Sunday, 22 June 2014

Cute German Bubble Car

Bubble Car
German Bubble Car, Celle, Germany
One of the delights of wandering around German towns is that you are always coming across the unexpected. We visited Celle in Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) earlier this month primarily to look at the 400 or so timber-framed buildings (Fachwerkhäuser). Whilst admiring the enduring design of renovated houses dating back many centuries, it was a surprise to come across a classic car-design from the twentieth century - this cute little blue bubble car.

An original Heinkel Kabine 153
An original Heinkel Kabine 153
It is in fact a Heinkel Kabine 153, built between 1956 and 1958 by Heinkel Flugzeugwerke (which had previously been most successful designing and building heavy bomber planes for the Luftwaffe during the war). 5,537 of these little cars were made, and it is reckoned that only twenty of them are around today.

Production of them recommenced in 1960, under licence from Heinkel and with the name Trojan 2000, by Trojan Cars Ltd. in the UK, and continued until 1966: it is this version you are most likely to spot in 1960's British films from the period (or even remember) where the bubble-car became synonymous with Swinging London and Carnaby Street.

Another view of the German bubble car in Celle
Another view of the German bubble car in Celle
Totally impractical to drive, of course, but a lovely little thing to come across.

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