Cuno Bistram

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This one-off home-built single-seater took minimalist motoring to the extreme

The Cuno Bistram was a very well-constructed one-off from Hamburg which took its name from its designer and constructor, about whom nothing is known, apart from the fact that the Bistram family was influential and well-known in Hamburg when this tiny single-seater was constructed in the 1950s. Bistram must have been a capable engineer, as the quality of workmanship was very high, both in the level of design and the superb metalworking skills in evidence.

The car took the form of a monoposto racing car, but it was, apparently, simply intended as a personal runabout, built simply for the joy of building it rather than for some specific purpose.

The complex sliding pillar suspension and beautifully shaped custom fuel tank fitting into the compound-curved tail are examples of the fine craftsmanship seen throughout. Bistram followed the principle of weglassen, meaning 'leave it off if it’s not necessary'. This extended to the omission of a starter motor, so starting the single-cylinder 150cc ILO engine meant turning on the ignition, lifting the tail cover to tickle the carburettor, then giving the kick lever on the outside left rear a dab. The motor would then burst into life. Hopefully.


Vital statistics
Produced 1954, Germany
Number built 1
Engine Rear-mounted, 150cc, 1-cylinder
Power 6.7bhp

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