October (him) – A legend turns 60: Messerschmitt's KR 175 cabin scooter. In 1953, this funny three-wheeled vehicle went into series production in Regensburg, Germany. On the occasion of this birthday the car and clock museum in Schramberg dedicated a special exhibition to the cabin scooter.
N the opening on Friday evening, museum director Harald Burger welcomed numerous visitors to the museum. This is the museum's fifth special exhibition since it opened two and a half years ago. Such exhibitions would give the possibility "to present our house in a new way." With the car and clock museum one could credibly take up topics of contemporary history "which have moved and touched a whole people"."
The collection of Martin Sauter is unparalleled in Germany and far beyond. Sauter also found absolute rarities in the cabin scooters, such as the Fend Flitzer or the load scooters, which are now being shown in the special exhibition. He thanked the other lenders like Ralf Dreher and Peter Dipold before Helmut Banholzer as chairman of the sponsoring association introduced the exhibition.
Banholzer described the circumstances of post-war Germany and how Fritz Fend, an aircraft designer, became a car developer: Fend had met a war-disabled person and was "deeply affected by the suffering and misery of the severely war-disabled."
He constructed a vehicle to help leg amputee veterans get around protected from the rain. The "market was large: in post-war Germany, 800 people lived in the.000 men who had lost one or even both legs in the war. This Fend "speedster have moved the users forward by manual operation at the beginning. But soon Fend has built in a small bicycle auxiliary engine.
In 1951 Fend was looking for a larger factory and met Willy Messerschmitt, who had been a gifted aircraft designer during the war. He was not allowed to build airplanes now. Had space in his Regensburg factory.
But Messerschmitt immediately explained that no business could be done with a single-seater. So Fend constructed a vehicle in which two people could sit behind each other. At the 1953 Geneva Motor Show, the first Messerschmitt cabin scooter with a Fichtel and Sachs engine was presented: the engine produced nine horsepower and brought the cabin scooter up to 80 km/h.
The cabin scooter was probably the only car in the world that had an instruction manual for getting in: first, you had to lift the Plexiglas hood over the passenger cabin, Banholzer explained. The instructions said: Before opening the hood, make sure there is enough space on the right side of the vehicle."
By the time production of the cabin scooter was discontinued in 1964 because it could no longer be built and sold profitably, Fend had developed numerous variants, even a racing car. A replica of this KR 200 Sport can be seen in Schramberger schau.
With a few examples of development studies from modern automotive engineering, Banholzer concluded by showing that today German carmakers such as Audi, Opel and VW are once again falling back on ideas from Fend and Messerschmitt and "celebrating minimalism". Again obeying the need. In contrast to Fend, however, not that of the war-disabled, but more of the plight of the parking lot seekers.