When it comes to collectible car auctions, everyone expects muscle cars such as Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, Chevelles, and Challengers to go for top dollar. These are the cars that most people think of when they think “Barrett-Jackson.”
But besides American Muscle cars, there seems to be a growing market for oddball cars as well. As I walked around Barrett-Jackson’s 2014 Scottsdale auction, I couldn’t help but notice how many micro cars were up for sale. Some of them genuinely surprised me with how much they sold for!
#675 – 1969 Goggomobil TS-250 Coupe
Sold for: $33,000
The Goggomobil is a micro car from Germany that seats 2 occupants. It has a 2-cylinder engine that makes 14 HP and a 4-speed manual gearbox. Top speed of 60 mph with a 0-60 time of 26 seconds. It’s an interesting little car that you definitely don’t see every day, but even given the car’s rarity, I was shocked that it went for $33 grand!
#713 – 1955 Messerschmidt KR-200
Sold for: $55,000
Anyone familiar with World War II history will be familiar with Messerschmidt, a company which made fighter planes for Germany. The Bf 109 (Me 109) was Germany’s go-to plane for aerial fighting, bombing, reconaissance, and pretty much everything else.
After the war, the company dabbled in building micro cars, such as this KR-200. This “Kabin Roller” bears an uncanny resemblance to an airplane canopy and even has three wheels, much like an airplane. Power comes from an air-cooled, 2-stroke single-cylinder 191cc motor coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission with a top speed of 103 km/h (64 mph). It’s even got hydraulic shocks and an electric starter! This rare car sold for a hefty $55 grand.
#537 – 1957 BMW Isetta 300 Cabriolet
Sold for: $51,700
Instantly recognizable and very loveable, the BMW Isetta is the poster child of the micro car world. This one has undergone an exhaustive 4-year restoration and won the Peoples Choice and the Chairman’s Award at the 2012 Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance. Of the 8,500 Isettas imported into the US, the registry accounts for 366 and of them only 19 are cabriolets – which makes this an extremely rare car.
Powered by an air-cooled, single-cylinder 298cc engine, the Isetta 300 churns out 13 horsepower and a top speed of 53mph. The car measures 7’8″ long by 4’6″ wide and weighs in at just 770 lbs, which makes it lighter than the Sidewinder V8 motorcycle I recently covered. This immaculately restored Isetta sold for some big money – almost $52,000 dollars!
#770 – 1961 Nash Metropolitan Convertible
Sold for: $27,500
The Nash Metropolitan was a compact “commuter car” that was ahead of its time. They only made about 95,000 of them for the US market between 1953 and 1962. This one has been completely restored inside and out with new paint, tires, and a freshened 4-cylinder engine. The Metropolitan was specifically marketed as a second car to families who needed to make short, quick trips near the home. This gem sold for nearly $28,000!
#41 – 1968 Fiat 500L Targa
Sold for: $15,400
Great Britain had the Mini Cooper. Volkswagen had the Beetle. France had the Citroen. And in Italy, the Fiat 500 was the microcar that captured the country’s heart. These tiny cars are as much a part of Italian culture as pasta and the Renaissance. This plucky little car has been upgraded with a larger 650cc engine making 24 horsepower. With a sliding ragtop roof and a redone interior, this car is ready for more adventures! Interestingly, a brand-new 2014 Fiat 500L costs $19,195 (MSRP), only $3,795 more than what someone paid for this car.
#87 – 2010 QIYE Custom Roadster
Sold for: $9,900
Though it looks like a pedal car, this vehicle is certified as the World’s Smallest Roadworthy Car by Guinness World Records. Measuring just 26″ wide and 52″ long, it is the definition of a “compact car.” It has a 110cc one-cylinder engine and is registered for roads up to 25 mph. Has working lights, signals, and a horn. The truly amazing thing is that someone bought it for almost $10,000 – enough to buy several Geo Metros!