Goggomobil T - Your speedy smile delivery has arrived!
This jolly car has a custom spoiler to deliver your great mood even faster! It also helps to stand out from the crowd of 1950's microcars!
Although the Volkswagen Beetle is synonymous with Germany's economic recovery in the 1950's microcars like the Isetta, Messerschmitt and Goggomobil were more important for a lot of Germans. And while we might think of them as weird looking oddballs the huge success of those small vehicles back in the day is easy to explain.
It's important to understand that despite its reputation today the country that invented the automobile was actually an impoverished nation of motorcyclists and horse-drawn carriages in the first half of the 20th century. While the Great Depression of the early 1930s was partly to blame, the real reason was that the Germans preferred to botch up two world wars over creating a society that could afford cars.
Anyway, the result was that after the second world war microcars with their small engines were not only successful because they were affordable for the masses but also because they could be driven with a motorcycle license.
Nowadays, these classic cars are rarely seen on the road of course, but a fairly common sight at car shows. So, a bit of customizing helps to grab a bit more attention.
Which brings me to the Goggomobil I saw in the streets of Berlin. It was produced by the Hans Glas GmbH between 1955 and 1969, and roughly 280,000 platforms in three variants were sold. The rear-engined runabout was available as van ("TL"), sedan ("T" - Touring) and coupe ("TS" - Touring Sport).
By the way, the weird name "Goggomobil" was chosen because one of Hans Glas's grandchildren was nicknamed "Goggo".
Sadly, I didn't have more time to take more and better pictures of this magnificent little car.
During its production run the car was equipped with different engines ranging from 245 cc (13.6 hp) 293 cc to 392 cc (18.5 hp). The buyer could also choose between a manual or electromagnetic pre-selector 4-speed transmission.
Considering those specs, I'm not surprised that the owner of this yellow example decided to install a custom rear spoiler on his pride and joy. It's all about keeping the momentum going in the twisty bits!
Yeah, okay and making people smile of course. I sure did.
Apart from the Countach: Which car has the most useless, but fun spoiler?
PS: Some of you might recognize the name "Glas" from old BMWs because the Hans Glas GmbH was taken over by the Bavarian competitor in 1967. Glas continued to build their model range for a few years longer and some of the cars were branded as "BMW-Glas" during this short period.