Fuldamobil started production in 1950.
- The N Model Prototype, built in 1950. It was a 2 door seater, made out of plywood sheet over a wooden "frame".
- The N-1, another prototype, 1951. The N-1 was also plywood sheet over wooden frame.
- The N-2 model, 1952, although very similar to the N-1, had rear quarter windows, rear seats, and a whopping Sachs 359cc motor.
Only 380 N-2 models were produced, and so far 3 have been found and restored.
A Sachs 360cc Roadster prototype was also built.
В марте 1950 года по немецкому городку Фульда двигалась карнавальная процессия. Как обычно, было много смеха. Но когда в своем новом трехколесном автомобиле мимо проехал Норберт Стивенсон, смех прекратился, ибо это было серьезно. Многие из зевак не отказались бы от такого автомобиля. Этот опытный образец был первым из 1500 выпущенных автомобилей этой модели. Он имел прочное шасси с трубчатой рамой и приводился в движение одноцилиндровым мотоциклетным двигателем рабочим объемом 198 см3
с приводом на задние колеса. Автомобиль весил всего 310 кг и развивал максимальную скорость 65 км/ч. В то время в Германии на такие машины был огромный спрос, но производство началось лишь в феврале 1951 года. Серийная модель имела двухтактный двигатель рабочим объемом 247 см3
, мощностью 8,5 л. с. при 4200 об/мин, разработанный для использования в плотницких цепных пилах.
Для уменьшения веса и стоимости кузов был изготовлен из фанеры и покрыт кожей. Модель Фульдамобиль N-1 не был совершенством, поэтому летом 1951 года Стивенсон сконструировал новую модель N-2, с кузовом из тонкового листового алюминия, который не требовал окраски. Автомобиль был оснащен одноцилиндровым двигателем рабочим объемом 359 см3
от фирмы «Фихтель унд Сахс» и развивал мощность 9,5 л. с. Модель N-2 производилась до 1952 года. Было продано 380 автомобилей Фульдамобиль — немного по сравнению с 700, проданными компанией «Нордвестдойчер Фарцойгбау», которая производила N-2 по лицензии.
The amusingly rotund Fuldamobil qualifies as perhaps the longest-built microcar, being in production in various forms by various firms throughout the world for nearly 20 years. The story begins with Norbert Stevenson, a young freelance journalist spending all of his spare time in the damp basement of his house designing a small car. His “design department” consisted of piles of papers and drawings scattered over a rickety old table next to a wood and cardboard mock-up of his proposed three-wheeler. A sponsor allowed the purchasing of parts and a motor, but these had to be returned as its partner exited the scene. The design was offered to Karl Schmitt, who was a wealthy, highly qualified engineer and the head of a large Bosch distributorship and an electrical equipment business that repaired electrical generators.
Karl Schmitt had considered entering the small car business as well, and he adopted Stevenson as his official constructor. He was not convinced by the tandem layout, so he polled his employees, asking them if they would rather sit side-by-side or in tandem. They answered with “bench seat” unanimously, and Stevenson, under the watchful eye of Diplom-Ingenieur Schmitt, was pretty much given free-rein to develop his car.
Work began in October 1949, and by Christmas, a chassis was being test-driven on tractor-seats. In January, a body was constructed in steel on a wood frame along camping-trailer lines, with an angled flat front and two separate front windows. It was clear that the motor needed improvement, so Stevenson drove to Nurnberg to see Triumph’s new twin-piston single. The firm’s director, Reitz, saw the little Fulda and asked “What is that silly thing?” whereupon Stevenson turned and drove away. The drivetrain problem was solved by Baker und Pölling, who offered to bore out their chainsaw motor to 250 cubic centimeters and supply it with a sprocket to take a starter motor. Gearbox-makers Hurth offered their three-speed-plus-reverse gearbox.
More prototypes emerged, including roadsters with painted plywood bodies and a more normal, new rounded nose. The filling and painting were too labor-intensive, so it was decided to go the Lloyd route: having the body covered with leathercloth. The glider-manufacturer Schleicher agreed to supply these plywood-on-ash bodies. A pre-series of 48 cars, evenly divided between open roadsters and closed coupes, demonstrated quality control issues with the Baker and Pölling motors.
The motor, however, continued to be fitted into the series production N-1 series, which retained the attractive rounded nose shape, beginning in August 1951. A total of 320 of these were built before the B&P chainsaw motor was replaced by a 360-cubic centimeter Fichtel & Sachs stationary-type motor on the N-2 model a year later.
Shortly after the introduction of the new Sachs motor, the bodywork received a startling overhaul that would make the little Fulda’s name widely-known. The plywood skin was replaced by panels of embossed aluminum, which eliminated painting, and the deep embossing hid small surface faults and damage well. It became known as the “silver flea.” A smooth, aluminum-painted version was also available at an extra cost. The car achieved a distinctive position in the marketplace as a comfortable, well-sprung family vehicle, which, with its folding seat, could be used on camping trips.
Source: autohistoriq.ru; www.rmauctions.com