15-16 February 2013
1958 F.M.R. Tg 500 'Tiger'
- ID No. 20554
Sold for $322,000
the only example in Rose.
Manufacturer: Fahrzeug und Maschinenbau Regensburg
Origin: Regensburg, Germany
Motor: FMR 2-cyl, 2-stroke
Displacement: 494 cc
Power: 20.5 hp
Length: 9 ft. 10 in.
Identification No. 20563
In the summer of 1957, Fritz Fend was at the helm of his own company and was ready to produce his masterwork. His far-reaching concept was to produce a super Karo that was in all respects superior to the three-wheeled scooter, particularly in terms of speed and handling.
Fichtel & Sachs, suppliers of the trusty Kabinenroller motor for years, had drawings lying on the shelf for a 400-cubic centimeter two-stroke, two-cylinder stationary engine. This was increased in displacement to 494 cubic centimeters and was actually manufactured by F.M.R. and mated to a four-speed and reverse gearbox. It was mounted in a very advanced Formula One-style sub-frame incorporating a fully adjustable rear suspension and had four wheels. The wheels and front suspension arms were increased in size, as were the headlamps and brakes, which were now modern hydraulics compared to the three-wheeled Kabinenrollers, which had cable-operated mechanical brakes. The large, plush pilot's seat was needed to handle the phenomenal cornering power of this amazing vehicle.
In September 1957, Fritz Fend presented his crowning achievement, the F. M. R. "Tiger" sports vehicle, to sensational acclaim in Germany. The "Tiger" name was owned by Krupp, so it was changed, supposedly, to "Tourenfahrzeug-Geländesport," or touring vehicle-cross-country sports, but the contraction fooled no one.
Based on the monocoque of the Messerschmitt KR 200 three-wheeled car, it was a four-wheeled car with a two-stroke twin engine. Its British debut is still the stuff of legends. Developed as a proper sports car but with an underdeveloped motor compared to other vehicles available in the same price range, it found a place with enthusiasts but not the general public.
Still in stock form, the Tg 500 accelerated from rest to 60 mph in 28 seconds and had a top speed of 78 mph. Of the 320 examples of the Tiger produced, it is believed that only 150 survive. The example offered here is finished in a highly attractive Rose with black fenders and a white stone guard, and it is believed to be the only example in this livery. It features a rear-mounted spare, a trunk track, and a tinted sun visor to aid the sportsman driver in avoiding the glare of the sun. It has been painstakingly restored, and the efforts of the craftsman’s hand are visible on all finished components, from the deep glossy paint and matching mirror-like chrome all the way to the flawless interior and bubble top. Its combined performance specifications and rarity make the Tg 500 one the most valuable microcars in existence, and among those, quality draws this one to the top of the pile.
AddendumPlease note that the ID number for this vehicle is 20554.
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