1960 BMW Isetta 300cc
The Isetta was the brainchild of Renzo Rivolta, founder of the Italian firm of Iso Spa. Iso was known as a company for building refrigerators, motor scooters and small three-wheeled trucks. In the early 1950’s Rivolta decided he would like to build a small car for mass distribution and in 1952 Iso had designed a small car that used the scooter engine and named it Isetta – an Italian diminutive meaning little Iso.
The Isetta caused a sensation when it was introduced to the motoring press in Turin in November 1953, it was unlike anything seen before. It was so small (only 2.29 m long by 1.37 m wide) and egg-shaped, with bubble-type windows, the entire front end of the car hinged outwards to allow entry. In the event of a crash, the driver and passenger were to exit through the canvas sunroof! The steering wheel and instrument panel swung out with the single door, as this made access to the single bench seat simpler. The seat provided reasonable comfort for two occupants, and perhaps a small child.
The Bubble Car was born and the Isetta was ultimately a huge success. Rivolta decided the best way to capitalise on this success was to sell licences to other companies to manufacture the little car. Over the years Isettas were manufactured in countries all over the world, including Spain, Belgium, France, Brazil, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Perhaps the best known of the Isettas is the BMW Isetta, the first of which was built in 1955 and was powered by a 247cc single cylinder four stroke engine. In time the power plant was upgraded to 300cc and the Isetta was built in both three and four wheel configuration.
Circa 160,000 BMW Isettas were built, however, today the numbers are thin on the ground and they are quite hard to find.
These cars are becoming quite collectable and almost every serious car collector or enthusiast has either had one or wants to have one!
We are pleased to offer for sale a lovely BMW Isetta 300cc three wheeler. This particular car was manufactured and delivered new in the UK in February / March 1960. It is left hand drive, which is more desirable for two reasons. Firstly the gear change is with your left hand and secondly, the engine is on the right hand side (at the rear of the car) which provides better weight distribution and balance.
This car has an extensive history file with documentation dating back to 1984. The car passed through a number of owners before it was restored in 1999/2000. The car was repainted in its original colour of chaminox white and the seats trimmed in a red tartan – a fabulous colour combination.
The BMW Isetta was purchased in the UK in June 2011 by Mark & Michelle and it became part of their micro car collection. There is an import approval on file dated 25th July 2011. At that time the odometer was at 42,518 miles. Since arriving into Australia the car has been kept on Club registration in Queensland with the oh so cool registration plate of ISY300.
Whilst this is an older restoration this little BMW Isetta still presents really well. The paint is very good with the odd minor imperfection and stress crack evident, which is common. The interior is nicely presented and the car runs and drives well. It is probably suffering a little from lack of use, though on a recent test drive it performed perfectly. Within the last twelve months or so the fuel tank has been removed and cleaned/repaired and the exhaust repaired.
The car has a really good, thick history file with mountains of receipts, a UK V5 registration, interesting BMW Isetta documentation, manuals and books. There is also the often missing spare wheel behind the seat.
Today the odometer reads 42,585 miles.
A BMW Isetta is a must for every car collection and this is a good one! There’s no doubt that you get the best ‘smile per mile’ in an Isetta!
- BMW Isetta
- 42,585 miles