THE MYTHOLOGICAL CHIMERA:
The word Chimera means ‘she-goat or monster.’ Its second definition can be ‘An unreal creature of the imagination, a mere fancy; an un-found conception.’ Although it was one creature the chimera was said to be incredibly vicious and powerful for it possessed the abilities of three separate animals.
One of the earliest surviving literary reference is of Homer’s Iliad, in which Homer describes it as ‘a thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat’s head on the top of the forehead and a lions on the bottom, and snorting out the breath of the terrible flame of bright fire.’ Despite the mane adorning its lion’s head the Chimera has been generally considered to be female. Some believed that sighting the Chimera was an omen of storms, shipwrecks, and natural disasters (particularly volcanoes).
One of the myths describes the Chimera mating with her brother Orthrus, mothering the Sphinx and the Nemean lion. The Chimera was defeated by Bellerophon, with the help of Pegasus. The King Lobates of Lycia sent Bellerophon on a mission to kill the beast, knowing full well that he would perish in the act. Since Pegasus could fly, Bellerophon shot the Chimera from the air, safe from her heads and breath. He finished her off by equipping his spear with a lump of lead that melted when exposed to the Chimera’s fiery breath consequently killing her.
Nowadays the term ‘chimera’ has been used to describe real-life entities that arise or are created as amalgams of previously separate entities in fields such as botany, genetics, and molecular biology.
– The Open Book Society
A chimera is a mythological beast, like a griffon, sphinx or dragon, that combines the best (fighting) attributes of different species. The terrifying chimera lived in the imagination of ancient man. Although, if you think about it, it was a logical concept: when venturing into strange places, the fear of unknown adversaries was utmost in the mind, and the ideal fighting army (then and now) is created with a combination of complementary weapons and abilities.
But our children should be afraid. Because this modern chimera, the 49cc Krause Piccolo Trumpf, is much more real. The unwary may be ambushed by it lurking within the dark recesses of this website.
Out there in the wild and wacky world of vintage vehicles, there are some that just shouldn’t have been made…
THE VEHICULAR CHIMERA
1960 Krause Piccolo Trumpf
I bought this odd creature in Germany in 2006. It’s powered by a 49cc Simson SR2 engine. We started it up when it arrived, and it has been in storage since.
The Trumpf not only looks odd, it is also downright dangerous to drive.
Being an invalid carriage, the controls are on a bar. On the earlier version, the bar was pulled back to operate the brakes on the rear wheels.
On this model, you push the bar to activate the brakes …however, the throttle also rolls forward to accelerate. So if you’re holding onto the bar at the logical place, ie the throttle grip on the end, it’s too easy to accelerate while trying to stop!
The Krause was made in various forms from 1955 to 1975, with the first two variants using the front end from an IWL scooter.
After the Type 5, a two-seater ‘Duo’ model was introduced.
If the 400 BC Etruscan Chimera turned up nowadays, he might be a bit wobbly on his legs, so I’m sure he’d find a Krause Piccolo Trumpf his ideal mobility scooter…
2007 AMBERLEY SCOOTER & MICROCAR SHOW
I exhibited the Krause at the Amberley Scooter and Microcar Show back in 2007. You can see it (above) alongside my Cezeta, red Goggo, blue Terrot, yellow Peugeot.
Below, the other end of the row: the red and yellow Scooter de Manege (roundabout scooter), red Centaur folding scooter, and again yellow Peugeot and blue Terrot.
I subsequently sold all my scooters (except the Scooter de Manege and the Krause Piccolo Trumpf), as well as vintage cars and motorcycles, in order to start the Online Bicycle Museum.
Chimera info with thanks to the Open Book Society – http://openbooksociety.com/article/mythical-creatures-history-in-depth-2/