Microcar Project: 1958 Goggomobil TS400

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The Goggomobil was a series of microcars built by Hans Glas GmbH in Bavaria. These cars and trucks were powered by air-cooled, 2-stroke, 2-cylinder engines that came in 250, 300, and 400-cc displacements, usually installed behind the rear wheels. The TS400 coupe was the top-of-the-line entry, and the seller’s edition was built in 1958. It’s going to need a ton of work, but what an interesting little car to tool around in when going again. Located in Ventura, California, this non-running project is available here on craigslist for $6,000. Thanks to Pat L. for another seldom seen find!

When I look at one of these tiny cars, I can’t help but think of the circus and one of those little machines that 15 clowns climb out of! This one is the 2+2 coupe that debuted the year the seller’s version was made. The little backseat was designed to accommodate two extra people, but they would likely have to be children. The TS400 had the largest of the available powerplants that produced a whopping 18.5 hp. Over more than a decade in production, the company managed to build 66,500 copies of the coupe.

This car is wearing its original white over light blue paint, complete with loads of patina after hiding out in a barn since the 1970s. Other than the seats and perhaps some engine parts, it looks mostly complete, including the glass. But I don’t see any taillights and the front seats are nowhere to be seen although the seller says that replacement parts are still available, but I’m betting they would come at a premium.  These interesting little runabouts had an electric pre-selective transmission with a manual clutch, and they rode on independent suspensions using coil springs with swing axles at all four corners.

To help bring this car back to life, the seller has two engines that you could merge to come up with one runner (hopefully). Neither of them is installed in the car so that probably makes the initial work easier. The title is MIA, and the car has long since been out of the California DMV, so the hassle of getting a new title issued will depend on where you live. Hagerty estimates that one of these cars in tip-top shape can be worth at least $18,000m based on the laws of supply and demand. So, it looks as though there is some upside to getting this Goggomobile going again.

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. alphasudMember

    I think the title issue involves getting a title from California because most states won’t title a car unless they have a title from the originating state. Besides that obstacle this is a good deal for a clean relatively rust free vehicle. That engine is missing a lot of cooling tin and other stuff. Hopefully the other engine has it.

    Like 4
  2. chrlsful

    If I hada pick (I want one of each) a micro the Metropolitan or this might B it. One step up from my motoyrycle it would B fun to restore and drive. My big frustration comes w/sourcing parts. Wrong ones sent, long waits, closed vendors (when U get there), not available and unobtanium. I’d do my research 1st but if in the mrkt I think the Metro might B easier than this?

    At my age there’s not enuff time to finish the projects I do have…

    Like 4
  3. Till J.

    Ahoi
    Such a coupe was for me the start of intresse in classic cars. I saw one near from Dingolfing and I didn`t accepted to go away. This was in the late 70`s and I was two and a half year old…

    Like 1
  4. Arby

    This Goggo gogo nono momo.

    Like 6
    • Al

      Right now its a Nogomobile.

      Like 2
  5. Rw

    My buddy races and builds go carts with single and twin engine that make 100 + HP , this would be good swap.

    Like 7
  6. Steve Clinton

    It’s a Nonomobil.

    Like 3
  7. Thomas L. Kaufman

    I remember these little cars from when I was in Germany back in 1969, 70, and 71. I had completely forgotten about them.

    Like 2
  8. Gordo

    Can anyone explain what’s going on with that exhaust system?

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

      Gordo, The outer cover over the pipes as they come out of the engine, is for the hot air passenger compartment heating system. Air enters one end and exits the other end after gaining some heat.

      Like 2
  9. MarkMember

    I owned one of these in the past (a beautiful original that was exported to Japan when I sold it). These have a funky electric preselector shift on the dash, and a combined starter/generator. The styling is fun, and the build quality is great. I went to see this car before it was listed on CL. Nice solid straight body. Unfortunately missing the front seats (look like Speedster seats and probably impossible to source). The 2 motors were on the bench. Too much work for me, but great potential for someone else. I thought that a sensible motor upgrade or electric conversion would be ideal. The original powertrain is pretty disappointing!

    Like 1
  10. Gerard Frederick

    This car, in all of its confusing variants was a smash success in Germany at its time. It´s twin cylinder 2-stroke engine was designed by the same engineer who produced the excellent Adler twin motorcycles, later to be called Ariel Leader, after Adler disappeared. The Goggomobil furnished the financial foundation for the beautiful Glas 1700GT, later to be modified by BMW and sold as the BMW 1600GT.

    Like 2
  11. Ed Casala

    Getting a replacement title in California is pretty easy. I have it for three vehicles. Fill out some paperwork, run the VIN, then a CHP inspection to verify the VIN, and two weeks later, you have a title. Drop in a Hayabusha motor from a wrecked bike and boom, triple the horse power.

    Like 4
  12. BimmerDudeMember

    In my college years a colleague had one of these parked next to her cabin. I offered to try and get it running. The engine part was actually easy then (late 1960’s) but trying to get the electrical part of the tranny preselector was impossibly frustrating. Point-to-point wiring and obvious rewiring using crimped butt splices so wire colors magically change color, along with likely flaky solenoids, meant I gave up after a few months.

    Like 0
  13. Kevin J Burke

    The missing seats reminded me of my neighbor’s fishing buddy who owned a Pinto.At his height and weight the drivers seat was taken out so he could drive it.

    Like 1
  14. RoyBoyMember

    Parts are available from the very active Glas Club in Germany.. they publish an excellent Glas Club magazine. Price looks a little steep for a non running vehicle.

    Like 2

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