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Goggomobil: Das Ding aus Dingolfing

Goggomobil
ER Classics Desktop 2022

66-year-old Hans Glas had some guests in his villa near Dingolfing. “We are simple Bavarian entrepreneurs”, he began his conversation at the dinner table. "But when you see how many copies of the Goggomobil we have sold in recent months, we can celebrate with a nice meal."

The Goggomobil had four wheels, a steel roof and a differential. So it was a car.

At the time of the Bavarian feast, 60.000 copies of the Goggomobil had left the band. Glass had the large bowl of slices of roasted pig meat put on the table by his allegedly busty housekeeper Maria. He had cut the meat himself. He had learned that when he was catering in the States. Glass was of the last generation for whom such a solid German meal was considered pure luxury.


In the meantime, his staff already had money for a good piece of meat

Certainly because Glass paid its people well. So good in fact that other companies were angry because their best people went to Glas. In the years that the German economy returned to full swing were the dwarf cars like the Goggomobil, which easily ran 1 on 20 and were just as expensive in terms of taxes as keeping and dashond in the big city sales toppers.

And a Goggo cost 800 mark less than a beetle. The Goggomobil was the dream of just about every motorcyclist. And that for the price of a medium to heavy (and that was at the time an 500 cc) motorcycle.

Dwarf cars were big business. And everyone tried to get their share, or a piece of the cake, in that market. But a lot of those dwarf cars had the not-serious number of just three wheels and chain drive. They were not instinctively 'automobiles'.

And Hans Glas, almost unknown in automotive circles, sitting in the agricultural machine corner, bravely stepped into that battle. His pure approach was to make a car for motorcyclists. And that became the Goggomobil. A car with space for two adults and two children. And a real differential. Important!

The two-cylinder two-stroke engine with its somewhat clumsy gearbox and the biting clutch could have just been put under a motorcycle.

The suspension was stiff in a way that only motorcyclists could appreciate. The Goggomobil gave ambitious motorcyclists the feeling of being a real motorist. Despite the limited ventilation options and the Spartan interior where 'comfort' was hard to find. But: You had four wheels under the butt and you stayed dry.

In addition, the Goggomobil was quite lively and had good handling. The car remained below the 3000 mark price limit that the scholars had set as maximum acceptable. 200 Goggos were made every day in Dingolfing. And all this without banks having invested in it.

The competition had a hard time with it. Because how could a bunch of farmers from a stupid village where they only knew about agricultural machinery set up something like that?

That was because Glas thought 'out of the box' and did not have to take into account all the people who knew better. He had taken that approach from the States. As a young man, he had experienced the super-fast motorization of an entire nation. He started there at the very bottom of the ladder in an ice cream shop. His main task there was to dismiss creditors. More creeps on the bottom of the economy followed. But via via, he ended up at Ford and then found a well-paid job at Harley-Davidson.

When he returned to Germany in 1924, he bought himself into the distressed Isaria agricultural machinery factory

He brought it back to fruition. Of course things went different in WWII, but the company survived and the idea of ​​making transportation for the masses, a kind of Volkswagens 0,9 took hold. The name of that car would be "Goggo." Why? Because a grandson of Hans Glas was given 'Goggo' as a pet name by his babysitter. Clearly! Just as clear as that they made as much as possible in their own direction. Only the engine and transmission came from Adler.

It was a huge venture, but it was successful. And the BMW boss, who had just laughed at Glas, made a sour face. The Goggomobil was a Real Car.

Goggomobil

6 Comments

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  1. pierik,

    certainly there was a GLAS car, and it was not the least. We had a 'reckless' knowledge that with GLAS made it a sport to catch up on the then many main 2-lane main roads (100 km roads I thought). Then waited until a fast vehicle in front “went” 2 cars ahead and then “went along”, jumping from one possibility to the other. Dangerous to life, but yes a GLASS, it could ...

  2. We had a fen in the winter that froze enough to skate there. 4, very big brothers from the village had a Goggomobile and rode through the trees to the ice. After skating, they picked up the car, turned it around, sat in it and drove away with it. We always waited, completely impressed, until they left.

  3. As far as I can remember there has also been a GLASS car, Was that not the precursor of the now well-known AUDI can also be mistaken, Does AUDI not come from Auto Union who also had those rings in front of the car, have one more had 1000 cc three cylinder with a mixed lubrication pump next to the carburetor two stroke run like crazy I had him but yes that's with everything everyone looked nicer and faster away with those two stroke reng deng deng yes yes !!!!

  4. Goggomobil, together with a Renault Dauphine and a Chevrolet Belair and sometimes a Chevrolet from the taxi driver (another real one with suit and cap and the order to polish the black car for the next customer after each ride at the pitch) in the only car in the only car in the street at the beginning of the 60 years. It was 1 with an 20 km restriction. I don't know why that was, I think there was a sort of moped car idea for a certain group without a driver's license back then.

    • Another great story, new to me, was that Adler supplied the engines! A friend of mine was driving a Goggomobil and I read about hard shifting here? I remember that you switched electrically with a switch, and I thought that was a miracle. Furthermore, it was important to drive the Goggo mobile with quite a few revs, enough of it!

      • Take a look at YouTube under “Goggomobil mit 150 PS” where an engineer has transplanted a Yamaha block into it. Goes to 12.000rpm. Also adjusted, not just any engine swap. The end result is a 4-wheeled monster; the term “suicide doors” suddenly gives a completely different meaning.

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