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Rare German Fuldamobil Microcar

The owner gives us very little information about his unusual car, which is a baby blue 1955 Fulda NRW 200. It’s here on eBay with a $13,500 Buy It Now. The catch is that the car is located in the Czech Republic. It’s “complete,” with a JLO 200-cc engine, and it is “to be renovated in original condition.” Not by the owner, but by you the buyer. It’s in rough but not horrible condition.

Probably not running, though the ad doesn’t say. The interior is certainly a mess, but it’s minimal so won’t be a huge stretch to restore.

This is a vehicle from the heyday of the microcar, and it’s quite a rarity—maybe worth a trip to unfamiliar territory. It’s a coincidence that as I’m writing this I’m in the next country over, Slovakia, having just arrived from Austria. If I had more time I could swing by.

So what is a Fulda NRW 200? It’s a German car, also known as the Fuldamobil, produced in Fulda, Germany between 1950 and 1959. Collaborating was Nordwestdeutscher Fahrzeugbau (NWF). The cars, Type N like this one or the more rounded Type S, were sold (in small numbers) on four continents.

The designer was Norbert Stevenson, who had a single term of mechanical engineering studies at a German university to his credit. His plan was like other microcars, with three wheels (two in front) and a small rear-mounted engine. There was seating for two.

After some initial forays, a new chassis was built in 1949. It is considered noteworthy for having a front axle with a negative scrub radius, which means it kept its cool on uneven roads where braking gripped one front wheel better than the other. It’s now on most front-wheel drive cars, but the Fuldamobil was first. There was a swing axle suspension up front and cable brakes. The prototype lacked shock absorbers (making it pretty wobbly) and was equipped with an air-cooled 200-cc Zündapp engine. But other sources say it was a single-cylinder 250-cc ILO. Bodywork was sheet metal built around a wooden frame. Driver and passenger entered, with some difficulty, through rear-hinged doors.

That initial car, nicknamed Flea, overheated on its debut in Fulda in 1950. The search for a more appropriate engine led to Baker & Pölling in Niedernhall, a maker of chainsaws. The company’s 200-cc engines were paired with a Hurth three-speed gearbox. A chain drive was fitted, and an electric starter. With this configuration, production began in 1951. The Type N as shown was complemented by the Type S, which had a larger 360-cc Sachs engine and some vague resemblance to the Porsche 356. The production car often used bodywork consisting of plywood sheets covered in synthetic leather, a result of a steel shortage in postwar Germany. Some 48 were made in the first year. After this, a restyling responded to customer complaints. Due to the absence of a fan or heater, the windshields kept fogging up, and owners wanted more of a hood up front (even with the engine in the rear). The result was the “Bosom Car.”

The Wikipedia photo above depicts a Fuldamobil N-2. There were major problems with the 200-cc engines and so by the spring of 1952 360-cc Fichtel & Sachs engines were installed. So why is this one a “200”? The issue was holders of certain German driver’s licenses could only drive cars with engines no bigger than 250 cc. And so a smaller Fichtel & Sachs engine of around 175 cc was also available, and this is apparently one of those. No engine photo is provided. A front bumper was added in 1953, and the Type N soldiered on to either August of 1954 or August of 1955, sources differ. There were later fiberglass-bodied Fuldamobils. Production of the Type N was, by one count, 726. The Fuldamobil is just the kind of car you’d expect to see at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, though sadly they don’t seem to have one. Maybe the altruistic restorer of this one could donate it. Otherwise, it will be a fun project for someone who likes microcars. Thanks to Mitchell G. for the tip.


  1. Casey

    I absolutely love when you post the wacky, weird, the vehicles

    that we’ve never seen before !!! Please keep posting

    these !!! Thank you

    Like 72
  2. Big Len

    It would be fun dealing with those blind spots. More like blind zones.

    Like 20
  3. The Purple Defender

    Looks like a Porsche.

    Like 14
  4. oilngas

    Put wings on it

    Like 9
  5. Mr.Mike

    Looks like a big blue egg.

    Like 14
  6. Doone

    Looks like a cartoon.

    Like 11
  7. Michelle Rand Staff

    Looks like it would fit in my living room!

    Like 11
  8. Al_Bundy Al_Bundy Member

    Coyote swap !

    Like 9
  9. losgatos_dale

    How do you say “Toontown” in German?

    Like 7
  10. Vinnie G

    Lots of work but, it would look bad a** if it had a blown small block chevy motor in the front. Just saying. LOL

    Like 3
  11. Till J.

    In my point of view such cars a little to small.
    But this car is not a quite often produced car
    like a Goggomobile or a BMW Isetta.
    It`s a rare Western German microcar.
    Well, it`s worth to restore it,
    but it`s still a little bit to expensive …
    (A little bit, not much – and this is the german point of view…)
    Best regards from Bavaria
    Till J.

    Like 9
    • David Michael Carroll

      Correct use of “TOO”?

      Like 2
      • Jonathan Q Higgins

        I’m guessing English not his native language.

        Like 2
      • 370zpp 370zpp Member

        Out of anything you could think of to say about this car, you choose to call out someone for the incorrect use of “to”? Petty. and not Dale or Richard.

        Like 14
  12. Howard A Member

    It gets 300 hectares on a single gallon of kerosene,,PUT IT IN “H”,,,

    Like 4
  13. JoeJ56

    Wait, the Type S is “more rounded” than this Type N? How do you get rounder than an egg?

    Like 9
    • Brett Lundy

      I was thinking the very exact thing, it had to look like a globe!

      Like 1
  14. Gerard Frederick

    This weirdo was built in license in Sweden where thgey improved the interior considerably. It was surprisingly popular, even though they seemed to have difficulties with the engine choices. The original was out and out ugly.

    Like 1
  15. Susan McKee

    With all the huge 4WD F-250’s where I live, driving this would be hazardous. Unless the truck was tall enough to run right over it.

    Like 0
  16. Chuck Foster Chuck Foster

    Does it come with pedals for when you run out of gas? I just got a 3 wheeler, aint she purdy?.

    Like 12
  17. Lance

    Happy Easter everybody! LOL

    Like 4
  18. jim

    Looks more like the blob

    Like 1
  19. Richard B Kirschenbaum

    Son of Dymaxion

    Like 8
  20. Joseph

    There is an open space in the dashboard. Is that where the Enigma machine goes?

    Like 4
  21. Eric Member

    A soda can next to it for size comparison would be nice.

    Like 3
  22. Richard

    Got offered one of these, restored, for $15k a few years ago. The thing is, restoration costs are minimal. Unfortunately car was in Sweden and my garage is full. Would love to have one. These are so unique and tiny. No good way to judge the scale from these pics. Would be the absolute star of any car show.

    Like 6
    • Richard

      Correction. The one I was offered was a Noble. Same car, different badge

      Like 3
  23. Jim Sullivan

    Looks like it needs a couple of side mirrors that have the DOT-required warning that says something like “Objects in the mirror are much bigger than the car you’re driving.”

    Like 7
  24. Charles R. Wirt Member

    Chuck Foster: A Morgan??

    Like 2
    • Chuck Foster Chuck Foster

      A replica of a Morgan M3W, 1000cc Moto Guzzi AT, it’s on FB in Suffolk VA

      Like 1
  25. Greg in Texas

    Until I read it may have a Zundapp or Sachs motor, I was thinking it would be cheaper to build a knockoff from scratch. Would need better info on the engine and if it’s correct period for the car. The nose is ugly but love the airplane fuselage look from the windshield back to the tail. Pretty fun project if it’s got a complete drivetrain correct for the period. Good article.

    Like 2
  26. Solosolo UK Solosolo UK Member

    My late brother assembled these when he was working in Harare, Zimbabwe, back in 1957/8 and his assessment of them back then was, Junk, fun junk, but still Junk! Couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding and having only one wheel at the back meant that when driving on gravel roads the rear wheel rode on the ridge that developed between the two outer wheels so it bumped like hell. As for this cars price? What is he smoking?

    Like 1
  27. R.J. Rains

    The Lane Museum in Nashville is worth the trip, one of the overlooked attractions in music city.

    Like 0
  28. Ike Onick

    Inspect inside all body panels for the bones of Cold War escapees who didn’t make it.

    Like 2
  29. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    A friend in Germany in the 1970s had a Fulda-Mobil like the one seen here, even the same color. His had a Sachs 200cc engine, not a Rockwell/JLO, I think those came later and would have been a good replacement. I rode & drove his around the military base were we were stationed, but never drove it on the public streets, as it was not licensed, if I remember it wasn’t able to pass the German TUV [vehicle inspection].

    Like 1

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