Bernard's 175 Page

Experience from over 50 years of KR175 ownership

Loose Ends

ooking back over my previous articles I see that I have missed a few of the 175's features, so now to tie up those loose ends.

There is a stop light (identical to the flasher units) mounted centrally between the two rear lamps. Inside the nose section is a foot board set at 45° to which the clutch pedal is fixed, while the brake pedal attached to the brake mechanism under this foot board protrudes up through it, and also to be found on the left-hand side, within the nose section, is the fuse box.

I also failed to note that the front suspension rubbers are attached to the body and wheel units by pairs of studs moulded into each end of the rubber springs. That the horn is mounted in the right~hand wheel arch and that the !75's rear lifting section uses a full width piano hinge of the same type as used for the dome.

I have already mentioned that the 175's gear change uses a push pull rod down the right-hand side of the cabin, but failed to say what happens to it on passing through the rear bulkhead. It attaches to a lever hanging from a rotating rod mounted across the engine compartment, parallel to and below the lifting section hinge. At the other end of this rod another lever connects to the engine's gear shift via a short rod. Needless to say, all this linkage rattles when the engine is running.

Another feature I had not so far referred to is a cabin heater, quite simply because my 175 does not have one, and as far as I am aware this was true of all 175s.

A few months ago a friend, not a Messerschmitt enthusiast but knows of my interest, brought to my notice the February 1987 issue of Cycle in which there is an article called "Messerschmitt Kabinenroller", by Pete Lyons.

In his article Pete relates the history of the KR175's origin and early development and illustrates the article with what may be one ot the earliest KR175s known to exist (chassis No1351), now owned by Paul Prince of Santa Barbara, California. For comparison my 1955 175's chassis number is 9242.

Reading the article and looking at the illustrations I note differences suggesting a more primitive model than the 175 we know.

The windscreen is noticeably smaller, with rounded lower corners and matching rounded corners to he adjacent Perspex, while the rear lifting section lacks a ventilation grill on its right-hand side, although there would appear to be one on the left. Later machines have grills on both sides.

One photo shows that a radio had been fitted, but extra holes in the dash suggest that this was not the radio intended for later 175s and may not even be correct for this early model.

Another view shows the rear frame and this is even more cumbersome and complex than the later version. Reading the text I understand that this whole assembly including the engine and fuel tank, is part of the rear suspension unit, which must result in an horrendous amount of unsprung weight.

Pete's article also reveals the following primitive features oi No 1351: 6 volt electrics, no starter but a kick start pedal in the nose section, the neutral selector lever on the right handlebar — which accounts for an unused hole on the handlebars of later 175s — a separate light switch on the right-hand side of the dash and a non-electric windscreen wiper.

The electrical details suggest to me that there may not have been any battery in the very earliest KR175s, with power for lighting, etc. being provided by a lighting coil in a flywheel magneto (which was one of the Sachs options available). However, the presence of a radio in 1351 suggests that this did have a battery.

In his article, Pete also tells us that the very earliest 175s (before No 1351) had a clutch lever on the gear change, instead of a clutch pedal.