1959 Opel Olympia Caravan

Emerging as if from some Philip K. Dick dystopian version of the future where the Germans ruled America, Opel’s lineup in the 1950s broadly mirrored that of its American counterparts – only, in 7/8ths scale or less. The Rekord was Opel’s higher-end family car, and it’s styling was in large part based upon that of the mid-50s Chevrolet lineup, only trailing behind by a few years. The Rekord went on to mimic a few other GM products in later versions, and the 1959 model year was the last of this body style.

It was available in two or four-door variants, and marketed in the US as the ‘Olympia Rekord’. But there was also a wagon version of the Rekord, and that was called the Caravan. There are several different naming conventions on these and technically they’re all Rekords, but this one was either called the Olympia Caravan or simply Opel Caravan. Regardless, under the hood was not a thumping V8 but a thrifty four cylinder, and these were sold through Buick dealerships in the US for a while. Today, a relatively top-spec Caravan has popped up for sale:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1959 Opel Olympia Caravan on eBay

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1959 BMW Isetta 300 Cabriolet

Following up on the hugely popular Fuldamobile, it seems appropriate to talk about the more successful and instantly recognizable Isetta. Like the Fuldamobile, BMW’s quirky bubble car was a licensed production. The original design was the Iso Autoveicoli company’s property in Italy, and its owner – Renzo Rivolta, who would go on to support the production of some beautiful Italian-American V8 GT cars – started production in 1954 after showing the car at the ’53 Turin Automobile Show. Rivolta was happy to license production and did so with VELAM in France, De Carlo in Argentina, and Romi in Brazil. But, of course, the most famous and numerous version was the BMW variant.

Produced first as a 250, then upgraded to 300 (and finally 600, where the stretched chassis would go on to foster BMW’s 700 model), some 160,000-odd Isettas were produced by BMW in their cash-strapped post-War years. But among the most rare variations of production was the Cabriolet model:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1959 BMW Isetta 300 Cabriolet on eBay

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1959 Porsche 356A 1600 Reutter Coupe

I want to turn back the clock from yesterday’s very pretty Aetna Blue over Bordeaux Carrera 4S to see a somewhat similar early example of that color combination. Admittedly, the comparison here isn’t exact since the colors are not precisely the same, but I think we still get a sense of the way these colors work on a vintage Porsche and a sense of the inspiration for that modern example. Here we have a Meissen Blue 1959 Porsche 356A 1600 Reutter Coupe, located in Houston, with a Red leatherette interior. On this 356 the shade of blue is a little lighter and the shade of red is a little brighter. Nonetheless, we end up with an equally pretty Porsche and one that surely would be a prized part of any collection.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1959 Porsche 356A 1600 Reutter Coupe on Classic Driver

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1959 Goggomobil TS400

The Goggomobil TS400 isn’t the kind of car you see every day. In fact, it’s not the kind of car that pretty much anyone ever sees. It’s the kind of car you might expect to see Jerry Seinfeld show up with if he invited you out for coffee, or perhaps the camera might pan by one in Jay Leno’s garage. They’re obscure, but they’re also odd – so you probably won’t see Wayne Carini seeking one out. Yet the model played a very important part in the development of German car manufacturers pertinent to our interests.

That’s because of where they were produced. Goggomobiles were bubble cars produced by Hans Glas GmbH in Dingolfing, Germany – in the heart of Bavaria. Yes, that’s the same Glas that built the beautiful 3000 V8 Grand Tourer and lovely 1700GT. The Goggomobil was far less glamorous, but no less important in the survival of the Dingolfing plant – in total, over a quarter million sedans and coupes were produced, and a few were even brought stateside. Like many bubble cars, the technology was 2-stroke motorcycle-based, which kept production costs very low and the car affordable to the masses. Goggomobiles even outlasted Glas itself, as BMW swallowed up its competitor in 1966 and used the Dingolfing plant for some of its newer models.

Goggomogiles are quite rare to find today, despite their relatively prodigious production (consider, for a moment, that there were only about 8,500 DeLorean DMC12s produced – and that this car ended production only 12 years before the gullwing time traveler emerged on the market!) so it’s neat to remember their quirkiness:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1959 Goggomobil TS400 on eBay

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1959 Porsche 356A Sunroof Coupe with Benchseat

I’ve been known to look quite longingly at the Porsche 356. I love the shape and vintage style and find them to possess the sort of timeless design that brings us back to various vintage cars. So I’m always prone to being attracted to very pretty examples in interesting colors. So it should be no surprise that this restored Aquamarine Blue 1959 Porsche 356A Coupe caught my attention. But once I took a look suddenly I realized this 356 was much more special than it seemed at first blush. That it had a sunroof was pretty apparent from the initial ad picture. What was less clear was the wonderful red interior, but the biggest surprise came as I made my way through the pictures. There were no bucket seats! Benchseat!

Of course, my first thought after seeing this combination of rarities was, “Please let there be some documentation.” Thankfully the seller has provided the CoA and it confirms what we see. More thorough verification still will be necessary, but we’re off to a good start with what should be a very rare specimen.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1959 Porsche 356A Sunroof Coupe on eBay

Year: 1959
Model: 356A
Engine: 1.6 liter flat-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 38 mi since restoration
Price: $199,900 Buy It Now

959 Porsche 356A Coupe. 1600cc, 4-Speed Manual Transmission. Aquamarine Blue paint w/Red interior. Full Compehensive resoration to match the Certificate of Authenticity with less than 100 miles. This 356 was completely taken apart, and every nut and bolt was restored. This example exudes a subtle elegance that does nothing to distract from the body’s flowing lines. Nicely optioned from the factory. Rare Factory “Golde” Sunroof, Sealed Beam Headlights, USA Bumpers, Fog Lights in Bumper, Ventilated Chrome Wheels, Rare Factory Bench Seat, Electric Time Clock and much more. Porsche Certified Certificate of Authenticity. Numbers Matching Drive Train. Vin# is 106237. Engine # 72684. Transmission # 25713. Aquamarine Blue Exterior # 5707. Red Leather Interior/A. Spare tire and Jack included. Amazing condition from the ground up. All origional. Spottless inside and out. Pictures dont do any Justice to this Car. Must see in person to appreciate. Please give us a call for any questions. 480-990-1554 ext. 1

I have come across, and believe also featured, a couple of 356s with a sunroof. They’re rare, but we do see them now and them. The benchseat, however, is an entirely new find. Never seen one before. Were I a shopper in 1959 I’m not sure it’s something I’d opt for given the sporting nature of the car. Here in 2017 though is an entirely separate matter. By modern standards the 356 is more cruiser than sports coupe and, frankly, there’s something about a benchseat that really brings with it a vintage flavor that feels at home in any car of this age. Add to that the collector appeal of such a rare option and suddenly a benchseat becomes a highly sought after item. I’ve read that the seats themselves go for significant money so I can imagine the same will hold true for a car with one fitted. Combining these two rare options certainly makes for a rare 356 and we haven’t even gotten around to the very attractive and rare color combination. This is truly a unique Porsche and one that should garner significant interest.

Will that interest be enough for this $200K asking price? That may be another matter. This is sure to be a high priced 356, but I see coupes priced below $100K fairly frequently. Are they in this condition? Not usually. Do they have these options? Of course not. It’s still a significant premium. Were everything in completely original condition then we may see this sell pretty quickly, but on a restored model, as pretty as it looks, I’m less sure. It’s worth keeping an eye on though and I’m confident it will be a while before I come across another quite like it.


1959 Volkswagen Type 2 Single Cab

Pickups come in all shapes and sizes, from heavy duty brawler to car-based cruiser. The Volkswagen Type 2 falls somewhere in between, a definite workhorse but geared more towards light duty. While Volkswagen still sells plenty of commercial vehicles, we haven’t been privy to any in the US market since the early 1970s, thanks to your friendly government and a little thing called trade wars. This restored 1959 Type 2 Single Cab for sale in California comes from a time well before that legislation and looks absolutely amazing in metallic green sitting on mag wheels. Rarely do these VW trucks catch my attention, but this one has.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1959 Volkswagen Type 2 Single Cab on eBay

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Double Take: 1959 Karmann Ghia and 1964 Karmann Ghia Type 34

It’s been a little bit since we looked at some nice Karmann Ghias, and today there are two lovely but very different examples in the marketplace. These are lovely designs; granted, not the best driving cars in the world – but a car that really will set you apart from the crowd and will make everyone smile. Of the Karmann Ghias, my favorites are the early “low light” models and the Type 34 from a bit later – luckily, here’s an example of each:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1959 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia on eBay

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1959 Mercedes-Benz 300d Cabriolet

The Type 300 was the top of the range for Mercedes-Benz in the 1950s, a symbol of what this company was capable of but few were able to afford in the years immediately after World War II. One of the most impressive models was the four-door cabriolet version, known to some as the “Adenauer.” This was due to the fact that it was the ride of choice for the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer. Towards the end of the production run, the 300d was revealed, sporting a detuned version of the fuel-injected inline-6 found in the 300SL sports car. This was a car for the rich and famous, a car that was on par with what Rolls Royce had to offer in its day. It would eventually be succeeded by the 600 Grosser Mercedes, which would carry the torch of the über Benz into the 1980s. This 300d is one of 65 ever produced and is currently on offer in Ohio.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300d Cabriolet on eBay

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1959 Goliath Express 1100 Pickup

There exists a drought today in the compact pickup scene in the US. The recent death of the Ford Ranger has left people looking mainly to the Japanese and Chevrolet, with the aging Colorado soon to be replaced by an all-new model next year. Sadly, Volkswagen has refused to bring its Amorak stateside, much to the chagrin of their loyal following. If we go back a few decades, there was a dearth of small pickups on the landscape, particularly in post WWII Germany. A lot of small automotive companies cropped up there, soon to be taken over or weeded out by natural selection as the years progressed.

Based in Bremen, Germany, Goliath was part of the Borgward group and started making three-wheeled trucks with their first passenger car appearing in the early 1930s. When Borgward went out of business in the early 1960s, Goliath disappeared as well. While this particular pickup isn’t what you would consider concours quality, when was the last time you saw one of these? And discounting the Goliath Hansa 1100, when was the last time you saw a car from this marque on these shores?

Year: 1959
Model: Express 1100 Pickup
Engine: 1.1 liter flat-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 10,096 mi?
Price: $10,999 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1959 Goliath Express 1100 Pickup on eBay

This is a ’59 Goliath Express 1100 pick-up. Please check out Hooniverse for many more zoom view photos of the truck and info. There is also so video posted on youtube.com of the truck being driven and it idling in my driveway with a walk-around of the exterior/interior.

It is 1 of 2 running/driving trucks in North America (4 total I am told). It belonged to a former Mercedes-Benz executive who had it brought over from Germany to where he lived in Michigan. Upon retiring he returned to Germany and sold it to a collector who held it from 2005 until last year in his “museum” (cough-cough). I happened onto the truck and sadly, do not have room to keep it nor the funds/skill to properly restore (as it deserves). I hope that it finds a loving home and gets a further lease on life.

The truck does run and drive, it has new tires and a battery, battery ground cable (all else is original). This particular motor gave birth to Subaru’s boxer 4 cylinder water cooled engines (still in use today) – this was Goliath’s swan song and also what piqued my interest in the little German Cab-over truck initially – along with that “smile” – it is unique to say the least, moreover this truck is art that drives! All “Sekurit” logos on OEM glass are present (no cracks or chips). I was surprised to learn that the truck sports a solid steel drop forged spindled 1-ton rear axle (NS) and is front-wheel drive. Here is a list of what’s been done since I received the Express 1100;

New Battery
New Braided Ground Cable
New Tires
Carburetor Tune-up
Respring Valve Cover Tensioning Bars (still leaks some oil)
Fuel tank removed/patch-welded/lined
Brake fluid flushed/replaced
Brakes machined and bled
All work performed by ASE certified mechanic (also a Goliath van owner) and collector

Runs well considering how long she has sat. Fuel gauge doesn’t work. ODO does work (great shift point details at certain MPH for lack of tachometer) and shows just over 10K miles on it (now at 10,096) – after driving for a bit, I am thinking maybe the previous owners were correct in their claim that these are original miles. I can’t imagine anyone being able to suffer through 110,000+ miles of driving so slowly (geared very low, probably to enable that 1 ton rear axle and heavy loads that it hauled). I have also been told by a Goliath collector from my last listing that the earlier Goliaths were geared even lower and were in fact, MUCH slower than this truck. This same collector also tells me that the cylinder head is of the very rare last of their production where the spark is introduced at the side instead of the head (rather than on the top like the majority of the 1100s). Who knew?

Wish I had the room to keep it and the money/skills/time to properly restore it – but I simply don’t. I have been waiting around on a few interested restorers to take it home, but to date no one has done so. Time for her to go to a new home – I have more vehicles than parking spaces and need to change that. If you have little to no feedback on eBay, please contact me prior to bidding or your bid will be deleted. Also, I have nearly $15K into the truck, so no sidebar lowball offers, please and thanks! Please shoot me a text or call with any questions 801-580-7917 and thank you for taking a look. You can learn more about Goliath Werke in the article below.

I can’t help but smile when I look at this truck from head on, mainly because its grill appears as if it’s smiling back at me. But this little truck packs a punch, as it comes equipped with a one ton rear axle. So you could easily hit the Home Depot and haul some stuff back home for that next project, all the while watching full-size truck owners scratch their heads in confusion as they attempt to discern what this is. It would be almost impossible to put a price on one of these things, but it would be hard to beat the rarity per dollar value here. Personally, I wouldn’t change much, except maybe replace the wooden floor in the bed and fix the fuel gauge. The patina on this cab-over truck is part of its charm.


1959 BMW 600

Like the 170DS we featured earlier, the BMW bubble cars of the post Second World War era were the vehicles that helped BMW limp along and survive until a glut of new cars could be readied to position the company for future success. The BMW 600 was based on the smaller, two seat Isetta bubble car, but featured two extra seats and would foreshadow the larger, upcoming 700. Over three years, around 35,000 were built, eclipsed in numbers by the larger Volkswagen Beetle. While it might have not lit the sales charts on fire, this was still an important car in BMWs history and was the first car in the range to use a semi-trailing arm rear suspension, something the company would propagate throughout their lineup over the coming decades. This 600 for sale in the Chicago area is a fully restored example.


Year: 1959
Model: 600
Engine: 1.7 liter inline four
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 802 km (~ 498 miles)
Price: €45,000 (~ $60,192 USD)

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1959 BMW 600 on eBay

1959 BMW 600. Gorgeous Nut & Bolt Restoration! Most collectors favorite Micro Car.

Before we go into details on this 1959 BMW 600 2 door “limo” let us tell you a little about the car that you are looking at in particular. This particular car has been restored by a collector who does nothing but meticulous restorations to his vehicles. For starters this is the European model and only 8,500 were brought into the United States. When you are talking about the European model, you are talking about the model that has the sunroof. This particular car, besides being a chassis off restoration, by this we mean every nut and bolt was taken apart and restored, including a brand new interior, paint, chrome and tires. What is interesting about this particular model is that it is a 2-door model having the front door but an extended wheel base with the swing-arm suspension that makes a much wider tread in the rear for better balance and cornering and a side door for an additional two passengers.

The current owner since the restoration was completed three months ago has taken several 25 mile trips and finds the car to be in excellent mechanical and running condition from the restoration. The 26 hp engine pulls very strongly. It is interesting to note that these two-door BMW 600s were called limos. Please note that in the video there is a typographical error that states it is a 3 door but it is a 2 door car (front and side door with rear seat). It is also interesting to note that at the Bruce Weiner Microcar auction, an almost identical car to this was sold for $92,000.00 and it makes the reserve on this car look very, very attractive. (Sorry but we do not give out the reserves).

The seller wanted us to point out that this is NOT an Isetta but a BMW 600. There is a vast difference. Isettas may bring $37,000.00 however the price for a BMW 600 has brought up to $92,000.00! This is a rare original color combination and the car outperforms the old Isetta 10 fold! The following information is provided from the Internet on the BMW 600 and most of it should be applicable to this car for sale.

The front end of the 600 was virtually unchanged from the Isetta, but the 600’s wheelbase was stretched to accommodate four seats. A conventional rear axle was added. BMW introduced the semi-trailing arm independent suspension on the 600. This suspension would be used on almost every new model for the next four decades. Because of the increased size and weight, the 600 had a more powerful engine than the Isetta. The 600 had a 582 cc twin engine. Top speed was 103 km/h (64 mph). In the late 1950s, consumers wanted cars that looked like cars, and they had lost interest in economy models. Sales of the 600 were, however, aided by the energy crisis of 1956–1957.

BMW 600: the largest of the BMW Bubble Cars. At a time when cheap, short-distance transportation was incredibly preferred by consumers, BMW introduced the Isetta in November of 1953 at Turin. One of the most successful microcars that were produced in the post-WWII years, the egg-shaped Isetta’s design originated in Italy. The Isetta received the nickname ‘bubble car’ because of its bubble-like windows and its egg shape. Other nicknames for the Isetta were ‘das rollende Ei’; the rolling egg in Germany, along with the ‘Sargwagen’; coffin car, ‘yogurt pot’ in France, ‘huevito’; little egg in Chili and in Brazil, the ‘bola de futebol de fenemê’; soccer ball of FNM.

The BMW Isetta microcar was a popular car, but it was deemed too small to compete with the Volkswagen Beetle. So, in 1957, BMW introduced a large, four-seater version called the 600. It used the Isetta’s front structure and unusual single front-opening door. The BMW 600 is considered by some to be the best microcar of all time, the BMW 600 caused quite a stir when it was unveiled. More unique than anything out there at the time, the ‘bubble car’ was only 7.5 feet long and 4.5 feet wide. The entire front end of the vehicle hinged outwards to allow entry, along with an exit for passenger and driver through the canvas sunroof in the event of a crash. Making access to the single bench seat simpler, both the steering wheel and instrument panel swung out with the single door. There was enough room inside the vehicle for two passengers to sit comfortably, and behind the seat was a spare wheel hidden underneath a large parcel shelf. Ventilation was available by opening up the fabric sunroof, and a heater was optional.

If you collect only the “Best of the Best” this could be a car for your discriminating collection. Bid with confidence.

Like the Amphicar and Volkswagen Bus, bubble cars have become more valuable than one would think at first. Some well restored Isettas have brought strong money; upwards of $40,000 in some cases. I’d suspect this larger 600 might hit into the low $30,000 range, given the reserve is still on as of writing this at just over $25,000. Considering this was meant to be basic transportation meant to get people mobile again in post war Germany, that is rather impressive.