Monterey | Lot 264
1962 Messerschmitt KR 200
$93,500 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
14 August 2015
- Best in Class winner at the 1997 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
- Fully restored to exacting standards and well preserved ever since
- One of the finest examples in existence
9.7 bhp, 131 cc Fichtel & Sachs two-stroke single-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent torsilastic rubber suspension, and cable-operated mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82 in
In post-war Europe, ownership of an American car with a big V-8 and its own zip code simply was not an option. With rationing in place on fuel and steel, it was difficult for even the wealthiest of Europeans to consider owning the full-sized automobiles that they owned before the war. As a result, demand for smaller and more fuel-efficient cars began to grow, and a new genre of automobile was created: the “microcar.” These seemingly miniscule cars would go on to captivate many Europeans, and they became popular sights on many a city street throughout Europe, darting in and out of traffic.
Messerschmitt, a company that was no longer permitted to produce airplanes after the war, became one of the foremost manufacturers of microcars. Designed by German engineer Fritz Fend, nearly 11,000 examples of Messerschmitt’s first microcar, the KR 175, were produced before the new and improved KR 200 was introduced in 1955. This new model benefitted from a 191-cubic centimeter, Fichtel & Sachs two-stroke, single-cylinder engine. The KR 200 was also updated with an improved canopy and revised suspension. Perhaps the car’s most curious feature was its engine and transmission, which provided four speeds going both forwards and backwards. To achieve this, the engine was simply re-started in the other direction! Over 40,000 examples were built through 1964; by that time, Europe was beginning to return to prosperity and, thus, larger automobiles.
Presented here is one of the finest examples in existence. Chassis number 79003, a 1962 KR 200 fitted with the distinctive “bubble top,” bears the distinction of having won its class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1997, when it was entered in that year’s special Microcar class. Prior to its showing, this Messerschmitt KR 200 was fully restored throughout, and it remains in spectacular condition today. It is finished in turquoise with a red leather interior and shows very few signs of wear throughout. At the time of cataloguing, its odometer showed 1,974 miles, presumably the distance in which it has travelled since the completion of its restoration.
This example, unquestionably one of the best in existence, represents the sole opportunity to acquire a Pebble Beach Best in Class-winning Messerschmitt KR 200. For the microcar enthusiast, it goes without saying that this is an opportunity not to be missed.