Vintage Magazine Blurb: “Heil Kleinschnittger!” – Seriously?

I’m a bit confused by this. I know about the Kleinschnittger, one of the smallest of the many microcars built in Germany in the 1950s. But it’s the “Heil” part I’m a bit flummoxed about. Seems to me that doing what she’s doing and using the word “Heil” is what we’d call not PC.  In fact, in post-war Germany (and still today), Nazi salutes in written form, vocally, and even straight-extending the right arm as a saluting gesture (with or without the phrase), are illegal.

But then this is clearly not a German publication. Who did publish CARS in the 1950s? It seems a bit insensitive, even if it was intended for American consumption. From the license plate, it was shot in Germany, I assume.

OK, I’m not trying to get all up in arms about this, but I do find it rather curious. As was the effort to sell this bumper car to Americans. Seriously?

No, the 5.4 hp 125 cc two-stroke single could not cause the “Capsule car to buzz along at 55mph”. More like 43 mph, on a billiard-table flat road and in the doldrums. But lifting up the car while the wife changes the rear wheel is a nice expression of manliness.


Oh wait! She gets to lift it up too! If it weighs 300 lbs,  she’s doing pretty well. Those German women are Amazons!

There’s no mention of the Kleinschnittger in my Standard catalog of Imported cars, so I suspect it didn’t go over too well. Maybe they should have used “Hi Kleinschnittger” instead.

It’s pretty obvious that the “Heil” may well have been some daft editor of the magazine that wrote this up, thinking it was cute. The girl in the car clearly isn’t really quite giving the Nazi salute; she’s just giving a friendly…heil.