MIKE WOLFE’S AS FOUND COLLECTION
Bought on the show
From the East Coast
191cc Fichtel & Sachs forced-air (fan) cooled 2-stroke single cylinder engine
Red with chrome panel trim and a Black soft top
Chrome detailing to headlights and tail lights, window trim, dual mirrors, luggage rack and exhaust
Tandem style seating with Black and snake skin trimmed interior
Yoke style steering wheel
Metric speedometer and odometer
Chrome wheel covers with wide Whitewall tires
One for the pilots out there, this amazing 1962 Messerschmitt KR200 Kabinenroller is among the most unusual street-legal automobiles in the world. Made by the factory that formerly built the legendary Messerschmitt ME109 and ME262 fighter aircraft in World War II, the heritage of this design is clear: a micro-fighter for the streets. Aero engineer Fritz Fend designed what was originally intended as a car for wounded soldiers of limited mobility after the war, the Kabinenroller (scooter with a passenger cabin), and the design proved popular, so Fend approached Messerschmitt to build the three-wheeled car for general use. The Messerschmitt factory was banned from building aircraft after the war, and Germany needed inexpensive cars, so a microcar seemed a good idea; the factory added its expertise to the project, like a Perspex bubble top that closely resembled a fighter aircraft, and an aircraft-like steering bar.
The initial version, the KR175 from 1953, used a 175cc two-stroke, single-cylinder motor from Fichtel & Sachs. In 1955, the design was improved with a larger 191cc motor, the KR200, which had tandem seating for driver and passenger, like a trainer aircraft, with entry through a hinged top rather than doors, per se. Some models used a bubble top, while others were Kabrio models, like this machine, with a simple canvas top that could be dropped on sunny days. The little 10 HP motor was good enough for a 40 MPH top speed, and the motorcycle transmission was modified with a reverse gear that operated through all four speeds. Each wheel had independent hydraulic suspension, making this a relatively sophisticated ultralight vehicle.
Messerschmitt was allowed to build planes again in 1956, so Fend purchased the factory and carried on production as FMR through 1964. This fantastic 1962 Messerschmitt KR200 Kabinenroller Kabrio is part of Mike Wolfe’s As Found Collection and was bought on the “American Pickers” show while filming on the East Coast. It’s an amazingly complete and original machine with a few touches of flash, like extra chrome bits and python accents in the interior.