1 THEY USED REDUNDANT FIGHTER CANOPIES
The story goes that, at the end of World War Two, the Messerschmitt factory had so many old fighter cockpits hanging around that it decided to turn them into cars. Um, nope. The cars were built at the old Me109 plant in Regensburg, West Germany, but the original KR175 wasn’t launched until 1953. They were designed by aeronautical engineer, Fritz Fend, but he based them on his earlier Fend Flitzer invalid carriages.
2 THEY’RE MADE OUT OF GLASSFIBRE
No again. The Kabinroller – or Cabin Scooter, as the assorted Messerschmitt offshoots were christened – had a triangulated tubular steel frame onto which steel body panels were welded to form a stressed skin. The clear canopy was made from Plexiglass, apart from the actual front windscreen, which was formed out of safety glass. It was the streamlined shape that chiefly allowed good performance (a maximum speed of 60mph) plus effective fuel consumption (around 100mpg) from the initial 174cc 9bhp engine.
3 THE FOURWHEELERS WERE MESSERSCHMITT TIGERS
A four-wheeled version of the Kabinroller was introduced in 1958. But it was neither a Messerschmitt nor a Tiger – it was an FMR Tg500. When Messerschmitt was allowed to manufacture aircraft again, in 1956, it lost interest in bubblecars and sold its factory to Fritz Fend, who co-founded Fahrzeug-und Maschinenbau GmbH Regensburg (FMR) to continue production. The four-wheeler was never badged as a Messerschmitt. As the Tiger name was used by Krupp in Germany and Panhard in France, the ‘ Tg’ title was chosen instead.
Body panels are not glassfibre, and the canopy is not from a plane!