Wow – what a ‘mega’ microcar sale…

Following our last couple of posts, we watched (online) the RM Auction sale of the Bruce Weiner Microcar car collection with great interest, and boy what a sale, it certainly kept our attention and broke several world records.285347_10151426288838815_655708310_n12986_10151426288793815_368970717_n285347_10151426179823815_1354659249_n19781_10151426289073815_1687511394_n

The sale over two days had both memorabilia as well as cars and this saw toy microcars fetching more than we paid for Mario! The sale obviously generated the same ‘mad’ bidding behaviour we witnessed back in London in the 90’s. After the two days of bidding an unusual 100% sale rate was achieved but as no item had a reserve price this was to be expected. The auction saw $9.1million in sales (30% up on estimate), with many of the car lots achieving over $100k.

We watched the sale on RM Auctions line feed which held up pretty well and we were very grateful to Microcars online who were at the sale and kept their blog updated throughout the day with the hammer prices of all the lots. RM always have a very ‘full on’ almost theatrical style of auctioneering and you felt the excitement online so it must have been to quote the Americans ‘awesome’ to be there. Max Girardo the auctioneer will need a holiday after this, keeping up his enthusiasm for the 200 plus car lots, he’s certainly good at encouraging people to part with their money.

65251_10151430421203815_1272858693_n11397_10151426179948815_850591681_nThe star lot of the sale was a 1958 FMR (Messerschmitt) Tg 500 Tiger, a microcar with a top speed of a nearly 80mph (although the Subaru 360 beat it on track during the Micro Marathon!). This mini ‘beast’ in a rather fetching rose and black colourway, had an opening bid of $100k and finally went for a staggering $280,000 plus commission.

Apparently one guy brought 20 of cars on the first day, he is reported to have recently sold his business and thought he’d start an instant collection. The sales success was put down to being a ‘one type’ auction which meant that collectors from all over the world were at the sale or on the phone bidding against each other, plus RM did a superb marketing job, including this wonderful video building hype in microcar enthusiasts everywhere.

On a personal note the Multipla went for a hammer price of $57,500 which although a lovely example, seems rather inflated, especially as Multipla’s aren’t as rare as many of the unusual prototypes and small production cars in the sale. Although several examples have fetched high values particularly in the US, maybe we need to take a look at Mario’s insurance! The Subaru 360, a 1970 model fetched $22k so looks like Mario’s ‘brother’ is also increasing in value.

68953_10151426179828815_606271739_n32171_10151428324108815_890253027_nOf the lots we would have liked if we’d won the lottery, as seen in our recent posts, most went in excess of their estimates (we have good taste!), hammer price for the Fuji Cabin $110k, Peel Trident $90k, Jurisch Motoplan Prototype $90k, Inter 175A Berline $140k. The Frisky Family 3 which had an estimate of $15-20k ended up at $50k but the Mazda R360 Coupe and the Autobianchi Special were within their estimates at $25k and $30k respectively so maybe there’s still hope in increasing our family one day!

The top 12 lots are below, prices including commission and tax
1. 1958 F.M.R Tg 500 “Tiger” – $322,000

156411_10151430410798815_1968127562_n2. 1951 Reyonnah – $184,000 (the front wheels can be moved inwards to make the microcar easier to store)

3. 1958 Goggomobil TL-400 Transporter “PEZ” – $172,500

65276_10151430411613815_647011428_n4. 1955 Inter 175A Berline – $161,000

5. 1959 Goggomobil TL-400 Transporter Pickup “Coca-Cola” – $138,000

6. 1963 Goggomobil TL-250 Transporter “Dubble Bubble” – $132,25

527913_10151430473888815_1242736266_n7. 1955 Fuji Cabin – $126,500

525091_10151428249988815_1124309669_n8. 1964 Peel P50 – $120,750

9. 1955 Messerschmitt KR 200 “Vic Hyde” – $115,000

10. 1957 Messerschmitt KR 201 Roadster – $103,500

377602_10151430346123815_1033296417_n11. 1966 Peel Trident – $103, 500

560480_10151428260128815_1964952951_n12. 1957 Jurisch Motoplan Prototype – $103,500

So at the end of the weekend a big result for the tiny cars, we will have to wait to see what effect it has on the ‘normal’ microcar market but whatever happens Mario is still priceless.




Small is beautiful…

… in our eyes anyway

Continuing on from the last blog we’ve had time to peruse the Microcar auction catalogue and discover yet more gems. This is a bit of a lazy post but so many of the cars offered for sale are unique and soooo cute we just need to share.

Lets start with this ‘banana’ car, a 1957 Biscuter 200F Pegasin – it just looks bent! almost like a cartoon car squealing to a halt, maybe the design makes it look like it’s going fast.BW13_r227_01

This 1956 Avolette Record Delux could be a road going bumper car but at a estimated price of $45-55k you really wouldn’t want to bump into anything but it sure is cute with it’s one central headlight. Somehow this looks much more modern then the others, maybe it’s the rounded simple bumpers and smooth lines.BW13_r121_01Another cutie, a 1959 King S-7BW13_r149_01

Next up one of the smallest, a 1959 Scootacar MK1BW13_r258_02

Now here’s one closer to home a custom version of Mario’s little brother Nippy – a 1967 Subaru 360. This estate version looks quite different but I guess it still doesn’t have much extra space inside.BW13_r221_01


Streamlined and rather mean looking this 1958 Goggomobil Dart is very stylish, one of these competed on the Leige-Brescia-Leige Microcar rally which we took Nippy on in 2008. We loved the design then but it was rather unpratical as it has no weather protection and we often saw the car with the driver and navigator huddling under an umbrella.BW13_r259_01


And finally this fabulous 1955 Fuji Cabin, I’ve never seen one of these before, Fuji (heavy Industries) as a car company became Subaru and the 360 was their first car, so not quite sure where this fits into the companies history. Again the sweeping lines look rather modern or even futuristic – look at some of the designs for electric record breaking cars. This one has a guide price of $75-100k so is one of the more expensive lotsBW13_r122_01BW13_r122_02


We will certainly be following the auction next week with great interest and will report on the results. If you want to know more take a look at the online catalogue




Oh to be a millionaire…

On February 15/16 in Madison, Georgia, USA, RM Auctions will be holding a sale of the entire collection from the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum. There are some 200 microcars up for sale and how I would love to add some to our ‘small’ family but we would need to have a significant win on the lottery first!


Now what is strange about this auction is that it isn’t the first time it’s happened. Bruce Weiner an American who made his fortune in Bubble Gum, I believe started collecting ‘bubble cars’ many many years ago to promote his business. He went on to build a collection, opened a museum and then on the 6 March 1997 they were auctioned by Christie’s at the Jack Barclay Showrooms at Nine Elms, London.

We were there and that’s what fuelled our love of small cars. That auction was amazing, there was such an atmosphere with hundreds of people crammed in and outside the showroom and prices went ballistic. Bidding was frantic with prices beating the estimates many times over, bearing in mind this was fifteen years ago a Peel Trident estimated at £3000 fetched nearly £30k and it looks like it will be happening all over again.

At  the time we already had Regie the Renault 4cv and had fallen in love with the idea of getting an original Fiat Multipla, there was one in the Auction with a guide price of £500, so we went to have a look. It wasn’t that good, needed a lot of work and ended up selling for the best part of £3000.

There is a Multipla in the upcoming sale, it looks much better than the one in 1997 (the catalogue photography is beautiful but obviously ‘processed’ so would be interested to see the real condition) but the current guide price is $50-60k! Mario will be watching the sale with interest, although to us he is priceless.



Now what happened 15 years ago… well for Bruce it was the thrill of the chase that excited him and collecting and displaying his finds, so once he had sold his original collection he began collecting again and so here we are all these years later and the much improved and enlarged collection is going to auction again.

Bruce says “To me, it’s all about the thrill of the chase,” Weiner adds. “My collection has brought me incredible joy over the years, but simply finding and restoring these cars is not enough for me. In order to fully appreciate them, I need to share them. I’m really looking forward to the sale and happy that these unique cars will be spread to other passionate collectors throughout the world. As I see it, we’re enlarging the microcar community by letting these go and helping keep history alive.”

Amongst the lots is a Peel Trident, the car that took our interest all those years ago. This 1966 model is now estimated at $40-50k not such a big increase as the Multipla. I actually got to sit in one at the Goodwood Revival in 2005 and there really isn’t much room but we always fancied having one so we could dress up and look like aliens.BW13_r123_01DSCN2607 So what we would we bid on if we won the lottery. My favourite has to be this fantastic 1957 Jurisch Motoplan Prototype, it’s amazingly cute but with only three ever being made and an estimate of $50-75k looks unlikely to be joining the collection.BW13_r127_01
Next up would be this 1956 Fuldamobil S-6 $40-50k
BW13_r150_01 and this mad looking 1955 Inter 175A Berline $40-50kBW13_r212_01 A beautiful 1959 Frisky Family 3 is more affordable at $15-20kBW13_r256_01Or this adorable 1962 Mazda R360 Coupe at $20-30k which would be a great stable companion for our Subaru 360.
BW13_r217_01Or one that’s been on the wish list for a while a 1961 Autobianchi Bianchia Special Cabriolet just like Audrey Hepburn drove round Rome in ‘How to steel a Million’BW13_r232_01

The maddest thing in the auction and probably the most expensive is the 1959 BMW Isetta “Whatta Drag” a working creation of a Hot Wheels model. Not sure how practical it would be though. See it run in this video.BW13_r268_01So if we come into a fortune in the next couple of weeks I will be bidding like mad for some of these beauties. There are loads more oddities and rare examples plus lots of the more usual microcars up for grabs as well as an extensive collection of models and memorabilia, take a look at the online catalogue.

RM are putting on a very slick auction with a fantastic ‘micro’ catalogue which runs to 800+ pages and I’m sure will become a collectors item in it’s own right but comes with an $80 price tag, to get into the auction itself there is a charge of $150 for two people, there seems to be lots of hype already so maybe the audience will be as excited as in 1997 and the already high estimates will be exceeded. I suppose this will be good for the small car market in general but frenzied bidding creating over high prices which will never be realised in the normal sales market and will only lead to disappointment when microcars are sold or valued after the event so we will have to wait and see. Whatever happens it will raise the profile of small cars around the world and hopefully more people will grow to appreciate them for what they are – great examples of design and above all such a lot of fun.