It is a surprise to me that none of your correspondents has written in praise of the Messerschmitt Cabin Scooter. Although this machine is neither a car nor a motor-cycle, it bears some affinity to the much-revered Morgan Aero.
It is true that the performance is limited in terms of stop-watch figures, but the driving of it is such fun as to merit the use of the word sporting.
In some respects the Messerschmitt possesses qualities which might well be emulated by larger vehicles. The fuel consumption of less than a gallon per hundred miles is achieved very largely through the reduction of frontal area to a minimum and the low penetration resistance.
The very direct steering gives one an accuracy and spontaneity of control reminiscent of the G.N. of 1922. The short movement suspension provides a ride not unlike that of some sports cars in the 1930s. Headlights are excellent and the dip-switch is within reach of the thumb of the right hand without moving the hand. The two small 6-volt batteries appear adequate to provide current to these lights, two tail lights, a stop light and two blinking indicators, as well as speedometer light and ignition light. Starting is very good — even after standing outside all night with a deep frost. Being air-cooled the little engine soon warms to its work.
Climbing fast (about 35-40 m.p.h.) in third gear is a sensation hard to equal in motoring — it is more like aviation. The machine will do 50 m.p.h. in top whenever road conditions allow, but I find that, on smooth roads, 40-45 m.p.h. is the comfortable cruising speed, and this enables one to get about the Home Counties very little slower than the average driver. An excellent point about the Messerschmitt is that two men of more than 6 ft. 3 in in height can travel in it, and the driving position is more roomy and convenient than the A30 Austin, for example.
I am, Yours, etc.,
Richard De Y. Bateson
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