Kleinschnittger Classic Cars for Sale
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Though small in stature and born of humble beginnings, generations of Kleinschnittger cars have nevertheless played a significant part in the developmental evolution of the forward-thinking, globally conscious motoring industry of today.
From Pedal Car to Microcar
By 1939 Paul Kleinschnittger, a German engineer, had already started planning how to build the cheapest possible driveable car. When the Second World War began, his plans were put on hold, but by 1949, the Type 98 prototype was developed: a model made from scrapped military vehicles, rubber bands, and a lightweight aluminium body. Very reminiscent of a pedal car, the 98cc, two-tone, single headlamp Type 98, led the transition from cycle car to microcar – the smallest automobile classification. Thus, the Kleinschnittger story was under way: 'Klein' meaning small and 'schnittig' meaning stylish – rather like the Kleinschnittger winged-car logo.
The Kleinschnittger F-125
The advent of 1950 saw the Kleinschnittger F-125 in production. With a 125cc single cylinder two-stroke engine, which was very fuel efficient at less than 3 litres per 100 kilometres, the car was capable of a top speed of around 44 mph. A hand-hammered and riveted, lightweight aluminium body and rubber band suspension made for a cost-conscious vehicle that could be easily lifted by hand, thereby defining the microcar. The F-125 finished up being exported to 22 countries around the world, including the United States.
The Kleinschnittger F-250
In late 1953, Kleinschnittger updated their specification to a 250cc, coupé style version of the microcar, available to the public in 1954, which was also designed to be more aerodynamic. As a result, a top speed of 62 mph was now possible, combined with a little more seating space. Kleinschnittger had come a long way, perhaps not realising, or underestimating, the visionary nature of their concept when the original production ceased in 1957.
Coming full circle
Since Kleinschnittger first paved the way, the microcar has continued to develop, both in a technological and ethical sense. The advent of 'bubble cars' represented another step in this development, and just to illustrate that Kleinschnittger were not completely out of the picture as concept originators, a modified Kleinschnittger was developed in Los Angeles, California, in 2001, and exhibited at The Super Bowl in 2002! The historical facts confirm we should never forget the inspired innovation of Paul Kleinschnittger and his small band of engineers. Their ideas set the ball rolling and ultimately influenced the development of the Smart cars of today. Custom made for city motoring, they embody and perpetuate the spirit of the Kleinschnittger vision, enabling efficiency of fuel consumption, economic construction, a low carbon footprint and mobile handling in urban conditions. Cars with a conscience: the torch passed on by the pioneering soul of Kleinschnittger.