1956 Inter 175A Berline
RM Sotheby’s Auctions – Paris, France
February 8, 2017
First shown at the 1953 Paris Motor Salon, the Inter 175A Berline is believed to have been created to compete with the Messerschmitt KR-175, also built by an aeronautic firm and featuring similar styling. Although three styles of the microcar were displayed in Paris, including the very rare convertible ‘Torpedo’ version, it was the 175A Berline model, with its domed roof and skylight, that was ultimately put into production. An estimated 300 Inters were eventually made between 1953 and 1956, with less than 10 percent believed to remain in existence.
Brimming with unique aviation elements, perhaps the most well-known feature is the helicopter-type starter, the Westinghouse Gyrostarter. This starts the car with an electrical whine before engaging the Ydral one-cylinder, two-stroke engine when a lever is pressed. Additional aircraft-like features include a tandem seating arrangement, a steering handlebar, a tapered tail, and a Cyclops headlight. Although several elements carried on throughout production, no two cars were ever completely identical, and owners take great delight in comparing their “vehicle’s” special qualities.
Ideal for any collector interested in the very unique and very rare, the opportunity to own such a fascinating little automobile should not be missed. It has a 8 bhp, 175 cc one-cylinder two-stroke Ydral engine, a three-speed manual transmission and cable brakes. And of course stunning aeroplane-like design elements.