Let’s take a spin in the BUBBLE CAR !
Is this about the cutest thing that you ever saw? As most of you readers know my daughter and her husband are in the antique business in NY. This is a far cry from their usual acquisition but they couldn’t resist buying this little gem the minute they saw it.
It’s a 1956 Kabinenroller (Cabin Scooter) … a three wheeled bubble car that was (according to my research) designed by the aircraft engineer Fritz Fend and produced in the factory of Messerschmitt, the German aircraft manufacturer from WWII. It was forbidden for them to build more airplanes so they’d turned to making cars.
In 1956 the Suez Crisis caused fuel prices to soar so cheap transportation was a necessity and Bubble cars became an overnight sensation in Europe. Since these vehicles were three wheelers they qualified for inexpensive taxes and licensing in many areas, just as did motorcycles. As a matter of fact they are just a shade larger than a good sized motorcycle.
As I studied the picture above I kept wondering how you opened the doors and then I realized there weren’t any ! Entry to the car is through the aircraft-style bubble canopy that’s hinged to the right side of the vehicle. (Hmmm … I guess that lets me out. Not a pretty sight to contemplate.)
Actually this little Bubble Car started the craze for low cost and fuel efficient small vehicles in Europe. Competition was strong and this one didn’t last long but it wasn’t for lack of style.
I’m sure my kids won’t be the proud owners for long … after all they are in the “buying and selling” business … but maybe they’ll take the chicks for at least one “spin” before it’s gone.