Founded by Hans Glas of Dingolfing, Germany in 1883 to produce farm machinery, it was not until well after World War 2 that the company would commence automobile manufacture. Following the war cheap and cheerful cars were borne through necessity rather than desire, and Glas turned their hand to the manufacture of a scooter that proved very successful. Few could afford fully fledged automobiles, and with a burgeoning micro car market it made sense that taking the next step up the ladder would involve manufacturing something that had more than 2 wheels, and less than 4 cylinders. Sales of three-wheelers were going through the roof, and once powerful manufacturers such as Messerschmitt and Heinkel were busy manufacturing their own unique iterations.
The Goggomobil’s would hit the market in 1955, and were in many ways vastly superior to much of the competition, whose vehicles resembled more a covered over scooter than an automobile. The Goggomobil would soon be outselling practically all other micro-cars from the era – right up until BMW took control (their survival being in no small part due to the 3 wheeled Iso Isetta). Sydney company Buckle Motors would begin the import of Glas chassis and mechanical components in 1958, fashioning fibreglass replacements for the original steel Goggomobil bodies – and in doing so avoiding Australian import taxes. The All-Aussie bodies looked the same, but were marginally disproportionate and, more importantly, were lighter.
The weight advantage gave the Australian iterations a performance and handling edge over their German stable-mates, and despite Australia not suffering the economic hardship as was being experienced in Europe, the little “Goggo” proved very popular, with approximately 5,000 being assembled until 1962.