Do you remember the Messerschmitt 3 wheel Car

Submitted: Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 18:07
ThreadID: 56019 Views:7633 Replies:11 FollowUps:23
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If fuel goes up to much I will have to buy one of these,But where will I put all my camping Gear.
These where on sale in Australia Late 50s to mid 60s.
Built for 2 people ,front & behind ,rear wheel Drive.


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Messershmitt 1960-64
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Reply By: Member - Pomoriganie (QLD) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 18:39

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 18:39
I used to have one of these in the mid 60s in the UK, loved the little thing. Went caving one weekend and had a couple of large blokes crammed in the back and we had our gear strapped on the rack which is over the engine cover. With all that weight I rolled the poor beast and smashed the canopy.

They also did a version with two wheels on the back. Great little vehicle.
AnswerID: 295285

Reply By: mfewster - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 18:43

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 18:43
If you remember these, I guess the restrictions of the back seat will not be a deal breaker when you buy your new one.
AnswerID: 295286

Reply By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 18:48

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 18:48
Hello there, I don't remember those but did have my heart set on a Gogomobile in the late fifties. Can't remember how much they were back then but do remember I could not afford one at the time.
Anyway it worked out to my advantage because I managed to buy my first vehicle in 1961 which was a VW.

My interest had shifted from Gogomobiles to Sheila's by this stage & the VW offered lots more scope in my education about the birds & the bees. It was a wonderful little car, you could slip the front seats out in a matter of seconds & place them on the ground which made the interior much more roomier for the business at hand. Aaaaah ,what beaut memories & what a simple & reliable little vehicle.
I had better get back in my kennel now just in case SHMBI starts asking silly bloody questions about my youth!! LOL & cheers
AnswerID: 295289

Follow Up By: CLC50 - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 18:56

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 18:56
If was the first model in Australia how many times did you roll it over,One of mates 3 times in one Year,but he was a rat behind the wheel, I must admit
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Reply By: Member -Signman - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:07

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:07
And then there was the ' Lightburn Zeta'...made by a washing machine company....
And the Victa Airtourer aeroplane- built by a lawnmower company...

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Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:20

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:20
Yea, been in all of them
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Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:29

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:29
Whereas the Lightburn Zeta arrived 15 yrs late (they should have done their marketing), the Victa Airtourer was a very capable 2-seater, with very good aerobatic qualities. They designed a bigger craft, but couldn't get govt backing, and sold the design overseas, I recall.
The Zeta didn't really have many redeeming features, tho. Australia had moved on from this type of vehilcle by the time it had arrived, which the 2-stroke Goggos and Messerschmidts filled years earlier. It wasn't a great deal cheaper than a Mini in the early 60's. With only 4 forward gears, you had to start the tiny 2-stroke engine in reverse to reverse the car. But the plus was that you had 4 reverse gears as well!
Gerry
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Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:32

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:32
Actually, there was another tiny one; the NSU Prinz 4-seater, which had a really gutsy 2-cyl 4-stroke, which turned in about the same speed as a Mini, tho a bit smaller. This was in the same league as the Fiat 500, but faster.
Gerry
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:39

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:39
joc45, the Air Tourer production went to NZ , original design was by a Polish person I think. 100, 115, 150hp (4 seat) versions and then the larger airforce 250hp version. The 150 would loop from straight & level.
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Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:49

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:49
Yeh, I seem to recall that it went to UnZud. The 2-seater was a good plane, stronger airframe than the Cessna 150, but couldn't compete on price with Cessna when made in Oz.
Whatever happened to them in NZ?
Gerry
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:05

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:05
Finally could not compete with the modern plastics & fibreglass construction (price) of their competitors.
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Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:18

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:18
Un Zud used it as an ab initio trainer for their Air Force....silverback
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:33

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:33
Try this site

http://www.kiwiaircraftimages.com/atrainer.html
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:40

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:40
Fro ref to the Lightburn see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightburn_Zeta

Fro the NSW http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSU_Prinz

Both vehicles came up against the BMC Mini which gave much more in space and performance for little extra cash.

PeterD
PeterD
Retired radio and electronics technician

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FollowupID: 561310

Follow Up By: Go-N-Grey (WA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 23:29

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 23:29
Yes Cessna did dump 150's in Oz. I bought a brand new one in 1969 for $4,000 = just a year's salary and spent the next four years of my life trying to kill myself aerial mustering.

The Airtourer/Aircruiser with a 210HP engine was competing in the same market was closer to $10,000 and you could by a C182 with 230hp engine new for $12,000

The Victa's wouldn't fly under 70kts and thus were useless for aerial mustering, for which the 150 was king! A 182 was necessary in the Kimberlies because of the hills and temperatures.

I did donate $10 towards the fighting fund to keep the Victa Aircraft production is Oz, but that was not a good investment!
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 07:38

Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 07:38
Go-N-Grey,

I think it was a big dought that really caused Victa to have financial problems and sell off the aircraft division. Their core bussiness of selling lawn mowers was not doing very well and so they did not have the spare cash to step up marketing or production. I flew the prototype air cruiser when it was on a demonstration tour in NZ but I don't think they actually made more then one. I agree with you that the air tourer was a waffleing dray and not suitable for sharp manouvering at low levels below 70 knots.
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Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 09:38

Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 09:38
It always seemed to me that their high wing loading was a bit of an Achilles heel . Not much fun mustering...:)) unless you like to live on the edge..... silverback
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Follow Up By: Go-N-Grey (WA) - Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 09:58

Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 09:58
Your right they only ever made one Aircruiser. The Govt of the day would not give it tarrif protection, unlike what they did for just about everything else in those days.

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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 10:15

Saturday, Mar 29, 2008 at 10:15
David, the high wing loading was fantastic in the rough weather and gusting crosswinds where I was at the time. Having 'wheelbarrowed' a C.172 about that time I know the advantages first hand ! When we got airtourers utilisation hrs were up almost dbl that of high wing aircraft due to the cross winds and we just had to have low wing aircraft. 110 degrees a second rate of roll made picking a wing up during landing as simple as... the 150 hp version was an absolute joy but I only saw a few of those and the fuel consumption was rather high.

Go-N-Grey, You are right I had forgotten about all that. Even I didn't have any grey back then :-)) That's about 40 years ago !
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Reply By: Willem - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:23

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:23
'Twas about the time they started thinking of kicking me out of school.

Went for ride in one once. Me 190cm frame could even fit in one in those days(these days I need a Kenworth...lol)

I eventually bought a Fiat Bambino. Flat chat at about 80kmh. Got in with bad company one night and rolled it on an S bend. Fell out through the open sunroof and watched it bounce down the road. We both survived....hahahahaha


Cheers
AnswerID: 295300

Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:50

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 19:50
190cm frame in a Bambino?!!! LOL!!
Did you ever try the NSU Prinz?
Gerry
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:47

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:47
Yes NSU Prinz.....Hmmm....my Dad had Gutbrod ute. Two stroke something. We spent more time pushing it....lol

I started with an Anglia 100E, then a Simca 1000. Then a flurry of Cortinas and VW's

Then I had an Auto Union(fore runner to the Audi). 3 cyl 2 stroke with a disengaging clutch when you took your foot off the accellerastor. It also had Suicide Doors....lol

After that I had a Mini Cooper and started getting serious about cars

104 cars later and I am still driving a busted arse heap....hahahaha
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Follow Up By: Member - Kevin J (QLD) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:49

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:49
Mate on the Sunshine Coast has a Bambino in tip top order. He had a shop in town and he used it to go to work as he could park it in a corner where nothing else could fit. Bright red and goes like a rocket - Ok like a penny bunger.

Kevin
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Reply By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:01

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:01
Yes, I certainly remember them punting around in the late 50's, early 60's.
Like the Goggos, Isetta, etc, the market in Aust was limited because the fuel economy was not a real consideration; just the cost of purchasing the car was the main issue. A young guy back then would rather buy an old 6-cyl FJ than buy a new bubble car, partly coz of the prestige of a larger car. War-recovering Europe was a different matter.
Gerry
AnswerID: 295309

Follow Up By: CLC50 - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:17

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:17
Hi Joc 45
First Holden 1952 $ 989 Pounds bought by my father,I leaned to drive on this car
1970 Fairland $ 4236 Pounds
New !972 Millard 24 Foot Caravan Shower & Toilet 4480 Pounds

weeks Food 20 Pound a week .1970
My years Wages would Buy a new Fairlane in 1970
To - day I would have Change on years wages. if I was still working
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Reply By: Member - Bushpig - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:17

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:17
Yeh I had one in the late sixties. It broke down one night and left it in a servo at Chullora. Some Flickin fliker set it on fire. Nothing left and tossed it into the tip. Crying still today.

Cheers
jack
AnswerID: 295315

Reply By: pajdid - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:52

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:52
What about the Lloyd Hartnet? Another Australian car that fell by the wayside, Thank goodness.
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Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 22:18

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 22:18
Didn't Hartnett go on to help develop the first Holden?
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Follow Up By: pajdid - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 22:33

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 22:33
Yes he was some way involved with Holden, and i think the Lloyd Hartnet was tied up with Borgward, but the only Borgward I can recall was a Isobella.
I did work with a girl in Brissy in the early 70's that had a Messerschmit, and only about a month ago,on ebay there was a Zeta advertised.
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Reply By: Member - kevin Y (SA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:58

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 20:58
great in its day but like the goggomobile now a museum piece, there was quite a few 3 whhelers around in the early fifties
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Reply By: japmel - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 21:49

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 21:49
CLC50,

Where was the photo taken? If it is the Messerschmitt that was in the Queenstown Museum in NZ my Father in the one that donated it to them.

I'm not sure if it is still in Queenstown, It may have been moved elsewhere now.

Regards
John
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Follow Up By: japmel - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 21:51

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 21:51
typo........in should be is
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Follow Up By: CLC50 - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 22:04

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 22:04
The photo is from the web Site .I do not know where it was taken

Regards

CLC50
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Reply By: CLC50 - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 22:02

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 22:02
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