Hoffmann, Ratingen-Lintorf, Germany. 1949-1954

Hoffmann manufactured bicycles before venturing out into the world of motorcycles and microcars. The Auto-Kabine 250 was based on the Isetta, but the design was adapted somewhat (side doors) as they were unable to acquire an official licence from ISO. BMW (who did have a licence to make Isettas) successfully sued Hoffmann, who had to cease production after just over 100 vehicles had been sold.

1955 Hoffmann Auto-Kabine 250


Ernst Heinkel AG, Stuttgart, Germany. 1955-1958

Heinkel manufactured aircraft before turning to scooters after World War 2. This rear-engined bubble car (microcar) was introduced in 1955. The first model had two front wheels and a single wheel at the rear, later models were available with twin rear wheels. In 1958 the design was acquired by Dundalk engineering of Ireland. The car was later built by Trojan in England. With its diminutive dimensions and puny single-cylinder engine (10 hp) the car was very fuel-efficient, with a claimed 94 mpg or 3.2 litres/100km. Indeed the UK brochure states: “Economy? Why, Heinkel-motoring is almost as cheap as breathing!”

1957 Heinkel Cabin Cruiser

Heinkel car
Heinkel details