On June 7th we were able to visit in London the only tame Goggomobile in captivity in this country. It was captured and brought here from the forests of Bavaria by Mansell and Fisher, of 20, Cadogan Lane, S.W.1, who are well-known trainers of performing Jeeps and Messerschmitts.
The Goggomobile stems from the scooter family, the first one being born in March last year. They breed rapidly, for 18,500 are known to have come into being since then, and Hans Glas, who began agricultural engineering in 1883, now claims to get a litter of 160 a day.
These Goggomobiles, known as Isards in Belgium, have an air-cooled, rear-placed engine and all-round, independent suspension, and as they sell in Germany for the equivalent of £285, inclusive of 3 per cent. sales tax, it will be appreciated that these modern technical features, although not found in British cars, are no longer confined to costly vehicles.
The power unit of the Goggomobile is a parallel-twin 56 by 58 mm., 293-c.c. two-stroke, developing 17 b.h.p. at 4,800 r.p.m. – that is to say, as much as the much-heavier Austin Seven Ruby saloon, a small car which served tens of thousands of British motorists up to 1938 and continues to do so in used-car form. This engine is set across the rear of the car, with an engine-speed two-plate clutch and a four-speed-and-reverse gearbox in unit with it, this being a convenient way of taking the drive to the back wheels via swing axles to provide coil-spring i.r.s. There is an electric starter and servicing is facilitated because the crankcase of the engine/gearbox unit is split horizontally instead of vertically.
Front independent suspension is by swing axle and coil-springs and hydraulic shock-absorbers are used. Steering is rack-and-pinion. The steel body shell of the T300 Goggornobile has a boot in the nose, and as this has no lid the spare wheel is slid in from the side. There is space for luggage only on the rear seat or the roof. The Goggomobile seats two adults in front and one adult or two or three children on the narrow bench behind.
This really is a tiny vehicle, for its wheelbase is 5 ft. 10.8 in., its track 3 ft. 6.8 in., and it runs on 4.40 in.-10 in. tyres. Indeed, so small is this vehicle that its sponsors prudently instruct most of the humans posed beside it for publicity purposes to stoop, kneel or lie down! All the more credit, therefore, to the roomy interior. Hydraulic brakes with 7 1/8-in. drums are used, claimed by the catalogue, which chooses to ignore the human element, to “ensure absolute safety in traffic.” Conventional in appearance and easy to enter and leave, the Goggomobile has already distinguished itself in Alpine competition work and we hope soon to have an opportunity of driving it. A petrol consumption of 61 1/2 m.p.g. is claimed, with a maximum speed of 62/65 m.p.h. The weight is quoted as under 7 1/2 cwt.
Purchase tax plus import duty makes this little newcomer comparatively expensive in England – £505 7s., or £515 12s. 5d. with folding roof – so that its main appeal will be to two-car families who have shown interest in the B.M.W. Isetta and similar vehicles. – W.B.