In the tourist resort of Herrsching am Ammersee, passers-by rub their eyes in amazement.
Those are cabin scooters - and a whole armada drives by with a happy two-stroke rattle.
What the astonished spectators have no idea: in terms of top speed and price, these vintage cars are, so to speak, the Bugattis among the cabin scooters, a category that once also included the BMW Isetta or Heinkel cabin.
The four-wheeled FMR Tg 500, better known under the name Messerschmitt Tiger, are the top models of the actually three-wheeled family of scooter mobiles developed by Fritz Fend at the end of the 1940s.
They were later also manufactured in the former Messerschmitt aircraft hangars, which is why they were popularly given the name that is still used today.
The Tiger is still a bitchy car today.
"It requires attention and good maintenance," explains one of the owners, Martin Sauer from Iserlohn, and adds with subtle irony: "Tiger years are not gentlemen's years." The flight captain restores the 20 hp engines in his own workshop and also drives them the official Tg-500 register.
According to his research, there are still 167 of the 320 built. About 90 of them are in Germany, and a good 20 of them traveled to the meeting in Bavaria.
Sauer's passion for the Tiger is so great that he wrote a book about this vehicle.
Its two-cylinder is a design by the manufacturer Sachs, originally developed as a stationary engine.
Fritz Fend took over the two-stroke design, which was not fully developed at the time and still causes thermal problems to this day.
Fend increased the displacement to 500 cubic centimeters and designed a gearbox for it.
Nevertheless, the engine allows diva airs and graces.
A surprising number of tigers are used in racing.
However, the Tg 500 may only compete against other tigers.
Because the FIA racing commission does not allow cars in which drivers sit one behind the other to compete with other vehicles.
In addition, the microcar missed the number of at least 400 produced copies required for homologation.
Tigers always race against each other in a special class or against the clock in mountain races.
How did the cabin scooter come about?
So it's no wonder that a trip to nearby Wallberg is planned during the meeting in Upper Bavaria.
There, on the route full of serpentines, the spectators were enthusiastic about the Tiger Hill Climb from 1959 onwards.
Even now the participants let it rip.
Because the sporty handling, combined with an extremely direct steering and a vehicle weight of less than 400 kilos, is still a lot of fun.
20 riders race uphill, taking a break at the top while the cloud of two-stroke smoke slowly clears.Keywords: