In 1955, the Hungarian Ministry of Metallurgy and Machine Industry commissioned three engineers: Ernő Rubik, Pál Kerekes, and Géza Bengyel to start the work on microcars at Székesfehérvári Motorjavító Vállalat (“Székesfehérvár Engine Repair Company”). Székesfehérvár is a city near Budapest. This company was previously a repairing shop for airplanes. The company started developing new activities after the airplane business went down in the 1940s.
József Horváth was one of engineers of the factory. He brought the idea to build a microcar with an aluminum body. After the though study of two famous foreign microcars — Messerschmitt and Goggomobile — Horváth developed this Alba Regia in 1955 alongside with the Balaton microcar by another factory’s engineer — József Zappel.
Alba Regia microcar was named after Székesfehérvár’s designation in Ancient Rome. The car had an aluminum body and was fitted with a Pannonia 250 cc motorcycle engine. It had only 8 hp which was much less than the engine of Goggomobil. The engine was located in the rear. A consultant Géza Bengyel designed a unique frame with a torsion suspensions. The microcar has 2+2 seats and two conventional doors.
The idea of the gearbox was taken from the Isetta, the reverse gear from the Messerschmitt. When the driver wanted to go to the other direction, he or she stopped the engine, pushed a button and started the engine to the other direction.