What the Zaschka Three Wheeler, the world's first folding car, looked likePictolic
The inventor Engelbert Zashka was one of the first pioneers of the helicopter industry in Germany. However, this invention is not related to aeronautics at all. He designed and built a folding tricycle.
In 1929, he developed a car project designed for the poor segments of the population. According to the designer, the car should have been cheap in itself — no more than 1000 Reichsmarks (by the way, the Hanomag Kommissbrot, recently discontinued, cost 2000) — and do not demand for yourself an additional "luxury" — a garage.
The car he built can probably be called the ideological ancestor of the Czech Velorex - it was also a rear-engined tricycle and had a body in the form of a spatial tubular frame covered with waterproof material (in this case, vinyl). The 1-cylinder air-cooled engine (the" radiator " in the front is just a design element) accelerated it to 40-50 km / h.
In order to provide the car with safe storage, it was made ... collapsible. It was enough to unscrew a few bolts of the frame (of course, after removing the vinyl trim, windshield, seat and steering column) and the car broke up into three compact sections that could be stored in the basement or another secluded place. Assembly and disassembly took only 20 minutes.
Tsashka's plans were to establish a serial production of his car, but he had to abandon this idea. The spatial frame turned out to be too complex for mass production, and its price greatly exceeded the estimated cost of the entire machine.
A variant of the same car with an all-metal load-bearing body was, although less laborious to manufacture, but it came out not much cheaper and much heavier. The ideas of using such exotic materials as rubber concrete and reinforced wood as materials for the body remained just ideas…
Inventor Engelbert Zashka in Berlin, 1927.