth under its chrome wire mesh grille. The roadster body featured fender lamps and portholes, as well as new curved-arm Kontakt mirrors exclusive to this model (and later to the Tiger), which were seen on the headlight pods. New slotted hubcaps with twin-eared spinners added sparkle to the wheels. A measure of protection from the rain was provided by a set of roll-up, soft, clear, vinyl side screens, which attached by press-snaps, the front portion of which could be folded back and held open by a pair of double-sided snaps. The Roadster was finished in a new shade of bright red unique to this model, called Signal Red. In some markets, like England, this was the only color offered, but the home-market cars were available in white also.

F.M.R. was a small company able to cater to individual customer’s wishes, and deviation from standard specs, such as substituting the ashtray for a clock or changing the color, was not unusual. This car is fitted with not only the much sought-after clock, but the ultra-rare WeltFunk Autosuper AU 545 radio, with its separate tube amplifier located under the rear seat. The imitation snakeskin used on the KR 201 was a very bold, mostly black and white pattern (soon fading to brown), which repeated a 10-by-20-inch section over the entire roll. Today, this exact, bold pattern is not available, and the closest thing the restorers found that matched the original were genuine reticulated python skins, which were used throughout.

After a brief run of KR 201 Roadsters over two years, the special-trim model was discontinued, but the Roadster continued to be available on special order to the end of production. They were never identified as a 201 model on the ID plate, so late-production roadsters lacking the special trim are often referred to as 201s as well—still a matter of debate in some circles. Factory original examples of this most elegant and sporting of Messerschmitts are highly sought-after, and this is an outstanding example in every respect.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more