A New Addition to the Family: A 1956 Groma Kolibri

I’ve been drooling over Kolibris for a while. It’s not a machine you find in the wild in the United States. I have to thank Ebay for this one. The machine is sturdy and, merely due to its compact size, light to carry. The mechanics are brisk and smooth, and the key-shapes remind me of an Erika 10. The typing is impressively quiet, creating a light, quiet thud on the page. (Imagine an SC Skyriter with a thinner sound.)

Unfortunately, the body took a ding in transit from Germany. The carriage release lever rubbed against the paint. It isn’t too unsightly, but I’ll have to figure out a way to seal it so as to avoid any further chipping.

I’m trying to figure out if the lower and upper case are out of alignment. The difference is minimal, so I think I’ll leave it alone.

Overall, this little fellow is ready to go. It needs no cleaning, and the case is in great shape. The machine isn’t two-toned like some other Kolibris, but I really like the green color. This will be the little bear among the three bears.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Michael Arau says:

    I really like that one. Very thin so it would be easy to tote about. I’m guessing it’s akin to the rocket, but sturdier. Love that color too. A little lizard, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      It is sturdy, and the color does appear like green camouflage. I could type in a forest without detection., barring the sound of typing.


      1. Michael Arau says:


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bill M says:

    Congratulations on the wonderful typewriter.
    The QWERTZ keyboard is not all that difficult to learn either.
    I’ve been wanting one of these for many years. I finally got a Mill or 2 so maybe I’ll find a Kolibri.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      I never thought I would get the hang of using a qwertz keyboard, but I finally cracked it with the help of an Erika.

      This Kolibri is a neat machine. The typing is very smooth. I’m not sure how they incorporated such smooth mechanics in such a small space.


  3. Richard P says:

    Really sweet. I’ve found that perfect alignment is a pipe dream with these little guys, but they are fun to use. There was originally a plastic piece in the bottom of the carriage return lever, to prevent dinging and scratching, but it has almost always fallen out; that’s the Achilles’ heel of the Kolibri. You can stuff some felt in there to prevent further damage.


    1. mcfeats says:

      Thanks, Richard! Good to know. I won’t bother with the alignment which is only slightly off.

      Hm. That explains that small broken plastic piece. Felt is a great idea.

      The typing is amazing for such a compact machine. This may be my best ultra.


  4. John Cooper says:

    I almost bought a Kolibri in December, but finally backed away because the paper support was broken off. It almost always is–it looks like it is on yours–but I was already on the fence due to the cost and it gave me an excuse not to buy. I’m sure I’ll get one eventually.

    After being on the lookout for an elite-type 2Y-series Skyriter for the better part of a year, I finally found one in good shape at a good price. It works great, but as Richard says about the Kolibri, the alignment is the Achilles heel. Maybe there’s a mechanical reason that the smallest typewriters are difficult to keep properly aligned.

    Being a longtime touch typist who took several weeks to adjust to the different placement of the apostrophe key on typewriters, I’ve been chary of the QWERZ layout too. I might go for it at some point. The time is not yet.

    Meanwhile, fantastic little machine you’ve got there! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      I had trouble with qwertz for a while, but one day it suddenly clicked for me. I tend to have more of a problem when backspace keys are on the left side of a keyboard (such as on Underwoods). I’m used to Olympias.

      My Kolibri does have the paper support. It makes a difference. Yeah, they aren’t cheap, but this one was slightly less expensive. The Skyriter is a better deal, and both machines are on the quiet side.

      Liked by 1 person

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