Monday, January 25, 2010

Enzmann - a sportscar coming from Switzerland

When people are asked to name cars coming from Switzerland, the list is usually short: Monteverdi, ehhmmm. But as many other countries also Switzerland had a number of creative entrepreneurs interested in cars, one of them was Emil Enzmann. Impressed by cars such as the Porsche 550 Spyder he developed a lightweight sportscar featuring a fiberglass body and sitting on a Volkswagen chassis. The car was presented in 1956 in Lausanne and 1957, titled as Enzmann 506, at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Between 1956 and 1968 about 100 cars in three versions were produced: Spider, Cabriolet and Hardtop. The last one featured a sliding fixed roof.
The car showed quite a number of clever solutions and even had some sort of an early airbag for the passenger. Compared to a standard Volkswagen the car was much faster thanks to the lighter body, but also thanks to an engine choice which even included period Porsche 356 engines. Some Enzmanns also competed in racing.
Production stopped finally because it wasn't anymore possible to buy the chassis as Volkswagen acknowledged the Enzmann as a Karmann-Ghia competitor.
Today you can buy the Enzmann again, it's produced as new using the same moulds and is bascially a recreation. From the original batch roughly 13-15 cars seem have to survived until today.
The pictures show a road test from the Hobby magazine from 1960 and three Enzmann starting at the Altb├╝ron hillclimb 2009.

1 comment:

John L said...

They look like a lot of fun.