Noted for its odd appearance, the Messerschmitt did not fail to win the hearts of thousands of people across Europe.
Yes, we are talking about that weird, bubble-fashioned, three-wheels-only car that saw its heyday during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Several models of this micro-car were released by its manufacturers, such as KR175 and KR200. Its German name is Kabinenroller and translates into “scooter with a cabin.”
Roughly 40,000 models were sold after it was introduced to the market in 1956, until 1964, when production ceased.
However, that was just enough time for the bubble car to establish itself as an entirely new niche in the car industry, which consequently also attracted others to produce their own variations of the model.
In the beginning, the Messerschmitt name didn’t have anything to do with cars. It was originally a company that produced aircraft, ever since World War One.
The Bf 1909 aircraft models and later the famed Me 262, the world’s first jet-powered operational airplane fighter model, were the product of the same manufacturer that later became famous for its micro-cars.
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After World War Two, the German company was banned from producing planes as part of the denazification process, therefore temporarily shifted to production of prefab houses.
The bubble-shaped car arrived only in the mid-1950s, when the company opted to reinvent its production line once again. The change was worth it, as there was suddenly this adorable, now all-about-vintage car you can take a look at in the photographs below.
The Messerschmitt management did not come up with the idea of the three-wheeler by themselves, however. It was reportedly a man known as Fritz Fend, who had, during World War Two, served as a technical officer with the German Air Force.
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He approached the company with an invention he came up with in the years following the end of the war, the “Fend Filtzer,” a carriage that sported three wheels only.
The model came with an additional motor and the entire machine resembled an early version of an automated wheelchair, CarBuzz writes.
The bubble car that came as an improvement of Fend’s original invention, and his collaboration with the Messerschmitt management, was destined to have an aircraft-like hint, one that could be easily spotted in the car design.
Just notice in the photos above how the car can be opened, with a canopy-like opening on the top instead of regular-looking doors, or the combination of tandem seats, also typical for combat aircraft of the day.
It’s no surprise really, as the manufacturers and Fend both had a long history in the aviation field. No regrets and no complaints either. Perhaps the bubble car is now part of history, but even the quickest glance will melt your heart.