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Lot 58: BMW Isetta 300

Collectors' Cars, H&H Sales Limited (10 June 2009)

Microcars (or bubble cars as they came to be known) were born of the need for cheap short-distance transportation in the postwar years. Arguably the most successful of the breed was the Isetta, whose origins lay with the Italian firm of Iso SpA (Isetta is Italian for `little Iso'), who later built the infinitely bigger and faster Rivolta sports car. Not surprisingly, the diminutive two-cylinder, two stroke-powered four-wheeler caused a sensation when it appeared at the Turin Motor Show of 1953 and Iso went on to build some 1,000 or so in Italy and others in Spain. Many more were built under licence in France, Belgium, Brazil, Britain and Germany, where they were manufactured by BMW. BMW made the Isetta their own. They redesigned the powerplant around one of their four-stroke motorcycle units and re-engineered so much of the car that it is said that none of the parts between a BMW Isetta and Iso Isetta are interchangeable.

The BMW Isetta 300 was introduced in 1956. The obvious difference was the increase in capacity from 250cc to 298cc, raising the output from 12bhp to 13bhp. While the torque was improved, the top speed remained the same at 53mph. The car offered has recently been recommissioned following a long period in storage. It has been treated to a bare metal respray in yellow and a retrim in black leather. The car is said to be "rust free" and the engine and transmission to be in "good" order. It comes with an old style log book as well as a V5 and fresh MOT certificate. These delightful products of a fascinating period in motoring history have become increasingly collectable and the BMW Isetta is generally regarded as the best of the breed. Needing only a tiny parking space and capable of over 50mpg, it could be regarded as an ideal car for today's motoring conditions!

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Cars
H&H Sales Limited, The Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire
Lot Number58
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£8250
Condition rating0
Registration number805 NRL
Chassis number332598
Engine number332598
Engine capacity (cc)300
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors