Page 99. IWL Lastenroller 3-Wheel Scooter

The Mystery Machine


…which will be sold on ebay soon

I bought it hoping to identify and do something with it. The seller told me it had a Sachs engine, as fitted to the Messerschmitt. I meant to send photos and details to magazines, but was too busy with other projects. So it has remained in my shed ever since. I put it on ebay in 2008, as an unknown machine. Nobody was brave enough to have a go at it, but at least it was identified, as an IWL.



Its engine is the same as the Messerschmitt, a 191cc Sachs. And as far as I can see, the only scooters originally fitted with these engines were:


2. HERCULES R200 which was sold in Britain as


However, I’ve not found any info that these companies made a lastenroller.


It came out of an old orchard in Bournemouth. The consensus of opinion among the old wags gathered round when I collected it is that it was constructed as a carrier to use at Hurn Airport, or maybe one of the smaller airports that used to be dotted around the area.


The framework on the rear box is very different from my Tula Muravey tipper rear end, for example. With its towbar and the way the rear box-frame has been constructed it looks like it was designed for specific purposes.


I owned a small Mercury airport tug 20 years ago, which had a Ford 8hp engine; comparing the two, I don’t think the Mystery Machine would be powerful enough for that purpose. But as the pick-up bed is small, it does look to me like towing a trailer is one of its primary purposes.


Someone suggested a bomb-carrier; but the Mystery Machine is definitely fifties because of its Sachs engine, and I can’t see why bomb-carriers were needed that late after the War.


The length of the machine is interesting though: it’s long enough (and sits low on big wheels) that if the rear was fully laden it would not raise the front end.

The engine is stuck and still in the seller’s workshop to try and free it off. If someone fancies having a go at this curious mystery machine, I’ll collect the engine and give it to them with the trike.

The tyre size is 350 x 12.

No frame number found; only a letter ‘H’ so far.


I seem to be a magnet for obscurities of this nature. “Colin, I’ve come across a really weird vehicle that’s right up your street” etc etc. And I have little willpower to resist them.


Don’t you think this project will make an interesting story? I hope fellow enthusiasts rise to the challenge of restoring this enigmatic three-wheeled scooter. I don’t suppose everyone’s heart jumps like mine does when they come across such a fabulous decrepit beast as this. But whether you manage to find out what it actually is and rebuild it accordingly, restore it for now with only basic bodywork to retain the ‘as found’ look, or design your own body from other scooter parts …I definitely feel the Mystery Machine deserves a new lease of life.




UPDATE 4th March 2008

Richard Parsons has definitely come up with the most viable lead so far:


I reckon I know what the mystery trike is….

Check out the pictures on:
Now check out the pictures on
Look at the shape of the rear mudguard on the red pickup.

The forks also look like reversed IWL items.

Unless anybody has a better suggestion, I’m claiming bragging rights on this one!

Live long and prosper,


Here’s the red pickup he mentions for comparison:


So was it an IWL body with Sachs 191 engine grafted in?


I’ve just spoken to the guy I bought it from in Bournemouth. He’s had the engine soaking since Beaulieu last year and says that is moving a bit; probably half an inch or so. He reckons some heat should now free it off.

He has the front pipe of the exhaust and gearbox as well as the engine. It has the fn and housing on the left-side of the engine. There’s no dynastart, so I guess this is the Sachs 191cc engine as fitted to the Hercules/Prior/Progress.


I note with interest your comments about the Sachs engine on item 99 on the website, especially the fan being on the left of the engine. Please find attached a photo of the Sachs 191 engine.


As you can see, the fan is on the right, unless of course the engine was installed facing backwards, which is entirely possible.

Now take a look at an IWL Berlin engine in situ


As you can see, the fan is on the left. It’s also at the top of the motor, set into a casting and driven by a belt from the crank, rather than directly on the crank itself.

I wonder if your seller’s Sachs motor has a kickstart, and in fact isn’t a Sachs engine at all, but an IWL unit. It’s just a thought, maybe another piece of the jigsaw.

Good luck with the auctions!



I can confirm that there are several IWL items on the machine, backing up your theory. The carb and the ignition key cover are IWL. I have two IWL Berlin scooters which seems to be the base vehicle and the later IWL Troll 1 scooter.

The front forks do not appear to be IWL though, they would normally be of the Earles type.




Dear groovydubber,

the ” unknown ” trike with the sachs lump in was a rear twin seat passenger job to take old ppl with walking sticks an the like across the runway to the aircraft ect, I used to assemble the Kabinrollers in wharf lane brixton in the fities an remeber a few of these for sevecing, …Stan…hope it helps,..nice collection though,,being a 2/t nutter myself,….

– millwallstan



to see what’s currently being sold



Published on February 26, 2008 at 12:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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