Auto-Kabine was created by the German company Hoffmann-Werke Lintorf. The company was engaged in the production of bicycles, but in the period from 1948 to 1954 produced motorcycles too.
In 1954, in order to expand the company’s product line, the designers created a very small car, called Auto-Kabine. The design of the two-seater was almost the same as the Italian Iso Isetta. The only significant difference was the placement of the door. The front mounted door was too unique for Isetta and may be an issue, so Hoffmann desided to use a side door.
Hoffmann had some ideas to make their car an improvement over the Italian one. He thought a longer wheelbase would make the car more stable. In addition, he wanted an engine set in the middle of the narrow tracked rear wheels driving them via shaft, while the engine of Isetta was located on the right side of the frame.
Auto-Kabine was equipped with a two-cylinder motorcycle engine with a capacity of 250 cc and a power of 11 hp. Two version were available: the budget with only one door on the passenger side, and more expensive with two doors. The cars looked good and were actually a step up from their inspiration. Not having a front door meant it could have a full dashboard with a range of gauges as opposed to the Isetta which only had a speedometer mounted on its steering wheel.
The official presentation of the car took place in 1954, at the same time mass production was started. However, it did not become massive and was soon phased out. The cessation of production was due to lawsuits against the company from BMW, which in the same 1954 acquired the Isetta. In total, about 100 Auto-Kabine were made.