By David Undercoffler
6:00 AM PST, February 19, 2013
Tiny cars, big money.
An auction over the weekend saw a world-record auction price paid for a microcar.
RM Auctions sold the car, a 1958 F.M.R. Tg 500 Tiger, for $322,000, including commission. In all, more than $9.1 million worth of tiny automobiles and related memorabilia were sold over the two-day event.
As indicated by the name, microcars are the smallest autos on the road, and were more popular in post-war Europe than they were in the U.S. The cars usually seat only one or two people, ride on three or four wheels, and are powered by engines as small as one cylinder.
The weekend auction liquidated the world's largest collection of microcars, according to RM Auctions. The 200 cars had belonged to businessman Bruce Weiner, who housed them in the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum in Madison, Ga.
The record-setting F.M.R. Tg 500 is a four-wheeled sports car based on a smaller three-wheeled Messerschmitt microcar. The Tg 500 is considered the rarest Messerschmitt made. It's also the fastest, with a top speed of 78 mph.
In addition to the Tg 500 sale, 11 other microcars eclipsed the $100,000 mark during the two-day auction, according to RM.
The company, and the classic car world in general, will now turn its attention to the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance show and corresponding auction.
RM will host the official Amelia Island auction on March 9, and among the cars it will bring for sale will be a rare 1948 Tucker 48 formerly owned by George Lucas. Santa Monica-based Gooding & Co. will host its auction on March 8. Stay tuned to Highway 1 for coverage of the Amelia Island weekend.
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