The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

15-16 February 2013

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Lot 259

1957 Jurisch Motoplan Prototype

  • ID No. 101

Sold for $103,500


The first of only three built; formerly owned by Vic Hyde and fully restored with a research trip overseas.



SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Carl Jurisch Fahrwerkbau

Origin: Altdorf, Germany

Production: 3

Motor: Heinkel 1-cyl., 4-stroke

Displacement: 173 cc

Power: 9.5 hp

Length: 7.5 ft.

Identification No. 101



This rare vehicle was the realization of one man’s conviction that the future of transportation lay in a personal single-seat vehicle. Carl Jurisch was a talented engineer and famous motorcycle racer, but above all, he was a passionate idealist. At the age of 23, he had already designed an astonishing, technically ground-breaking motor: a compact, four-piston, two-stroke, water-cooled supercharged unit, which 10 years later, would influence DKW’s work. Two years earlier, in 1925, he had built himself a 350-cubic centimeter four-stroke motorcycle with telescopic forks and shaft drive.



The late thirties found him in Nürnberg, Germany selling his patented rear suspension conversions for the typical hard tail motorcycles of the time. Recovery was the post-war priority, and he helped his rural neighbours with his truck and repair shop for several years before returning to selling his suspensions and, later, his enclosed chaincase conversions, brake hubs, and stepless gearboxes. Motorcycles were in general decline as the population moved towards cars, and Jurisch looked for new ways to provide the public with the positive attributes of his beloved two-wheelers in the form of a small, personal three-wheeled vehicle that bridged the gap between cycle and car.



At his factory in the forests near Nürnberg, he designed and built his little car based on the widened body of a Steib S250 sidecar. Windshield and front suspension was Messerschmitt mated to a drivetrain from the Heinkel Kabine. The unique steering consisted of two vertical handlebars pivoting under the seat and was topped by fingertip switches; it was a delight to use: light and precise. The machine unfolded like a puzzle box, with canopy, tail unit, seat, and fuel tank pivoting upward for easy access. Three were built. The prototype, offered here, was aesthetically the most successful, with its low, sleek canopy lines. The second had a taller but more ungainly canopy and larger wheels, and the third was a “commercial” version with a box behind the driver.



Actual sales were not forthcoming, and the prototype was sent overseas to America in an attempt to market the car through Joe Berliner’s motorcycle and microcar dealership in New York City at the height of the tailfin craze. The car, prototype number 101, languished in a Florida dealership until found by microcar collector Vic Hyde in the seventies. By this time, it had deteriorated somewhat, had lost its Jurisch identity, and Vic mistakenly took it for a Heinkel prototype because of its motor.



It was restored in Canada in the nineties, and it was driven and shown at a number of events, where it created a sensation. A visit to Veterama in Germany produced a Jurisch sales leaflet, which contained the works address. Although a trip to the village of Altdorf brought no immediate results, an inquiry with a local resident evoked a reply of “there is a small factory a couple of kilometers out of town.” The owner of the factory, now producing cardboard boxes, recalled seeing the name “Jurisch” on the deed when she purchased the property in 1973!



An elderly relative was still in the area and, after a helpful introduction by the factory owner, produced a letter from Jurisch’s daughter, now living in Nürnberg. A visit was arranged where, over tea and biscuits, the daughter produced photo albums and documents showing this car and the two other similar Motoplans constructed by her father. She rounded out the provenance of this Jurisch with the wonderful recollection that on occasions when the post office van was not available to pick her up, she was driven to the school in the next village perched on the tail of the tiny car!

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

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+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

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+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

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Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

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+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more