After the end of the Second World war, Messerschmitt – the storied German aircraft manufacturer, were forced to abandon aircraft production given the sanctions Germany faced because of their defeat. They turned their considerable engineering skills to producing other products, that also included this micro – car. It was based on the designs by aircraft engineer Fritz Fend and were a development of his Fend Flitzer invalid carriage.
The first car to come out of this partnership was the new for 1952, the KR175. The KR stood for Kabinenroller i.e. “scooter with cabin”. These cars featured styling reminiscent of Messerscmitt fighter planes, a Plexiglass canopy and a strictly three-wheeled layout: unlike its contemporary, the BMW Isetta.
The KR175 was replaced with the Messerschmitt KR200. It featured a numerous improvements over the 175 and was an instant success. Over 40,000 were sold in its production run between 1955 to 1964 with 12,000 being sold in the first year alone. This was helped by its DM 2,500 price, which made it affordable to a lot of Germans getting back on their feet after the economic fallout of the War.