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MAICO 500 - German car circa 1960? sales information for USA


Walt G
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My last contribution of some sports car post war material. This sheet was issued by the American Importer for the car made in West Germany. Note the Whizzer International name for the importer, was this connected to the Whizzer motor bike? Was it sold in the same showroom?  Can anyone positively date the sales folder ?  Is it very familiar to anyone out there?

MAICOsportscarGER1960maybe.jpg

MAICOpart2.jpg

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I was aware Maico made a car, but don't recall even seeing a photo of one and never one in real life. The bikes had a cult following , but never much of a sucess here in Canada. Like Terry mentions , probably too expensive. British motporcycles were too cheap in Canada for any of the Europeans to have very much sucess. The Italian machines seemed to do better in the market than the Germans.

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On 6/11/2022 at 6:31 PM, Walt G said:

I know nothing about motorcycles so could not make the connection, thanks to all for a speedy reply to add to the history! appreciate that.

Walt

Im a bit the opposite, know more about m/c than old cars. My first thought was the Maico motorcycle. Cute little car I didnt see in the article where the body's came from but the sporty one def has a Karman Ghia feel to it.

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Japanese motorcycles of the era outperformed the Maico motorcycles in every way.

They didn't earn the nickname 'Maico Break-o' for nothing.

 

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7 minutes ago, zepher said:

Japanese motorcycles of the era outperformed the Maico motorcycles in every way.

They didn't earn the nickname 'Maico Break-o' for nothing.

 

Indeed, the early days of off road European cycles were the go to bikes for competition.  When the Japanese cycles joined the party, things changed dramatically. 

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On 6/14/2022 at 5:58 AM, TAKerry said:

My thoughts go to YZ250.

 

The Honda Elsinore out performed the Maico and the Elsinore was a dog compared to the other models that were released around the same time.

 

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The 1974 Elsinore 125 did well that year and was quickly outpaced by the other Japanese makers who invested more in R&D.  Bob Hannah was the guy getting all the press on his Yamaha motocrosser.  My sport was East Coast Enduro riding where the Euro bikes were more competitive in the tight woods and offered better suspension than the Japanese bikes that were more designed for on/off road use. Bultaco, Montessa, Ossa, Husqvarna and Penton/KTM were top brands along with a few die hards on Maico and Rickman framed British brands. I rode my first Enduro on a Honda XL250. Right after that experience I bought a used Husqvarna 250.  The Husky was terrible on the street but excellent in the woods!

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Perhaps it is time for me to just take a step aside and go dormant if that is what this is turning into. Less aggravation , no need to block yet another person posting what they think is humorous about a photo or image/topic that I or someone else is seeking information about and do not think it is something to chuckle about . With upcoming surgery next week and having to cope with recovery from that it is time to say farewell , it was good while it lasted. 

WG

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Many auto brands shared the garage with two wheel cousins.  Honda, Suzuki, BMW, Vespa, DKW and Maico as we see in Walt’s car ad.  At times the motorcycle business success or lack of it directed the company business plan.  Porsche made farm tractors as did Henry Ford.  The start of this thread brought out how Europeans addressed affordable transportation given, in many cases, the need to develop something after their homelands suffered tremendous losses during WW2.  Motorcycle people can be very passionate about their hobby, on equal or more than automobile hobby people.  We enjoy talking about our experiences and your thread, as much as it seemed to wander towards more motorcycle discussions, generates much interest and discussion among enthusiasts of both 2 and 4 wheel hobbies and creates a common bond of discussion that is both fun and healthy in my humble opinion.  
I hope your medical procedure goes very well for you Walt.  And please take enjoyment in knowing your questions about an obscure car brand generated tons of enjoyment for those of us who replied to it.

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  • 6 months later...

What's interesting about the Maico Coupe pictured, is that it is the only Maico Sport Coupe produced.  The body was done in fiberglass by Swiss coach builder Beutler, who also did a few Porsches.  In fact, this Maico looks like a scaled down Porsche Beutler.  That one car was shipped to the U.S. for display at the April 1958 New York International Auto Show.  While this was going on, Maico as a company imploded, with one of the Maisch brothers going to jail.  That forced Maico to give up car production and return their focus to bikes.  As a result, I'm convinced they didn't have the money to ship the car back to Germany.  European microcar collectors today are unfamiliar with this car.  Did it go to Pontiac, MI to reside at the importer Whizzer?  Who has it now?

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The Maico Sport Coupe pictured on the brochure from Walt G reminded me of another now obscure but more successful German car of the 1960's, the Glas, pictured below. I wonder if there were any connection.

Interesting to note, Glas also built the pudgy small car, the Goggomobile, also pictured below, that has a strong resemblance to the Maico 500 economy car.

 Glas sold out to BMW in 1966. More info below:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glas_(company)#Cars

The Reference: Beautifully Restored 1966 Glas 1700GT | Classic cars, Bmw  classic cars, Bmw

 

BMW 1600 GT: The Last Days of Glas - Old Motors

 

image.jpeg.9e8521741a5c9802d0b8c22ea6d32560.jpegGlas car hi-res stock photography and images - Alamy

 

 

 

 

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Regarding Maico:

 

Maico Emblem.jpg

Maicowerk A.G., known by its trading name Maico (pronounced [ˈmaɪko]) is the name of a family company in the Swabian town of Pfäffingen near Tübingen. Founded in 1926 by Ulrich Maisch as Maisch & Co, the company originally manufactured 98 and 123 cc Ilo two-stroke engines. After World War II, they began producing their own unit construction two-stroke engines, selling complete motorcycles. Maico made a brief foray into the automobile business with their own line of microcars in the late 1950s. Maico have also made go kart engines.[1]

 

More info:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maico

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