Cuno Bistram Microcar

New at Automuseum PROTOTYP

This Hamburg unique piece was invented and named after the trained confectioner Cuno Bistram, who from 1948 operated an “Autobahn” called race track on the grounds of the Hagenbeck Zoo. On this track, children were able to drive around in single-seat racing cars and feel like real racing drivers.

For the idea of offering a rental car for normal road traffic in Hamburg in the early post-war years, Bistram had this single-seater built on the basis of his racing cars. The car, registered in 1954, was 2.50 metres long and weighed 180 kilograms. Its 146 cc one-cylinder two-stroke Ilo engine produced 6.7 hp. That was easy enough for a top speed of 60 kilometres per hour (37 mph).

The microcar later became part of the Hillers Auto-Museum, where it was exhibited in Tremsbüttel and Hamburg. Afterwards it crossed the pond and was on diplay at Bruce Weiner’s Microcar Museum in the USA. In 2014, Dr. Carl Claus Hagenbeck bought the Bistram at an online auction and brought it back to Hamburg the following year, where his racing car siblings, driven in the Hagenbeck Zoo and now rediscovered, were already waiting for him.

Under the aegis of the non-profit association “yourmove” of Nikolas Aichele, Uwe Raupach, Helmut Möller and Werner Krassau, the Bistram microcar was restored in the following years by young people as part of training measures to teach them old craftsmanship techniques and the passion for old cars.

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