Microcars for Christmas

The Bruce Weiner Microcar Collection

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

_____________________________________________________________

1955 Fuji Cabin

1955 Fuji Cabin

As tomorrow is Christmas, any these little cars would make the perfect stocking stuffer. What a cheesy sales pitch that is. This fiberglass little bubble was produced by Fuji Motors Corporation of Tokyo from 1955 through 1957. It has a rear-mounted single-cylinder of 125cc making 5.5 horsepower. One of my favorite things about this car is that it has a boat-like name (“Cabin”) and that it says “Fuji Cabin” on the fender where a boat’s registration would normally be and it is in, what I will call, “boat script.” Other than that, there is nothing boat like about it because it is tiny. Only 85 were ever made and very few survive. This one should sell for between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $126,500.

_____________________________________________________________

1962 Trojan 200

1962 Trojan 200

The Trojan 200 was a British-built licensed copy of the Heinkel Kabine. The Kabine went out of production in Germany in 1958 and Trojan production didn’t start until 1960 (and lasted through 1966). It uses a 198cc single-cylinder engine making 10 horsepower (if you round up) and it can do 56 mph. People might mistake it for an Isetta, which it isn’t, it just happens to have a front-opening door. It should sell for between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $54,625

_____________________________________________________________

1964 Peel P50

1964 Peel P50

The Peel P50 is the smallest closed-roof microcar you’re likely to find. It was advertised as having enough room for one adult and one shopping bag. Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear drove one of these through the hallways of the BBC offices. He didn’t so much ride in it as he did wear it. Parked next to an Isetta, the Isetta looks giant. Clarkson also called it “almost cheaper than walking.” It’s powered by a 49cc single-cylinder engine making 4.2 horsepower. It could do 38 mph and only 50 were built, 27 of which still survive. The car re-entered production in 2011, for whatever unnecessary reason. This original example should sell for between $35,000-$45,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $120,750.

_____________________________________________________________

1956 Mochet CM-125Y Camionette

1956 Mochet CM-125Y Camionette

This Mochet CM-125Y commercial vehicle is about the right size for transporting cigarettes – so I think the Lucky Strike scheme works well. You aren’t going to fit a Lay-Z-Boy in the back of this thing. It is powered by a 125cc single-cylinder making five horsepower, so it probably would struggle to haul said Lay-Z-Boy. Mochet built a number of different models, but total production was only around 3,000. There are three of these CM-125Y commercial vans in the U.S. and this one should bring between $35,000-$45,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $35,650

_____________________________________________________________

1959 Goggomobil TL-400 Transporter Pickup

1959 Goggomobil TL-400 Transporter Pickup

Goggomobil was the rare microcar manufacturer that actually hit big time production, with total output in the hundreds of thousands. This had a lot to do with the fact that Goggomobil was owned by Glas, an established automotive company. But not every model was lucky to sell multitudes. The TL Transporter model, which was produced at the request of the German postal service, was made from 1958 through 1965. Only 3,667 were built – including both van and pickup bodystyles. There were various engines available but this one uses a 398cc making about 18 horsepower. It’s painted in Coca-Cola colors, ensuring a wide market appeal for potential buyers. Coca-Cola memorabilia sells – and cute sells too. Both help explain the pre-sale estimate of $100,000-$125,000. For more information, click here.

Update: Sold $138,000.

_____________________________________________________________

1956 Avolette Record Deluxe

1956 Avolette Record Deluxe

The Avolette Record Deluxe was a French license-built version of the Brütsch Zwerg. Zwerg? Zwerg. Most Avolettes were three-wheelers, but you can see this one has four. It has a single-cylinder engine of 250cc making 14 horsepower. In production for only two years, the Record Deluxe didn’t rack up record sales numbers – only about 30 were produced. This one should sell for between $45,000-$55,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,750.

_____________________________________________________________

1953 Fuldamobil N-2

1953 Fuldamobil N-2

Fuldamobil started producing cars in 1950 and lasted through 1969. They didn’t build a lot of cars, but their designs were licensed to other manufacturers throughout Europe. The N2 is an unusual, very rare and not very well known model from the company. Produced from 1952 through 1955, it used a 359cc single-cylinder making nine horsepower. The body is bare aluminium over a wood frame and looks very strange and simple. Only 380 were built. This one should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $75,900.

_____________________________________________________________

1955 Iso Isetta

1955 Iso Isetta

Renzo Rivolta, whose company Iso was producing refrigerators and scooters in the 1950s, wanted to make a small car that could sell across a wide market. Two of his engineers designed this, and called it the Isetta. It used a front-hinged door and a 9.5 horsepower 236cc split-single two-stroke engine. Top speed was 47 mph but the design caught on and when Rivolta wanted to focus on sports cars, he licensed the design out to multiple companies all over the world. Produced from 1953 until 1955, only about 1,000 were built. But it was the first. This one should sell for between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $37,950.

 

_____________________________________________________________

1956 Messerschmitt KR 200

1956 Messerschmitt KR 200

The Fend Flitzer was an invalid carriage designed by Fritz Fend (tongue twister!). After World War II, German aircraft companies were banned from producing aircraft, and Messerschmitt had nothing else going on – so when Fend approached them to put his Flitzer-based bubble car into production, they went for it and the Messerschmitt Kabinenroller was born. The KR 200 was in production from 1956 through 1964 and approximately 40,000 were built – about half of which appear to be in this auction. Seating is tandem – the passenger behind the driver. The engine is a 10 horsepower single-cylinder of 191cc. It could do 65 mph. This one should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $57,500.

 

_____________________________________________________________

1959 Opperman Unicar

1959 Opperman Unicar

The Opperman Unicar was inspired by the series of Bond Minicars. When the owner of the Opperman tractor company saw a Bond, he decided to build his own automobile. The Unicar was actually designed by Lawrie Bond and was in production from 1956 through 1959. It was the cheapest car you could buy in the U.K. in 1956 and was even available as a kit. The only opening parts are the doors and it is powered by an 18 horsepower 328cc two-cylinder engine. It’ll do 45 mph and only about 200 were built. This one should sell for between $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $9,200.

Peel P50

1964 Peel P50

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

1964 Peel P50

Photo – RM Auctions

The Peel P50 is the smallest closed-roof microcar you’re likely to find. It was advertised as having enough room for one adult and one shopping bag. Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear drove one of these through the hallways of the BBC offices. He didn’t so much ride in it as he did wear it. Parked next to an Isetta, the Isetta looks giant. Clarkson also called it “almost cheaper than walking.” It’s powered by a 49cc single-cylinder engine making 4.2 horsepower. It could do 38 mph and only 50 were built, 27 of which still survive. The car re-entered production in 2011, for whatever unnecessary reason. This original example should sell for between $35,000-$45,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $120,750.

Microcar Mondays, Pt I

The Bruce Weiner Microcar Collection

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013


1951 Atlas Babycar

Bruce Weiner, the undisputed king of microcars, is selling off most of the cars in his museum. That’s about 200 cars – all of them tiny, rare and really fun. There are, seemingly, about a hundred I want to feature but there’s no way will I have time – especially with all the fun in Arizona approaching in January. So, instead, every Monday (or at least, we’ll try to make it every Monday) we’ll feature about 10 cars from this one-of-a-kind collection.

First up is this 1951 Atlas Babycar. These were built in France from 1950 through 1952. It uses a 170cc single-cylinder making 8.5 horsepower (yeah, you better get ready for a lot of lawn-mower-esque power ratings). It will do 37 mph and it is one of two in the world. More info can be found here.

Update: Sold $60,375.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

1951 Kover CK 1

Another car of French origin, this Kover was actually made by the same company that produced the Atlas above. While its single-cylinder engine only displaces 125cc and only puts out 5.5 horsepower, it matches the Atlas’ speed of 37 mph. Only a few were made – and good luck fitting under that convertible top. More info can be found here.

Update: Sold $28,750.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

1954 Daus

This prototype was built by Otto Daus in Hamburg, Germany in 1954. Daus was the chief engineer for Tempo, the German three-wheeled truck manufacturer. This car uses a 197cc single-cylinder making 9.5 horsepower. It can do 46 mph and was never registered for the road in Germany when it was built and it never entered production. This is the only one. And you can read more about it here.

Update: Sold $32,200.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

1954 Mi-Val Tipo MO Mivalino

If this Italian Mivalino looks a lot like a Messerschmitt KR-175, that’s because, essentially, it is. Metalmeccanica Italiana Valtrompio S.p.A. – or Mi-Val for short – was an Italian motorcycle manufacturer and in late 1953 they decided to build their own version of the Messerschmitt. They imported parts from Germany and threw their own engine in it and called it an original.

About 100 were built between 1954 and 1956 and about eight survive, this being the most original and complete, having covered less than 200 kilometers in its life. It was originally owned by an Italian family who also owned the oldest Ford dealership in Rome. The engine is a 171cc single-cylinder making 9 horsepower. It’ll do 55 mph and you can read more here.

Update: Sold $83,375.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

1959 Velorex Oskar 54

The three-wheeled Velorex Oskar was built in Czechoslovakia (in the city of Hradec Králové, modern-day Czech Republic). Production ran from 1954 through 1971, which is kind of a long time for a little cloth-covered car like this. The engine is a Jawa-sourced 249cc two-stroke single-cylinder making nine horsepower. Top speed is 52 mph. You can read more here.

Update: Sold $12,650.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

1966 Peel Trident

The Peel Engineering Company is the only automobile manufacturer ever to be located on the Isle of Man. Unfortunately, that is still part of the U.K., so it won’t get its own section on our “Country of Origin” page. The Trident was the second car built by Peel and only about 45 were made, the last six of which used the 98cc one-cylinder engine making 6.5 horsepower. This is one of the last six built and has that engine. Horrifyingly, this car will do 46 mph. This example has spent most of its life in museums and is one of few extant. Read more here.

Update: Sold $103,500.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

1957 Jurisch Motoplan

You can kind of see it, but this car was actually built around a motorcycle sidecar. It was built by Carl Jurisch of Altdorf, Germany. From 1957 through 1959, he turned out three examples: one red and two blue. This is the only one known and it has a 173cc single-cylinder making 9.5 horsepower. Top speed is 54 mph. Read more here.

Update: Sold $103,500.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

1958 Zündapp Janus

So is it coming or going? Looking at the Zündapp Janus directly from the side makes it difficult to tell. The Janus was the only car Zündapp ever built, although they made plenty of motorcycles. In production for 1957 and 1958 only, 6,902 were made – a testament to the size and production capacity of Zündapp at the time. It’s one of the the muscle cars of the group featured today, making 14 horsepower from it’s 248cc single-cylinder. Top speed is 49 mph. Fun fact: the villain in the Pixar film Cars 2 is a Zündapp Janus. Only a few are left. Read more here.

Update: Sold $51,750.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

1964 Lightburn Zeta Sports

I think I could best describe this car as “pointy.” It’s very odd looking and it has no doors or opening panels of any kind. Easy to build, I would guess. Produced by Lightburn & Co Ltd of Camden, Australia, the car is sometimes referred to as a Zeta Sports, with Zeta being the marque. But not today. The engine is a somewhat large 494cc two-stroke twin making 20.5 horsepower. And it will do a serious 77 mph. This car was intended to be driven on the road with power and performance like that! Just take your insane pills before trying to do it. Only 28 were built and only 6 survive. Two of them are offered in this sale, the other a coupe. Learn more here.

Update: Sold $51,750.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

1955 Grataloup

Here’s a weird one. Built by a Frenchman, last name Grataloup, of spare parts he found. It’s kind of well put together, with the engine essentially under the driver’s seat, but exposed on the right side of the body. It’s a single-cylinder Villiers two-stroke of 247cc making 7.5 horsepower. It’s normal sized twin front wheels help it reach 52 mph. It’s the only one ever built and they aren’t even sure when it was built. The man just showed up with it one day at  Citroen garage in France. Read more here and check out more of the collection here.

Update: Sold $34,500.

Peel Trident

1966 Peel Trident

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

Photo – RM Auctions

The Peel Engineering Company is the only automobile manufacturer ever to be located on the Isle of Man. Unfortunately, that is still part of the U.K., so it won’t get its own section on our “Country of Origin” page. The Trident was the second car built by Peel and only about 45 were made, the last six of which used the 98cc one-cylinder engine making 6.5 horsepower. This is one of the last six built and has that engine. Horrifyingly, this car will do 46 mph. This example has spent most of its life in museums and is one of few extant. Read more here.

Update: Sold $103,500.