Mobilizing the masses following World War II also meant venturing into the microbar business. Many were based on motorcycles and therefore could be licensed as such, giving their owners significant road-tax savings. One of those companies in the microcar business was Zundapp of Germany. They had been in the motorcycle business since 1921 and, while they had experimented with a vehicle in the late 1930s, it was not until the post-war period that they took the leap into car manufacturing. Their design featured identical doors front and rear opening onto bench seats facing forward and aft. Thus, the name ‘Janus’ was appropriately applied, as it was named after the two-faced Roman god who had the ability to look into the past as well as the future.
When production ended, fewer than 7,000 examples had been built. One Zundapp was given a starring role in the latest installment of the Pixar animated film Cars 2, in which a prominent villain, Professor Z, is portrayed as one of these cars.