Hey, it’s my first LaLD post! I just got authorship on this fine blog, so forgive the slapdash nature of it.
This here is a Glas Goggomobil. What’s a Goggomobil? Why it’s the best selling microcar of all time. The tiny Glas company sold more of these than BMW sold Isettas, or Messerschmitt sold Kabinenrollers. I wrote a rather long Oppo post about Glas a while ago:
Long story short, German industrialist Hans Glas transformed his father’s farm equipment company into one of Germany’s most influential postwar car manufacturers all with grit and gumption. Glas was kind of a rinky dink operation, but they did put a lot of Germans on wheels after WWII. First with scooters, and then microcars.
The Goggomobil was an amazingly clever package. It was tiny, but could fit a family of 4. And it’s biggest feature was that, in a world of funny looking microcars, it looked like any other normal car, just shrunken down.
It was powered by a 250cc parallel twin two-stroke that was designed in house and made a whopping 14 horsepower. The motor was later expanded so you could get 300cc and 400cc versions, but the 250 was the most popular since you could drive it on a special driver’s license that came with a big tax break.
They actually exported some Goggos to the U.S. We only got the high powered 400cc engines. The U.S. spec cars also came with a neat, electronic pre-select transmission. It wasn’t really a semi-automatic since it had a clutch, but it allowed you to pre-select your gear via a little arm on the dash and then the gear wouldn’t engage until you depressed the clutch. It’s weird and I don’t quite get the point, but it’s a nice piece of engineering for a car that was the cheapest of the cheap.
After a couple years of production, a Coupe and Van version were introduced. In the end, over 300,000 Goggomobils were sold which is incredible. Glas eventually moved into normal sized cars culminating with a V8 Frua designed sedan that was a masterpiece, but the cost of developing full sized cars sunk poor Glas. The company was bought in the 60's by BMW who still use their old factory in Dingolfing.
This is a Schuco that I’ve had for years. It’s been sitting next to my t.v. hence all the dust. It also appears to have lost a door handle.
And the doors don’t like to stay closed. But, I like the interior and engine details and it’s a pretty good representation of these cars.
Thanks for having me, Live and Let Diecast!