Messerschmitt / FMR Classic Cars for Sale
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The Messerschmitt was a German aircraft company which became known in particular, for its WWII fighter aircraft Bf 109 and Me 262. In 1989, it was purchased by Deutsche Aerospace (DASA).
In the Beginning
Messerschmitt was founded in February of 1916 by a south German engineering company known as MAN AG in a partnership with several banks. It was done through a purchase of Otto-Flugzeugewerke, an existing but struggling aircraft building company. Known at first as BFW or Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG, the company had initial quality control issues. In spite of this, BFW was manufacturing more than 200 aircraft per month and had around 3,000 employees during WWI.
Post-war things looked bleak for BFW, however with some re-financing and re-structuring; the company could continue. Things improved after 1927, the year in which Willy Messerschmitt was named chief designer and engineer. Change was to be the hallmark of the Messerschmitt company all through its existence, mergers, and acquisitions.
At the end of the second World War, with anti-German sentiments high, Messerschmitt was no longer allowed to make airplanes. They turned to a few different types of car, more notably the KR200, which was a three-wheeled motorcycle or bubble car also known as the Kabinenroller KR175/KR200. 1964 was the last year of their production.
Messerschmitt in the 1950s
In 1956 the company Fahrzeug-und Maschinebau GmbH, Regensburg (also known as FMR) became the manufacturer for the KR200 Kabineroller. While still labeled a Messerschmitt, FMR wanted something a little different for their own brand name. In 1958 FMR built a sports car which was a bit of a knock-off of the Messerschmitt Kabineroller monocoque. The difference was that this vehicle was meant to be sporty and had four wheels. Known as the Tg (for tiger) 400, it was a two-stroke, straight two engine automobile.
Messerschmitt in the 1980s
After undergoing more mergers and restructuring, Messerschmitt became known as Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm. It was during this time period that Deutsche Aerospace (DASA) took interest in the company, and in 1989 purchased it. DASA, now part of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company NV (EADS).