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Bavarian Rat Rod: 1958 Messerschmitt KR201


Most people picture rusty old Fords when they hear the term “rat rod”, but the owner of this 1958 Messerschmitt KR201 had a different vision. They took this beat-up micro car and installed a 244cc engine from a Honda Elite scooter. Then they “spruced up” the interior and did nothing at all to the exterior. It may not be to everyone’s liking, but the eBay listing is worth a look if for nothing more than a laugh.


There is that Honda engine we mentioned. It is going to need some work to make drivable, but the seller claims that they have made test excursions around the yard. With the extra power, we bet this thing could be a hoot to drive. Hopefully this modification is reversible though just in case it does not work out.


We could have done without the red and snakeskin upholstery, but the Breguet chronograph is a nice touch. These were strange little cars with their 3 wheels, motorcycle engine, and inline seating, but I cant think of a more comfy ride to take your date to the movies in. Widest in the back! So, the question is would you embrace the “rat rod” philosophy or start the process of returning this one to its Bavarian roots?


  1. Dolphin Member

    This definitely gets my award for the most unusual and interesting vehicle in, well, a real long time. The build is VERY creative and the listing is a hoot. I guess I’m not alone because the bidding is north of $6K, and climbing.

    That Breguet dash timer is worth a good chunk of the value in the car. Those things, along with the similar Heuers, are real collectors items, and usually bring multi-thou$andS. Make sure it comes in the deal!

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  2. Horse Radish

    Spruced up interior ?
    Looks like he went all out and wild on it.
    I don’t get ‘These’ whatsoever, but glad that somebody does.

    I don’t know about no reverse, especially if you get stuck at a light behind a big rig and that would start rolling towards you…..

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  3. J. Pickett

    I think the engine is a good Idea to try as long as the brakes are up to it. I would improve it’s looks closer to stock. By the way I hate the rat rod concept. None of them look finished and they often cut up good cars into scrap.

    Like 1
  4. Thomas Spencer

    Absolutely brilliant idea! There are more than a few of these, I’m sure, stuck in a basement or garage (or barn) that will never see restoration, because the mechanical parts are bad, but this opens up whole new opportunities, since used scooters are plentiful, inexpensive, and have just about everything needed to get a dead kabinroller rolling again.

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  5. Foxxy

    This is a pretty cool project, but the seller talks like it’s finished. I think the term “Rat Rod” has gotten out of hand. It used to be a class in car shows for the ugliest one in the show. Now people just tack that name on anything they pull out of a junkyard and make run. Most of them talk like it is a premium vehicle and stick a crazy price on it. They use it I think now to cover for a lack of talent in the car business. I don’t understand why he quit on it after the eng swap. ???

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  6. rusty

    No reverse..well they originally had reverse..but simply by turning the motor backwards..infact you had all gears in reverse and thus capable of full speed backwards..it took a brave pilot to get it out of 1st gear lest he tip over..and in reverse they tipped easily..not so going forward. So infact I assume any 2 stroke should be able to be run backwards using the original blackbox that achieved this.

    This looks an overal reasonable body but the angle shaped trim underneath the lower body sides probably indicates that the seam there has rusted enough to cover it..the floor meets the body at that point with an overlap. After 30 years of messerscmitts I let my last two go recently, health deems I must let the next guy look after them.

    edit: Damn just read the advert and he has mentioned the above..oh well seems a very honest advert.and he addressed the reason of no reverse..I hadnt realised modern 2 strokes have no dynstart…so used to dynastarts…

    seems an honourable and knowledgeable seller.

    Like 0

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