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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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

Double Take: 1957 BMW Isetta 300 Coupe and Convertible

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Today is a rather unusual “Double Take”; while usually we focus on newer cars, today there are two pretty pristine and desirable BMW Isetta 300s with very different personalities on Ebay. The Isetta is a very interesting car just by itself; liscenced from an Italian company it showed up in many guises, though the BMW version is probably the best remembered. It’s also remember for being a bit of a TV star, if you grew up in the late 80s/early 90s, you probably remember “Urkle” having one on the TV show Family Matters. For those who don’t remember “Urkle”, he was a quirky person with an even quirkier personality, but you couldn’t help but smile at his crazy look and lack of attempt to fit in. That, in many ways, summarizes the Isetta pretty well – it doesn’t fit in, but it just doesn’t care. Take a look at the two very different personalities we have today – we’ll start with the Police car:

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Year: 1957
Model: Isetta 300
Engine: .3 liter single cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 55,540 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 BMW Isetta 300 on eBay

Offered for sale is a head-turning and ceaselessly charming 1957 BMW Isetta 300 “Landespolizei” model, finished in requisite and hard-to-find Police Green (Polizeigruen, BMW Color Code 758) over a tan interior. “Landespolizei” translates loosely to “State Police”, and as hard as it may be to imagine, many German local and federal agencies (including the State Police) utilized the small, albeit cost effective and dependable Isetta for any number of tasks. Featuring all of the correct Landespolizei insignias and fonts, an original and fully functional Eisemann KKLE 90 flashing blue light and twin, modulating Bosch Super tone sirens, this example is certainly an attention grabber, although for legality’s sake we’d recommend not engaging the light or siren when on public roads. Of all the classic, collector and unique cars that we’ve owned, no one model garners more attention from other drivers and pedestrians than the BMW Isetta. And of all the Isettas that we’ve owned over the years, none have come close to drawing the attention that this Landespolizei 300 does. 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 in this car’s presence.

Restored a few years ago, the car presents beautifully, its deep green finish consistent, deep and lustrous, free of any significant imperfections. The car’s body is completely straight and its undercarriage is solid and clean, the car exhibiting absolutely no evidence of rust. The interior is also in great shape, the tan seat and interior panels showing only minimal wear, the correct rubber floor lining flawless and the canvas sunroof clean and fully functional. All the finished interior surfaces (steering wheel, instrument hub, e-brake, etc.) are also in very good condition, as is all of the chrome, including flawless new hubcaps on color-matched wheels that are wrapped in tires with plenty of remaining tread.

Mechanically the car is in excellent shape, its original one cylinder, four stroke 298cc engine starting easily and idling consistently. The car shifts well, pulling through each of its gears strongly, and it’s also quite sure footed on the road, handling tightly on its incredibly short wheelbase and driving and braking straight. Surprisingly peppy, the car is as much fun to drive as it is to look at, although despite its livery, we’re skeptical that you’ll be pulling over any speeders on the Autobahn, as BMW rated the car as being able to reach a maximum of 53 MPH. The car has recently received a considerable amount of service, the brakes, clutch, flywheel and carburetor have all been gone through using only correct BMW parts. Everything works as it should and the car needs nothing to be enjoyed, save for a proud new owner.

Isettas have skyrocketed in value in recent years with auction examples of standard 300 models routinely fetching $50k+ and showing no signs of slowing. The Bruce Weiner Microcar auction held by RM Auctions earlier this year saw many rare examples knock on the door of $100k, including a similar 1961 Isetta 300 Police Car that sold for a whopping $86,200. As such, this is an excellent opportunity to acquire a beautiful and solid example of a wonderful investment grade 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.

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 BMW (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.

This car is just good for a laugh. The graphic package is great, the color is fantastic, and the condition seems to be close to show-ready with a full restoration still pretty fresh. The period correct lights are a bonus. Pull up next to a Ferrari in this car, and you’re likely to be the one having more pictures snapped of you. I love the parting shot of the Isetta pulling over the 356, though the seller does admit that to be an unlikely scenario given the 53mph top speed. What could this car pull over? How about another Isetta, this time a convertible:

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Looking like a color pallet that belongs on a ’56 Chevy, I think this Isetta looks great! It’s presented in original colors, but likely has undergone a restoration as well along the way. The green top with Coral paint is an interesting combo but works, especially with the white interior. Lovely!

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Year: 1957
Model: Isetta 300 Convertible
Engine: .3 liter single cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 27,393 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 BMW Isetta 300 Convertible on eBay

1957 BMW Isetta 300 convertible

This is one outstanding very well restored and very rare BMW Isetta convertible. you must see and drive this very rare classic car. there are very few convertibles and this one is in the best condition ive ever seen one come.we just detailed and serviced she is ready to go. the colors and overall condition is show condition.

Renzo Rivolta was an early adopter of the inventive bubble car style in 1953. The Iso refrigerator magnate created an odd four-wheeled, two-seat Isetta that was powered by a 236-cc, two-stroke twin-cylinder engine. The car was cute and quirky, with a steering wheel that hinged outwards with the front -opening door (a la a refrigerator, naturally).In 1954, Rivolta sold sold the whole works – tooling and all –to BMW, who was looking for an economical car with mass appeal to combat the company’s bleak financial picture. Out went the two-stroke twin and in went a 250-cc motorcycle engine. In 1956, the first full year of production, BMW sold 22,000 Isettas. Encouraged by the results, the engine was bumped up to a 297-cc four-stroke single, which turned the car into reliable transportation that was capable of 50 mpg at 50 mph. By 1962, BMW had built 161,728 Isettas, with 41,000 more constructed under license in other countries. BMW soon altered the window arrangement to permit sliding side windows and reduce the goldfish bowl effect of sunshine.Originally designed with rear wheels 20 inches apart to obviate the need for a differential, tax laws in various countries gave a break to a three-wheeled version, and sales of those units predictably soared. British-built Isettas added a pickup version and a full convertible. All Isettas have a sliding sunroof, supposedly so occupants could get out if the front door jammed. Most Isettas are left-hand drive, as moving the wheel to the right side meant that driver and engine were on the same side of the car, impractically necessitating ballast on the left.Most BMW Isettas sold in the U.S. survive. For many years BMW was embarrassed at such humble origins and did not manufacture spares, stranding survivors. That situation has been corrected, and though parts may not be cheap, they are at least available. Urban practicality and concerns about the price of gas – plus the cute quotient – has made the Isetta a somewhat recent darling. Fully restored examples have topped $40,000 as high-line auctions, but driver-quality cars can still be found at entry-level prices. The Isetta remains a fundamentally sound design, and looks especially attractive in “Easter egg” colors. Unsurprisingly. Isettas must be considered the unlikeliest Mille Miglia entrant, competing twice, in 1954 and 1955, so add event eligibility to the car’s list of attributes

Value? Hagerty pegs a top condition 1957 Isetta 300 around $45,000, which seems about right based upon the auctions we’ve seen over the last few years. With the bubble car trend still the rage, however, these cars may increase in value a bit. I wouldn’t speculate, as these bubbles sometimes burst, but if you want a fun little car to enjoy either of these would be a get bet. My guess is that the convertible will pull stronger money than the coupe given the rarity and the color combination. Is it worth $50,000? Well, if you want to stand way out of the crowd, there aren’t many cheaper ways to do so in a classic car! Just plan your arrival time to any given destination a little later than you’d get there in a 2002…

-Carter

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