Phänomen Motorrader

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Phänomen Motorcycles

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A Brief History of the Marque

Founded in 1888 by Gustav Hiller in Zittau, Germany.

Hiller began importing Rover bicycles from England in the 1890s, and was soon building his own in a factory established for the purpose. His first motorcycles appeared around 1900.
In 1906 they revealed their first 3-wheeler, which they named the Phänomobil, at the Leipzig Crystal Palace. Designed by the engineers Franz Louis Hüttel and Svetescu who had been responsible for the well-received Cyklonette (with whom Hiller had a legal battle over patent matters), it was sold in Great Britain in 1908 along with their motorcycles. Powered by engines as large as 880cc, versions of the three-wheelers were produced for some 20 years, many being sold to both the German and Swedish governments for their postal services.

In 1913 Gustav Hiller died. His brother-in-law and close friend Josef Freund assumed the role of CEO.

In the 1914-1918 period they continued to produce delivery vehicles, along with ambulances and a variety of military equipment and passenger cars.

A major fire on April 23, 1919 destroyed the main factory. Rudolf Hiller, the founder's son, took over management of the company in 1921 and began to rebuild the plant, a daunting task given the reparation payments due and the worsening economic climate.

By 1927 the Reichspost had received over 1500 Phänomobils, and they were also going to the Austrian and Swiss postal services. The firm thrived, and continued to do so despite the German and international fiscal disasters of the late 20s and early 30s.

In June 1931 the first "Granit" truck was presented, and these too proved a great success.

During WWII they delivered Granit trucks to the Wehrmacht. At the time there were around 3000 people employed by the factory.

The Phänomen factory survived the war almost unscathed, but the company was expropriated after the war and became part of IFA. The Granit name was retained and the vehicles were exported all over the world.

The Phänomen name was acquired by the Meister concern in 1950 (probably); Phänomen motorcycles advertised in the 1950s included the Tourenrad Moped S 50, along with 150cc and 175cc machines. The Typ 75 had a Sachs 147cc engine.


Motorräder 1930-1943










BOB 30

BOB 100

BOB 120

BOB 125


Phänomobil 1905-1909, 1910-1927

Modell 1 leichter Zwei-Sitzer 887ccm

Modell 2 Touren-Zwei-Sitzer mit Kofferkasten

Modell 3 Sport- und Reise-Zwei-Sitzer

Modell 4 Vier-Sitzer 1109 ccm

Modell 5 leichter Lieferungswagen

Modell 6 Lieferungswagen

Sources: period literature, Axel Oskar Mathieu Archive, correspondence, (via Wayback).

stevelearmouth at
Hi, can you tell me whether these were used during ww2 by the german army, airforce etc? thank you Steve
Stephen Learmouth
Ryde, IOW, UK According to a German site on the Wehrmacht the 124cc Phaenomen Ahoi was in use from 1940.

mauricehadid at
i have an old motorbike
I believe it is a Phanomen Bob. founded in my grandpap storage.
maurice, Lebanon

  • Yes, I believe that's correct, It's a Phaenomen Bob probably from the late 1930s. Images posted to comments, above.

Victor Brumby (via Disqus)

I have a photo album generated by a Dutchman passé, which contains various photos and sketches of interest to me because I catalogue international numberplates.
Sometimes they are shown on vehicles of their period; having read ‘Phanomen’ on this one, I looked it up and was brought to you by the magic of Google….

There is also a 3-wheeler, which I believe they made too - this may be one??    And a later pic of a 'Granit 25' car outside the Phanomen works, by the look of it.
Registration code 'I 'was the code for Bautzen in Saxony - perhaps where they were made??

I hope they’re of interest to you.

Victor Brumby, Streatley, Berks.

  • Many thanks. Both the motorcycle and tricycle are 1908 or thereabouts and were advertised in the British press of that year. The truck was also made by Phanomen, during the WWII era.

Thu Apr 13 2017
kim_leachman at
My Vehicle
Phanomen Pahanomobil
Thought you may be interested in my new we page?

Phanomobil image posted in the gallery

Thu Apr 12 2012
Phanomen Bob
Hi Iv recently inherited a phanomen bob and am looking for any info about them as I can't find much on the net, also any advice on getting a valuation for insurance
Many thanks
Preston, uk

Sat Mar 13 2010
Phanomen Ahoi 125 parts wanted
Phanomen Ahoi 125ccm parts (frame, brake pedal, mid-stand, electric horn, tail light) wanted.

Fri Dec 08 2006
andreas at
Phänomen History
from 1900 to 1945
Hello, i come from germany. My father and i have show the users of www a good directory of Phänomen Motorcycles! The url is [404] ; the kategorie is Fahrzeuge & Firmen and then Phänomen! Come to us and check our history!!
Oberlausitz, Germany

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