The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

15-16 February 2013

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Lot 298

1961 Messerschmitt KR 200 Service Car

  • ID No. 78904

Sold for $94,875


A full restoration of a rare example with the only existing original tow bar.



SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Fahrzeug und Maschinenbau Regensburg

Origin: Regensburg, Germany

Production: 12

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

Displacement: 191 cc

Power: 9.5 hp

Length: 9 ft. 3 in.

Identification No. 78904



Today, with the Messerschmitt Cabin Scooter at the pinnacle of an upscale microcar collector scene, it is difficult to recall that the car’s origins were that of a utility vehicle, representative of an austere period of recovery for people rebuilding from the devastation of war.



The first stage was the two wheelers, with motorcycles and scooters being built by a large variety of manufacturers filling a ready market of mostly younger people going back to work, with young women’s preference for weather protection and easy starting bringing scooter development to the fore. The second stage was that of small enclosed vehicles now being considered by a broader segment of the population who found a little more room in the budget for weatherproof transportation and, for the first time in years, actual holidays. And the third stage was the evolution of the small “mobil” into genuine small cars, which rapidly grew larger following the rapidly growing wealth of the general population into the sixties.



The Messerschmitt three-wheeler followed this trend, known as the “Economic Miracle,” and became an iconic symbol of this recovery period to the people, who fondly recall it to this day. This meant, however, that in the early sixties, the Kabinenroller, with its faint whiff of austere necessity, was no longer a serious proposition and had to find more and more niche markets to serve.



One of these specialized markets that it appeared to be perfectly suited for was the Dealer’s Service Car. An automotive service depot or garage would have to send two of its staff to pick up a customer’s car, with one driving it back. The Messerschmitt Service Car concept was the solution. Only one staff member was required to drive to the customer’s home in the economical Messerschmitt equipped with a special tow bar. The bar would be attached to the customer’s bumper, and the staff member returned in the customer’s car, towing the Messerschmitt, which steered of its own accord because of the suspension geometry, following the tracks of the car in front. In all, it was labor-saving, with only one person required. It saved gas money, as it was only a one-way trip. It required less storage space than a pickup truck in the shop and could be easily lifted for maneuvering around. And above all, it was a very good advertising medium, as people stopped in their tracks to see the “caravan” go by.



According to government regulations, the Messerschmitt assumed the status of a trailer and was subject to stringent trailer regulations (more stringent than in North America), which included the requirement of a pair of reflective triangles, for which removable holders are provided with the car. The bumper clamp is constructed to fit a range of automobiles that were current at the time. The Messerschmitt had special suspension components to attach the tow bar to. Inside the car are special fittings to secure the bar assembly, which locates along the right side wall and fits into the space once occupied by the removable child’s seat. Service Cars did not have luggage racks fitted, but custom paint schemes were offered.





This rare car was subject to a painstaking restoration process in Germany. Getting the parts and authorization from the licensing department to build the car took over a year. The tow bar itself was rebuilt using the last two existing incomplete bars found in two private collections. It is now the only existing original Service Car with a tow bar.



This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a unique and significant Messerschmitt.

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

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

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

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

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