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* Up Dated * A Few More Automotive Oddities to Ponder


Today, like last Saturday, we have an assortment of interesting photos from a network of friends in Europe who like vehicles that are unusual and a bit off the beaten track. The little three-wheeled car above is a Microbo that was powered by a 125cc engine; it appears that it was made in Milan, Italy, for a time in the early to mid-fifties. If you can add more to this microcar’s story, please let us know.


* Up Date *  This little number apparently was on display at a salon, possibly in Europe, and is a total mystery to us and others. The only clues to this car’s origin are the monograms on the front and the center of the wheels. The majority of the body appears to have been constructed of wood, but the painted dark-colored hood held in place by latches the front may have been constructed of metal. Seeing no evidence of air or water cooling would lead one to believe that it may have been an electric car?  Ariejan Bos has determined that this car is a Slaby-Beringer “Einsitzer”.


And finally, while not as unusual as the other two vehicles, this three-wheeler being used in some form of a competitive event does have a unique riding position by one of its passengers. The small trike’s cornering speed was enhanced by the rider on the back (often referred to as a monkey) by hanging off the side of it with one foot on a peg while acting as a counterbalance to keep it from tipping over. If you can tell us more about the machine, the event, or the riders please do.

All photos are courtesy of our friends at Yacht club des Avions de la Route. Take a look back here at last Saturday’s oddities.

12 responses to “* Up Dated * A Few More Automotive Oddities to Ponder

  1. The middle photo shows a Slaby-Beringer ‘Einsitzer’, probably at the first Berlin automobile show of 1921 (the same on which the art-deco Mercedes and the Rumpler were shown). Not my specialty, but the internet gives enough info to learn more.

    • “Einsitzer” translates as single seater.

      The Slaby-Beringer electric car –
      Innovative and revolutionary in its day

      Dr. Rudolf Slaby built a small electrically propelled car for his personal use in 1919. The design aroused such interest that he decided, together with Hermann Beringer, to establish a company and begin volume production of the car.

      An initial order for 100 cars was received from the Berlin-based company owned by Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen, the Zschopau industrialist and founder of the DKW company. Difficulties with companies supplying components and signs that inflation was about to devalue the currency made Rasmussen anxious that his high deposit payment could become worthless. He therefore decided to take a one-third interest in the car’s manufacturer, SB–Automobilgesellschaft m.b.H.
      Here is an image of a flock (perhaps a hundred?) of the Einsitzers in Berlin in 1921:

  2. First image :
    Paris, 1953. A policeman inspects the paperwork of a 125cc engine-powered “Microbo” auto-scooter of French actress Huguette Montreal
    Image by Pierre Godot

  3. The Morgan being raced is probably a post war photo, and either a Super Sports Aero, or a Super Sports (later car) as there is a drop in the chassis. Bit easy really though as I have a Super Sports Aero! rgds Martyn

  4. From the book Die Grosse Enzyklopadie Der Kleinen Automobile: ISSI (Istituto Scientifice Sperimental Industriale) of Mailand developed similar but different 1952 and 1953 models of the Microbo 125. The 1952 model is pictured in March 1953 Popular Mechanics and June 1953 CARS. The three-wheeler single seater was powered by a one-cylinder motor scooter engine that enabled a top speed of 40-45 mph. Ezio Cingolani was the builder, according to the Popular Mechanics photo caption.

  5. r The Microbo was a prototype from the Scientific Experimental Industrial Institute (ISSI). They made scientific instruments as well as the Idroflex motorcycle and had previously been called the REOM (short for The Society for Trade and Industry Electric Radio Mechanical Optics) when they took over the lightweight Idroflex brand from Ducati. The Microbo appeared at the 1952 Turin show with a steel body with two seats and a single side door. Two more examples were shown at the 1953 show this time with the more asthetically pleasing body shown in most of the previous posts – this was largely aluminium, with a perspex roof, and this time it had two doors. Both 1952 and 53 versions used the same 125cc single cylinder 2 stroke Idroflex engine driving the back wheel and were said to have pretty much identical running gear. The company was dissolved in 1954.

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