Microcars for Christmas

The Bruce Weiner Microcar Collection

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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One thought on “Microcars for Christmas

  1. Pingback: February Auction Round-Up | Classic Car Weekly

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