1955 Fuldamobil NFW 200

And now for something completely different.

Postwar Germany was a veritable wasteland thanks to the National Socialist’s ambition and policies – not to mention non-stop bombing of any industrial (and some non-industrial) areas for several years. So while the German unconditional surrender in early May, 1945 did not hold the same punitive conditions that the Versailles Treaty had, nevertheless Germany would take quite a while to rebound economically. As a result, it was German microcars which first established themselves as the go-to for consumers. And, the Germans were quite good at building many varied designs; you’ll of course be familiar with the BMW Isetta, but I have also looked at the Messerschmitt KRs, DKWs and NSUs. But today’s car was one even I had never heard of. And it was the first.

The Fuldamobil derived its name from the German town where it was conceived – Fulda – smack dab in the middle of Germany. In the late 1940s, a duo of newspaper employees got funding from a Bosch distributor in Fulda, and the early 1950s series production of the Type N began. Reportedly 380 were completed before 1955, by which time it had already been redesigned into the more rounded Type S that you see on these pages. The Type S that emerged was designed with rounded panels to allow subcontractors to produce them more quickly, and the entire design was then licensed to several producers. Series 1, like you see here, was built by the Nordwestdeutscher Fahrzeugbau in Wilhelmshaven. These cars carried the ILO Motorenwerke 197cc single cylinder motor and a claimed 673 were made:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1955 Fuldamobil NFW 200 on eBay

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1958 BMW Isetta 300

Bubble cars. These little runabouts are possibly the most confounding thing on the automotive scene for me these days. What was originally designed as low cost transport for postwar Germany have become the darling of the auction set, bringing huge sums for well restored and preserved examples of cars like the Messerschmidt, Goggomobil and perhaps the most famous of them all, the BMW Isetta. The Isetta was a curious little beast, with a unique front hinged door and variants produced in both three and four wheel formats. We’ve featured a couple of these small runabouts here on GCFSB over the years but this one is particularly stunning, given the fact that it is an untouched survivor with only 6,478 miles on it.

Year: 1958
Model: Isetta 300
Engine: 298 cc single cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 6,478 mi
Price: $22,900 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1958 BMW Isetta 300 on eBay

1958 BMW Isetta 300 Absolutely ORIGINAL and in wonderful condition!!! At Speed Motors focuses upon investment-level Porsches…but sometimes BMW’s too! Please see my website atspeedmotors for your viewing pleasure! This Isetta has ABSOLUTELY ALL-ORIGINAL PAINT! I have been over and over the body with a paint meter and can’t find but very small touch-up spots from chips that are not original. That is beyond amazing for a 55 year old car. In addition, the rest of the car, including the interior, engine, trans, gauges, lights, etc. also all appear to be absolutely original. Yes, original and untouched!!! The odometer shows 6,478 miles and I have little doubt that is absolutely correct.

I purchased the car from a short-term owner (he had the car only 4 months) who bought it from the original owner who purchased the Isetta brand new. The car was shipped to the U.S. with the standard wax undercoating and then was driven very, very little in its lifetime. The original owner lived in Florida so the car was never exposed to any corrosive salts, etc., but it was exposed to humidity. Thus, the undercarriage has this very small layer of humidity induced surfacy rust. You can literally scratch it off with your fingernail. There is ABSOLUTELY ZERO rust-through anywhere on the car or anything other than this type of covering. On the top-side, where the original paint is, there is also a small amount of the same here and there (please see pictures and you’ll understand what I mean.) but, again, nothing of any significance. The car is so untouched that one of the original leather exhaust supports is still in place as are the paper-style stickers for the gear pattern as well as the choke/heater position (see the pictures!!!). That is beyond belief.

I see the car simply as the ideal candidate to either keep in its present original form, or to restore at some later date. It is the perfect restoration candidate because ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IS THERE…UNTOUCHED AND ORIGINAL. Even the front windshield is original…no kidding. Of course all of the other glass is too! However, my focus upon Porsches has now overwhelmed my business and I don’t see touching the BMW for several years. Thus, if I can find it a good home, I will sell it. If not, it certainly doesn’t take up much space. Please review the pictures (I have about 100 more if you need them), and call or email me with any questions. Again, this is absolutely a wonderful, original, untouched Isetta that can either be enjoyed or restored…although to be honest, I’d probably just leave it just the way it is… See my 100% eBay rating and bid with confidence. I stand behind absolutely everything I sell…period. My address is At Speed Motors, 7410 Coca Cola Drive, Unit #110, Hanover, MD 21076. Please contact me with any questions at 703-627-9991 or my email which is bob at atspeedmotors dot com.

Unrestored originals like this Isetta are wonderous because they offer a window into the world of how things were manufactured years ago. Cars like this serve as templates for enthusiasts clubs when it comes to restoration and judging standards. Given how much restored examples of Isettas are bringing – sometimes upwards of $40,000 – I’d say this particular car won’t have any trouble reaching its asking price of just over $20,000.

-Paul

1957 BMW Isetta 300

If you go back a few decades, you’ll realize that small cars like the Smart and Toyota/Scion iQ are not that new of a concept. In fact, they aren’t really that small at all. In postwar Europe, a vehicle came about out of necessity that was even smaller: the bubble car. This was the answer to getting folks back on their feet and mobile when few could afford a full-sized car. These tiny runabouts, usually powered by engines derived from motorbikes, were built by a few manufacturers. Perhaps the most famous of the breed is the BMW Isetta.

Virtually unlike anything that came before or after it, this two seat microcar had a front-hinged door and could fit in a parallel parking space head first. Powered by a one-cylinder engine, performance was leisurely, which was fine, as these cars were used mainly in urban settings. While the notion of such a small car seems far and away removed from the current BMW product portfolio, it serves as a reminder as to how this company was hanging on for survival after the war. This Isetta for sale in California has been treated to a comprehensive restoration and is painted in a period appropriate color.

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Year: 1957
Model: Isetta 300
Engine: 298cc four stroke one-cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 32,023 mi
Price: Reserve auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 BMW Isetta 300 on eBay

Offered for sale is our incredibly original, always California owned, numbers matching, rust free, professionally fully rebuilt original numbers matching engine and original transmission 1957 BMW Isetta 300 finished in its rare factory correct Weisgold (paint code 19567) over tan. Produced for the US market, it has been a Southern California car from new, stored for the better part of three decades between the 1970s and 2000s, and most recently a labor of love for two brothers who mechanically and professionally restored the car together (rebuilt original engine, rebuilt original transmission, carb, fuel system, brakes, clutch, electrical, etc.), preserving the cars beautiful originality and charm. Of all the classic, collector and unique cars we’ve owned, none has garnered more attention from other drivers and pedestrians than the Isetta. Thumbs ups, waves and requests for photographs run rampant. And perhaps the nicest aspect of that attention is that it’s always accompanied by smiles – you just can’t help but feel good looking at it.

This is only complimented by the cheery factory correct finish, a warm pastel yellow that’s entirely era specific and stunning in person. Presenting beautifully, it’s only marred by the most minimal of imperfections (the odd, touched up rock chip), none of which are significant enough to appear in any of the pictures. The interior shows only a light and evenly beautiful patina, its handsome tan upholstery, interior panels and carpeting all in excellent condition. All of the chrome is great shape, as is the rubber, front and rear windshields and each of the sliding windows. The body is completely straight and the undercarriage is solid, straight, and rust free.

Mechanically the car is in excellent shape, its original and recently fully rebuilt and refinished one-cylinder, four stroke 298cc engine starting easily and idling consistently. This has to be the strongest Isetta that we have owned mechanically. The car shifts well, pulling through each of its gears strongly and is quite sure footed, handling tightly on its incredibly short wheelbase and driving and braking straight. Surprisingly peppy (BMW rated the car as being able to reach speeds of 53 MPH!), the car is as much fun to drive as it is to look at. With its Italian designed space-age looks, it’s interesting to picture how the car must have been received by consumers in the 1950s. “Practical” is certainly one adjective that was used, because despite its unique looks, the car is of course incredibly fuel efficient and easy to park with ample room for two adults.

Isettas have skyrocketed in value in recent years with auction examples routinely fetching $50k+ and showing no signs of slowing. As such, this is an excellent opportunity at a beautiful and solid example of a wonderful investment car, whether it be for the serious collector/investor, a promotional vehicle for a business owner or a unique driver for the weekend enthusiast. Please bid accordingly. Thank you for your consideration.

We want this car to go to great home and would be happy to further discuss it and answer any questions, so please feel free to email us or call us at 805-202-4557. You can also visit us online at GoodmanReed.

Goodman Reed Motorcars

We’ve always had an appreciation for classic European cars and over the years have created an eclectic personal collection. We only buy cars that we’d personally be interested in owning and generally only sell them to make room for other acquisitions. That time has come for this Isetta (if the price is right, of course – this isn’t a fire sale). We try to give accurate descriptions of the cars we’re selling, but we’re enthusiasts, not experts, and we encourage and are happy to help facilitate personal or professional inspections. But please do so before bidding, as the alternative harms our ability to make sales to other interested parties who have done their proper due diligence before bidding.

For U.S. buyers a 10% non-refundable deposit is required within 3 days of the auction’s end, the balance to be paid within 7 days of the auction’s end. Foreign buyers must pay in full within 7 business days of the auction’s end. Buyer is responsible for shipping, however we’d be more that happy to help with recommendations and arrangements. The car is listed locally and we reserve the right to end the auction at any time should it sell prior to auction’s end. Thanks for your interest.

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This little car can’t help but make you smile. It just looks happy. With that happy demeanor comes a surprisingly dear price. A lot like that other auction darling of late, the Amphicar, prices for bubble cars in good nick have shot up in recent years to the point where good ones are no longer play toys for the novice enthusiast. A good Isetta like this could be capable of bringing upwards of $40,000 to the right person. In fact, a restored Isetta 300 brought a shade over $40,000 at the Barrett-Jackson auction last year. Average cars in good running condition are trading hands between $20,000 and $30,000. For the quality of this restoration, I’d suspect this one is worth somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000.

-Paul

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.

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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.

-Paul