Feature Friday: Robert & Kelli Bean's '54 GEBR IHLE Schottenring Microcar
Each Friday, we feature a different fan and their car(s) on our website, FromCityToCircuit.com. Respond to our Q&A (click here), send us a high-quality photo of you and your car, along with any additional shots of your vehicle, and we'll post our favorites — one each Friday. Please send your responses and photos to email@example.com.
This week: Robert & Kelli Bean from Great Bend, Kansas and their 1954 GEBR IHLE Schottenring Microcar.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I [Robert] am 49 and I own a hardwood floor company. Kelli is also 49 and is an office manager for a medical office. We have two kids: Christian and Ali.
Tell us about your car: We have a 1954 GEBR IHLE Schottenring Microcar. This car was manufactured by Thomas & Frank IHLE in Bruchsal, Germany. The IHLE brothers were credited for developing the kidney grille for BMW. They also built a competition version of the BMW Dixie. After selling their race car business to BMW, they established "GEBR IHLE" which translates to "The Brother IHLE" aimed at producing cars such as the Schottenring Microcar. These cars are extremely rare and collectable; this car is one of only five in existence. This car is powered by a 9 hp single cylinder motor that pushes this 600 lb. car 25 mph.
How did you come to own your car? I found this car in a guy's shed outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma while buying old pedal cars from him. I noticed what I thought was a go kart with a fiberglass body on it sitting in the corner of his shed but I wasn't that interested in it until I came back to Kansas and pondered on it for the week. I then decided to go back that following weekend to buy the car that I thought was a go kart. When I arrived, I had my wife Google the German writing on the grille badge -- it was at that point that I knew it wasn't a go kart, but a microcar manufactured in Germany. All I did to the car to get it show ready was buff and wax the car and put a battery and carburetor kit in it.
What do you like to do with your car? We now take this car to car shows whenever we can. We purchased the car in September 2014 and have had it to four shows, the most recent being the Starbird-Devlin show in Wichita, Kansas, in which it was a trophy winner.
What has been your favorite part about owning your car? The favorite part of owning this car has been taking it to the shows and meeting and talking to people, participants and spectators.
What has your car taught you? The car has taught me that people are interested in all kinds of cars, large or small.
Photos and text submitted by Robert Bean.