Fancy driving something really different in 2018? How about one of the strangest cars ever produced? Like this rare 1958 Zundapp Janus microcar for sale at the moment? Powered by a 14hp two-stroke engine, and with a top speed of just under 50mph, it won’t stun you with performance. But you will definitely get noticed wherever you drive.
After World War 2, aircraft company Dornier decided to build and develop a car. So Claudius Dornier, son of company founder Claude, came up with the four-seater Dornier Delta. But after the prototype was built, the company decided it wouldn’t be profitable to continue. At which point motorcycle company Zundapp came along with the aim of producing and marketing a vehicle for all weathers.
So the Zundapp Janus arrived in 1957, named for the Roman god with two-faces. The reason being that it had a front opening door for the driver and one passenger, and another rear door for two people to sit facing backwards in the rear. That design had one serious space saving advantage, but it did look a bit unusual.
The good thing was that the Janus had comfortable MacpHerson strut-stype suspension. And like a sports car, it was mid-engined. Unfortunately the rear passengers would weigh more than the motor, making the centre of gravity vary depending on how many people were in the car. And besides the lack of power, it also skipped a lot of modern features and creature comforts for the time.
As a result, Zundapp produced just 6902 Janus cars between 1957 and 1958 before going back to focus on motorcycles again. Just in time for the 1959 arrival of the Mini.
As a result, this rare 1958 Zundapp Janus microcar for sale is one of the few surviving examples from a small production run, which makes it interesting and valuable. And this particular example has had relatively few owners, and was restored in the 1970s before going into a museum – it comes with the original German logbook from January 1959.
And the Zundapp Janus will probably be popular with any children, as the model appeared in Cars 2 as Professor Zundapp, allowing another generation to rediscover one of the oddest designs in automotive history. As such an unusual car, the price is available on request via Albion Motorcars