1959 BMW Isetta Microcar
Chassis no. 455502
Renzo Rivoltas Isothermos company had begun life pre-war making refrigerators, turning to the manufacture of scooters, under the Iso name, after the war and thence to the highly successful Isetta bubble car. Introduced in 1953, the egg-shaped Isetta was like nothing seen before, boasting a hinged front for entry, the steering column and instruments swinging out with the door to facilitate easy access to the bench seat. Power was provided by a 236cc two-stroke engine, which drove the closely spaced twin rear wheels via a four-speed gearbox. In the 1954 Mille Miglia, Isettas claimed the first three places in the economy classification, the winner averaging over 70km/h. Despite its virtues the Isetta was not well received at home where small cars like the FIAT 500 were preferred, and sales were disappointing.
Production in Italy ceased after some 1,000-or-so had been made, though the design continued to be built under license in several other countries. BMW saw its potential and by the time production ceased in 1962 had sold a staggering 161,728.
This BMW-built Isetta was delivered new to Germany before going to Switzerland where it stayed for 30 years. The third owner then brought the car to Belgium where it underwent complete restoration while retaining the original interior, the engine being enlarged to 300cc in the process. Presented in fully restored condition, this charming microcar is offered with restoration invoices, Belgian registration papers and roadworthiness certificate.