Micro Fun: 1958 Goggomobil TS400

One of the most quirky vehicles we have ever featured on this site has to be the Goggomobil TS400. These little coupes are extremely rare and are one of the most sought after micro cars ever built. Another 1958 Goggomobil TS400 has surfaced and can be found here on eBay. This car has already been restored and is ready to be driven and enjoyed.

The Goggomobil was the brainchild of Andreas Glas, the Grandson of the founder of Glas GmbH. The combination of his idea and his father’s leadership, the company went from manufacturing farm equipment to building scooters, micro cars, and eventually sports cars. Sadly, the move to building sports cars bankrupted the company in 1966 and BMW had to come to its rescue.

During its time producing cars, the company made many innovations. They were the first car manufacture to use a timing belt driven overhead cam shaft in a car. Rumor even has it that they developed the gated shifter, which Enzo Ferrari supposedly copied and used in his sports cars.

The 392cc two cylinder air cooled engine in this car only produces 20 hp, but then again it only weighs 980 pounds. The power is sent to the ground via an electromagnetic pre-select four speed transmission and allows the car to accelerate to a 65 mph top speed. To top that off the car is capable of an impressive 50 mpg, we would like to see a modern car get this kind of mileage while looking this good.

German micro cars are some of the most sought after micro cars, with the TS400 being the ultimate collectors piece. There were only a small number of these micro coupes built for the American market and very few TS400s remain worldwide.

We have seen a huge spike in demand for these cars in the past few years. Similar cars have been trading hands for as much as $40,000, although we don’t see this one fetching that kind of money. While it’s a low mileage car, with only 3,000 miles, it doesn’t have the very rare and desirable gated floor mounted shifter. However, at the right price this micro car could offer huge amounts of fun.

Comments

  1. scot c

    ~ i just looked at this 5 minutes ago on eBay ! tiny treasure.

  2. Kman4

    If you really want to see a car that looks a lot better than this and gets up 58mpg, look no further than your Mazda dealer. And it can go a lot faster than 65mph.

  3. Charles Gould

    Goggomobils are great little micrcocars, and this is a remarkable example, but not 100% correct. The TS400 model was only made for export with the majority destined for the US. The TS designation stood for the Sport coupe as opposed to the T models which were standard coupes or “Limousines” which is simply German for “sedan”, a much more boxy version on the same platform. The 400 designated the 400 cc two cylinder, two stroke engine which was specific to these export models, as opposed to the domestic market 250cc versions, and the 400 model is quite sought after in Germany as they were not sold there in any significant numbers, if at all. The bumper overrider tubes were also specific to the US cars, as DOT designated a specific bumper height and the standard Goggo bumpers were too low to meet this requirement. The European cars had an additional faux grill adjacent to the front parking lights which was very pretty, but which was eliminated on the US cars, as it appeared too busy with the US bumper overriders. All 400 models were mated to the electo-magnetic four speed gearbox, which had a microswitch operated shifter stick on a quadrant on the dash, much like the old Cords. The US cars also had to have the 8 inch “bug eye” headlights to meet Federal standards (DOT) as opposed to the more proportionate and elegant 5 inch headlights on the domestic market German cars. The early suicide door cars are more desirable and command a slightly higher price, but anyone who tells you that this is a 40K to 80K investment vehicle must be smoking something quite powerful.The value of Goggos is between 6K and 15K, and this i probably worth between 8K and 12K in this condition, possibly a bit higher if the right two people get involved in the bidding process, or significantly higher if a big bucks bidder thinks that it is adorable for pocket change as compared to a million dollar Ferrari.
    Speaking of Ferraris, I had never heard that Goggo invented the shifter gate and that Ferrari copied it and I highly doubt that story as many cars had shifter gates before these cars were produced. I also do not think that Glas’s grandson was involved as Hans Glas was still at the Helm of Glas GmhH when the Goggo was introduced and it was rumored to be named for his favorite nephew who had the nickname “Goggo”. Also contrary to the description above, the gated manual shifter is only more desirable because the electro-magnetic setup could be problematic if not in good nick, but it is very sweet if it is operating properly. The electro-magnetic gearbox, has a series of solenoids mounted on the shifter shafts in the gearbox, which are submerged in the gearbox oil, and which can become quite troublesome if they do malfunction, and the engine/transmission cases have to be split (horizontally) to repair this fault unless the external solenoid switches can correct the fault.
    Also contrary to the description in the auction, Goggomobils were never badged as BMW’s. Rather, at the end of their production years, Glas produced a very different and much larger full sized sports car called the Glas 1500 and Glas 1700, coupes and roadsters, with much larger 1500 and 1700cc overhead cam engines, both of which were very nice cars in their own right, and it was these models which were badged as BMW’s after BMW’s acquisition of Glas, but before BMW altered the design to accommodate their own similar versions of these models, which eventually evolved into the BMW 2002 model.
    Okay, so back to this car. The restoration appears to be done well, and the car is stunning. However, the aluminium hubcaps should no be painted body color, but should be unpainted or polished aluminium. Same for the sheet metal surrounding the engine, and the oil container in the engine compartment, and the air filter cone canister, all of which should be basic black. Also, there should be a rubber skirt which runs from the engine surround sheet metal to the actual engine, which is critical to proper engine cooling, and if this car has been run in the Arizona heat without this rubber seal to complete the cooling air flow design, it could have overheated the engine, although these little power plants are pretty bulletproof.
    I have a number of different Goggomobil models in our collection, including T250, T400, TS250, TS400 and TL300 Transporter, which is a tiny van, often sold and used by the German Poste in small villages throughout Germany. It is a van body, with sliding front doors mounted on the same platform as this car, with a 300CC two cylinder, two stroke engine. All models were also reproduced in glasfibre in Australia by Bill Buckle who also added the Goggomobil Carryall van, and the Buckle Dart to the lineup for the Australian market. The Carryall was another tiny van, with a “ballooned out” van body with a roll up overhead door on the side, and the Buckle Dart was a tiny doorless sports car that looked like a “Barbie Corvette”. The Dart used a Renault Dauphine rear windscreen for the front windshield. Check out www,bubbledrome.com to see these and many other microcars in our Matchbox Motors collection.
    Chas

  4. Charles Gould

    Wow, it is already over 10K with six days left. This one may very well exceed my estimates. All microcars have been bringing crazy values lately, and this one looks very impressive, so we will have to wait and see.
    Chas

  5. J. Pickett

    This one could very surely join my “lottery” collection.

  6. Grant

    Citroen C1, Peugeot 107 and the Toyota AYGO are the modern day equivalent, and great little cars 3.6- 4.2l/100 km and much quicker than you would expect from only 996cc 3 cylinder, 55 kw Front wheel drive. A joint venture by the 3 manufacturers, and winning the most efficient engine award 2010/11. This engine, originally build by Dihatsu ( Owned by TOYOTA) some 30 years ago has undergone steady improvement over the years. How good the original design was is proved by the number of the original Dihatsu Chirades still driving around South Africa today!
    The AYGO even looks very similar to the GOGOMOBILE from some angles!!!

  7. Dolphin Dolphin

    Still on eBay bid to $11,600 with 5 days to go.

    Some people like oddball/quirky microcars, and that’s great because there should be bidders for every car that comes up for sale. But their circle of interests and my circle of interests probably never intersect.

  8. Leif

    I am a lucky owner of a TS400 Coupe 1958, and i just love my Goggo.

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