Fend Flitzer

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The Fend Flitzer was a three-wheeled invalid carriage designed and built by Fritz Fend. The Flitzer established many of the basic concepts on which Fend's later Messerschmitt Kabinenroller microcars were developed.


In 1948, Fend, a former aeronatical engineer and technical officer in the Luftwaffe, began production of a tricycle invalid carriage in his workshop in Rosenheim, Germany.[1][2][3] The tricycle had a front wheel that was steered by handlebars and powered by a mechanism actuated by pushing back and forth on the handlebars. Shortly afterward, it was offered with a 38 cc (2.3 cu in) Victoria two-stroke proprietary engine normally used for motorizing bicycles.[1]

Fend then designed the Flitzer, a larger, better-enclosed invalid carriage. It was designed from the start to be powered by a gasoline engine. Whereas the earlier tricycle was both steered and powered by a single front wheel, the Flitzer had a pair of front wheels linked to the steering mechanism and a powered rear wheel.[1]


The Flitzer was initially powered by a 98 cc (6.0 cu in) Fichtel & Sachs two-stroke engine, but the engine was later changed to a 100 cc (6.1 cu in) Riedel/Imme engine.[1][2][3]

The Flitzer was made with aluminium panels over a steel frame[1] and was enclosed at the front, sides, and back.[citation needed] It had a hatch at the top that was hinged at the front and tilted forward for the operator to get in.[1] The first version of the Flitzer was open, with a hole and a windshield in the hatch for the operator's head and shoulders to stick through and be protected from the wind.[citation needed] A closed version was later offered that included an enclosure on the hatch to enclose the operator fully. The enclosure included the windshield and side windows.[1]

Reception and legacy[edit]

About 250 Flitzers had been built when production stopped in 1951. Many of these invalid carriages had been bought by able-bodied individuals seeking basic personal transport.[1] This led Fend to believe that there would be a mass-market for a larger, transport-oriented version of the Flitzer.[1] Fend began to design and develop a two-seat vehicle similar in concept to the Flitzer.[2] He also began looking for a manufacturer to mass-produce this vehicle. He came to an agreement with Messerschmitt for them to build Fend vehicles in their factory at Regensburg.[1][2] Part of the agreement was that the cars carried the Messerschmitt name, with Fend's new design being designated the Messerschmitt KR175.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wagner, Automobile Quarterly, Second Quarter 1973
  2. ^ a b c d e Cawthon, Fritz Fend's Marvelous Micro-cars
  3. ^ a b Payne, Fend, 3-wheelers.com

External links[edit]