Yesteryear’s Green Cars Showcased At Barrington

The 7th Annual Barrington Concours d’Elegance will show a group of distinctive, fanciful Microcars on the Concours field during the July 12 to 14 weekend.

The Barrington Concours d’Elegance will be held at the Makray Memorial Golf Club in Barrington, Ill.

The group of microcars will feature vehicles from several makers including Messerschmitt and Nash built during the “golden era” of Microcars, from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Many of these make the current smart fortwo look big in comparison.

“Microcars represent a fun and fascinating period in our automotive history,” said David Cooper, Concours Co-Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “Post-World War II was a difficult time in Europe as raw materials and fuel was extremely scarce. Putting the devastated populace back on wheels was a critical element on the path to recovery. Scrounging what little was available to them, automakers built tiny, often whimsical looking vehicles. While underpowered and diminutive by modern standards, these marvels of engineering and packaging fundamentally changed the way people viewed transportation.”

The Microcar display will include a 1957 Signal White Messerschmitt “Kabinenroller” KR201. Offered only in 1957 and 1958, the KR201 is a very limited model and is considered one of the rarest Messerschmitt’s in existence. Only 304 were built and even fewer were painted Signal White.

Also among the display will be a 1962 Austin Mini Countryman. Built from 1961–1969, these two-door estate cars have decorative, non-structural wood inserts to make them look like an American-style 1950s Woodie.

A crossover from the Avions Voisins display, the 1953 C31 Biscooter will also be featured in the lineup of Microcars. Organisers of the Concours said that Voisin designed this simple car for the tough conditions of the post-war world. The Biscooter utilizes Voisin’s principle of “infinite simplicity” with a bare chassis, wicker seats for four, a simple, flat windshield and polished aluminum body. These vehicles were produced under license in Spain from 1953 to 1959. It is widely believed that between 12,000 to 15,000 were made.

“Microcars represent the ultimate in innovation, proficiency and utility,” said Cooper. “With this collection of Microcars, we hope guests will understand that automotive excellence isn’t just limited to large and powerful cars like Duesenbergs and Porsches. Great things can come in small packages.”

Organizers also said that the Barrington Concours d’Elegance is a year-long celebration of automotive excellence featuring more than ten events. The Microcars will be displayed at the Concours’ capstone event on July 12-14 along with 100 of the world’s finest and rarest vehicles, including a collection of Duesenbergs, Avions Voisins, Indy cars and Vincent motorcycles.