The Petersen Automotive Museum Auction | Lot 179
1964 Messerschmitt KR 200 Roadster
$57,120 USD | Sold
| Los Angeles, California
8 December 2018
- The very last production example known to exist!
- Iconic microcar in desirable roadster body style
The microcar! How can it not make you smile?!
They are, after all, cute toy-like conveyances of almost comical proportions. They have perhaps only seating for two or three, three or four wheels, and tiny, less-than-700-cc engines. Yet, there is nothing that attracts more attention on the road and is as delightful to drive. Despite their current appeal, however, the microcar was born of remarkably dire circumstances in the caldron of post-war European life in the late 1940s, where war-torn, poverty-stricken cities eagerly absorbed a new concept for affordable, urban transportation built with limited resources.
Willy Messerschmitt was one such industrial genius who satisfied this demand with his three-wheeled cars known as the “Kabinenroller” (Cabinroller), which is undeniably the most sought-after of the microcars with its iconic Plexiglas “hardtop” bubble. A full convertible version was also available with folding scissor-top bows. The KR201 Roadster, on the other hand, was a limited-run special model which included upgraded black and faux-snakeskin trim and such sporting features, but as the Messerschmitt was intended to be a practical utility vehicle, very few roadsters, devoid of the full cabriolet top, were in fact sold.
This car is very significant in that it is the second-to-last Messerschmitt ever produced and it is one of these very rare original roadsters. The last car was in fact 80287, which came off the line in August of 1964 and whose whereabouts are unknown today. It is also significant in that it is a very original example of the roadster body style, originally born without the KR 201 special trim, as indicated by its “KR200” data tag. It remained in extremely original and well-preserved condition and in recent years was fully restored to every nut and bolt in the current shade of red we see it in now, complemented by an upgrade to the KR201 snakeskin upholstery and with such accessories as the desirable clock in place as well. It was previously owned by well-known Messerschmitter Dr. Hans Dopjans, whose original German registration is on file. Factory-original Messerschmitt roadsters are among the most collectible of all microcars, and as the second-to-last car to be produced, it maintains special standing among all others.