This is a complete 180 from my last Lamborghini post. I mentioned the Goggomobil a few weeks ago when I wrote a piece on the Glas 1300 GT. Now, I’ve learned a few things about this quirky little microcar and got to see one in person as well. Although they were built by Glas in Bavaria, they were sold under the Goggomobil brand name as a coupe, a sedan, or a van. Predictably, the coupe was the best looking and from far away (about a mile should do it) it almost looks like a sports car.
I suppose I should explain why anyone ever bothered to build these silly things. Postwar Germany was not the postwar United States. It took average Germans a long time to be able to afford a full-size car, but personal transport was still in huge demand. Many manufacturers stepped in to fill that demand, including some that we might think would be above such things. BMW built the Isetta of Steve Urkel fame, and Messerschmitt (yes, the fighter-plane manufacturer) built their own series of pea-sized machines, like the KR200. Of course, European companies were still building some unbelievable cars in the immediate postwar years, most all of which were more advanced than the sleds coming out of Detroit, but these were low-volume cars for the Jet Set.
Microcars were a big thing for a while, and dozens more manufacturers tried their hand at it. The Goggomobil, though, outsold them all and, somehow, a few made it to this country. Around 66,000 coupes were built and even more of the sedans, but undoubtedly almost all of these sold to average folks in the war-torn Europe of the 1950s. Any American who got his hands on one would have had to be an eccentric who wanted a car he could more or less call a toy. This blue Glas Goggomobil TS 250 Coupe (250 refers to the 250 cc two-stroke with 13 popcorn-popping horsepower) is actually for sale, but don’t expect to take it out on the Pike. Don’t let my mocking discourage you. I think “adorable” is just about the best word to describe this car, and this example is in great shape.