BK Micro Car Collection BK GROUP - Helsinki
Created by Fritz Fend

Messerchmitt KR200

The Messerschmitt KR200, or Kabinenroller (Cabin

Scooter), was a three-wheeled bubble car designed by

the aircraft engineer Fritz Fend and produced in the

factory of the German aircraft manufacturer

Messerschmitt from 1955 to 1964.


Messerschmitt,   temporarily   not   allowed   to   manufacture   aircraft,   had   turned   its   resources   to producing    other    commodities.    In    1952,    Fend    approached    Messerschmitt    with    the    idea    of manufacturing small motor vehicles. These were based on his Fend Flitzer invalid carriage. The   first   of   Fend's   vehicles   to   enter   production   at   Messerschmitt's   Regensburg   factory   was   the KR175.   The   title   Kabinenroller   means   "scooter   with   cabin".   While   the   Messerschmitt   name   and insignia   were   used   on   the   car,   a   separate   company,   incorporated   as   Regensburger   Stahl-   und Metallbau GmbH, was created to manufacture and market the vehicle. The   KR200   replaced   the   KR175   in   1955.   While   using   the   same   basic   frame   as   the   KR175   with changes   to   the   bodywork   (notably   including   wheel   cutouts   in   the   front   fenders)   and   an   improved canopy   design,   the   KR200   was   otherwise   an   almost   total   redesign.   The   rear   suspension   and engine   mounting   were   reworked,   and   hydraulic   shock   absorbers   were   installed   at   all   three wheels. Tire sizes were enlarged to 4.00×8. Retailing   for   around   DM   2,500,   the   KR200   was   considered   an   instant   success   with   almost   12,000 built   during   its   first   year.   A   maximum   speed   in   excess   of   90   km/h   (56   mph)   despite   a   claimed power output of only 10 PS (7.4 kW; 9.9 hp) reflected the vehicle's light weight. In   1956,   Messerschmitt   was   allowed   to   manufacture   aircraft   again   and   lost   interest   in   Fend's microcars.   Messerschmitt   sold   the   Regenburg   works   to   Fend   who,   with   brake   and   hub   supplier Valentin    Knott,    formed    Fahrzeug-    und    Maschinenbau    GmbH    Regensburg    (FMR)    to    continue production of the KR200 and his other vehicles. In   1957,   the   KR200   Kabrio   model   was   released,   featuring   a   cloth   convertible   top   and   fixed   side window   frames.   This   was   followed   by   the   KR201   Roadster   without   window   frames,   using   a folding   cloth   top,   a   windscreen,   and   removable   side   curtains. A   Sport   Roadster   was   later   offered with   no   top   and   with   the   canopy   fixed   into   place   so   that   the   driver   would   have   to   climb   in   and out at the top of the car. Production   of   the   KR200   was   heavily   reduced   in   1962   and   ceased   in   1964   as   sales   had   been dropping   for   a   few   years.   The   demand   for   basic   economy   transport   in   Germany   had   diminished as   the   German   economy   boomed. A   similar   situation   developed   in   other   parts   of   Europe   such   as in    the    manufacturer's    biggest    export    destination,    the    United    Kingdom,    where    sales    were particularly affected by the increasing popularity of the Mini.


The   KR200   incorporated   several   features   unique   to   the   KR   line   and   its   four-wheeled   derivative, the   FMR   Tg500.   Externally,   the   narrow   body,   the   transparent   acrylic   bubble   canopy   and   low stance were among the more obvious features. Tandem seating The   narrow   body,   and   corresponding   low   frontal   area,   was   achieved   with   tandem   seating,   which also   allowed   the   body   to   taper   like   an   aircraft   fuselage,   within   a   practical   length.   10   PS   (7.4   kW; 9.9   hp)   propelled   the   KR200   to   around   105   km/h   (65   mph).   The   consumption   of   the   car   was   87 mpg-imp (3.2 L/100 km). The   tandem   seating   also   centralized   the   mass   of   the   car   along   the   longitudinal   axis   which, combined   with   the   low   center   of   gravity,   low   weight,   and   wheel   placement   at   the   vehicle's extremes,   gave   the   KR200   good   handling   characteristics   A   more   minor   advantage   of   tandem seating   was   that   it   made   an   export   version   to   countries   that   drive   on   the   left   unnecessary.   An "Export" model was built, but this denoted a more luxurious trim level. Bubble canopy Entry   to   most   KR   models   except   the   KR201   Sport   Roadster   and   a   corresponding   Tg500   version was   through   a   canopy   door   hinged   on   the   right   side   of   the   vehicle.   The   door   included   all   the windows   (windshield,   window   frames   on   all   but   the   Roadster   models,   folding   top   on   Roadster and   Kabrio   models,   and   acrylic   bubble   on   other   versions)   and   the   frame   in   which   it   was   set, extending   from   the   right   side   of   the   monocoque   tub   to   the   left.   On   Sport   Roadster   models,   the canopy was fixed and there was neither a top nor any windows at all, only a tonneau cover. The   bubble   top   on   the   KR200   was   simplified   over   that   of   the   KR175   by   the   use   of   a   larger   curved glass   windshield   that   formed   A-pillars   with   the   side   window   frames.   This   allowed   the   bubble   to be   simpler   and   more   compact   than   the   KR175   bubble,   and   it   was   consequently   easier   and   less expensive to produce. The windshield wiper, manual on the KR175, was electric on the KR200. Engine and transmission The   KR200   ran   on   a   191   cc   (11.7   cu   in)   Fichtel   &   Sachs   air-cooled   single   cylinder   two-stroke engine   positioned   in   front   of   the   rear   wheel,   just   behind   the   passenger's   seat.   The   engine   had two   sets   of   contact   breaker   points   and,   to   reverse,   the   engine   was   stopped   and   then   restarted, going   backwards.   This   was   effected   by   pushing   the   key   further   in   the   ignition   switch   than normal,   whether   intentionally   or   not.   One   result   of   this   was   that   the   KR200's   sequential, positive-stop   transmission   provided   the   car   with   the   same   four   gear   ratios   available   in   reverse   as in forward movement. Controls Apart   from   the   dual-mode   ignition,   the   KR200   had   a   steering   bar   reminiscent   of   that   of   an aircraft.   Operated   by   pushing   rather   than   by   turning,[clarification   needed]   the   steering   bar   was connected   directly   to   the   track   rods   of   the   front   wheels,   providing   an   extremely   direct   response best   suited   to   small,   measured   inputs.   The   gearshift   lever   had   a   secondary   lever   on   it   which, when   actuated,   would   put   the   car   in   neutral   regardless   of   what   gear   it   had   been   in   before, although   the   transmission   would   have   to   be   shifted   back   to   first   before   the   car   would   be   able   to move from a standstill. Unlike   the   KR175,   the   KR200   had   a   full   set   of   pedals:   clutch,   brake,   and   accelerator.   The   brake pedal still operated mechanical brakes using cables.


Engine 191 cc 1 cylinder Power 10 HP Top speed ~90 km/h Lenght/width 3,05 m/1,29 m
Photos mainly by Matti Kreivilä. Historical facts and technical details of the vehicles provided by Wikipedia. Movies YouTube.