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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Kroboth Allwetter Roller has no chance to be grew

When the season changes into wet in the first years after World War II ended, and people want something with a roof. So, people stopped buying motorcycles. And scooters, too. Even though the economy in Western Europe improved rapidly in the 50s, most people were still unable to buy a new car. Especially in Germany which basically rebuilds its infrastructure from scratch. So what is the German need in the wet season in the time? They need a closed scooter.
1955 Kroboth Allwetter Roller while on display. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/347Rwfz)
Luckily there're Willy Messerschmitt started building in a closed scooter with the help of designer Fritz Fend. Shortly thus was born the Messerschmitt Kabinenroller which been sold like a strudel until Willy could not meet the market demand. So, there are holes in the market. But, designing, developing and producing mass cars, even small ones, takes a long time. It needs almost two years in those processes before being sold of microcars in the time. But the market needs somebody to capitalize the most of the wet season as soon as possible. There's one person who tried to take that opportunity was Gustav Kroboth. He was designing a roofed vehicle back in 1953.
1955 Kroboth Allwetter Roller in an advertisement paper. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2Wo9k3t)
He started with a simple, but strong central tube frame chassis and then used as many off the shelf parts to finish it off as possible. Front suspension was two transverse leaf springs, with one longitudinal one for the single rear wheel. Like his scooter, it was mid-engined with a 9 horsepower 175 cc Sachs engine mounted behind the driver and in front of the rear wheel. This was the same engine that was then powering the Messerschmitt which meant it was easy to get serviced and find parts for.
1955 Kroboth Allwetter Roller. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/34b2Nfp)
Within 3 weeks, he had finished a bare prototype that was ready for testing. He knew he had to distinguish his covered scooter from the Messerschmitt, so he tried as possible to make it look like a real car even though it has only three wheels, and named it Kroboth Allwetter Roller or All-weather Scooter. It also used a ZF steering box, ATE brakes, and a VW windshield. One thing Gustav was particularly proud of was the column-mounted 4-speed shifter. The column shift was all the rage, so this was like being in a full-sized car but without reverse gear anyway. Even with 9 horsepower, its top speed was 46 mph which apparently felt quick on a lightweight chassis like the roofed Kroboth scooter has.
Rear view of 1955 Kroboth Allwetter Roller. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/34b2Nfp)
It made its debut, believe it or not, at a hill climb event in Austria where it won its class. Kroboth was certain he had a winner, but the press mocked the little car calling it the product of the 'tinkering of a refugee operation.' Undeterred, Gustav set about making preparations for production. Workers at Kroboth rigorously tested it, driving it over 20,000 kilometers and then taking it apart to check for wear and tear. The handling that had satisfied Gustav when it was a chassis proved pretty squirrely at higher speeds.
After having trouble getting investors to produce it, Gustav finally got it from Fransen and Sohnen, a Dutch bicycle company to make the Kroboth Allwetter Roller in the country. But bad luck returned back when a shipment of a thousand bicycles to India went unpaid, which made the Dutch company have to choose between canceling their offer or going bankrupt, and once again the little roofed Kroboth was forever orphaned. Over the spring and summer of 1955, Gustav Kroboth and his little factory had been built 55 units of Allwetter Roller with the remaining supplies before the factory was shut down permanently.😢 *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | MICROCAR MUSEUM | WIKIPEDIA | SCOOTERHOOD | UPOST.INFO] 
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