Добро пожаловать к этому международному месту открытки изображения. Benvenuto a questo luogo internazionale della cartolina di immagine. Καλωσορίστε σε αυτήν την διεθνή περιοχή καρτών εικόνων. Willkommen zu diesem internationalen Abbildungspostkarteaufstellungsort. Bienvenue à cet emplacement international de carte postale. Onthaal aan deze Internationale plaats van de beeldprentbriefkaar. Welcome to this International picture postcard site. (Please Click on the Picture for an Enlarged View)

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Germany – Messerschmitt KR 200 1955-1964

The Messerschmitt KR200, or Kabinenroller, was a three-wheeled car designed by the aircraft engineer Fritz Fend and produced in the factory of the German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt from 1955-1964. Messerschmitt, temporarily not allowed to manufacture aircraft after WW2, had turned its sights toward the production of vehicles, much like its cousin company BMW. The most noticeable thing about the KR200 is its distinctive bubble canopy. These were usually made of transparent acrylic "Plexiglas" or "Perspex". Three-wheeled, low to the ground, and sporting two perfectly round headlights, these cars were unusual, even by the standards of microcars. The KR200 ran on a one cylinder two-stroke air-cooled motorscooter engine, which was in front of the rear wheel, just behind the passenger's seat. It had very simple controls, including a steering bar reminiscent of that of an aircraft. A cabriolet model was also made which had a roll-down hood directly replacing the Perspex dome. In addition, a "Roadster" KR 201 was made in small numbers having a small flyscreen in place of the windscreen with completely removable plastic side screens and a full convertible hood. The "Sport" model was made in very small numbers. This had a fixed (i.e. not opening) top with only a tonneau cover.

Having the second seat behind, rather than beside the driver and only a single rear wheel not only reduces frontal area but allows the body to taper like an aircraft fuselage, within a practical length. Ten horsepower (7 kW) propelled it at around 65 mph (105 km/h). The consumption of the car was 87 mpg (3.2 litres per 100 km). The KR200 was small, fuel efficient, and inexpensive. In a country in the throes of the after-effects of war but with an extensive system of motorways, it was well-matched to the demands of the time. Production of the KR200 ceased in 1964 as sales had been dropping for a few years. The demand for basic economy transport in Germany had diminished as the German economy boomed. A similar situation developed in other parts of Europe such as in the Company's biggest export destination, the UK. These two wonderful cards were sent to me by Maria.

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