The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum | Lot 280

1954 Cuno Bistram

$19,550 USD | Sold

United States | Madison, Georgia

15 February 2013

ID No.

A delightfully original, one-off runabout.


Manufacturer: Cuno Bistram

Origin: Hamburg, Germany

Production: 1

Motor: ILO 1-cyl., 2-stroke

Displacement: 150 cc

Power: 6.7 hp

Length: 8 ft. 3 in.

Identification No. THP3029

This highly original Cuno Bistram was a very well-constructed one-off from Hamburg. The name is the designer/constructor’s, about whom little is known, apart from the fact that the Bistram family was influential and well-known in Hamburg. He must have been a capable engineer, as the quality of workmanship is very high, both in the level of design and the superb metalworking skills in evidence.

The car takes the form of a monoposto racing car, but it was, apparently, simply intended as a personal runabout, built simply for the joy of building it rather than to some specific purpose.

The complex sliding pillar suspension and beautifully-shaped custom fuel tank fitting into the compound-curved tail are examples of the fine craftsmanship seen throughout. Bistram followed the principle of weglassen, meaning “leave it off if it’s not necessary.” This extends to the leaving-off of a starter motor. Starting means turning the ignition on, lifting the tail cover to tickle the carb, and giving the kick lever on the outside left rear a dab. The motor lights up easily, and one is soon enjoying the passing scenery accompanied by the pleasant burble of a period two-stroke.

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