To Be OFFERED AT AUCTIONEstimate:
€25,000 - €35,000
- Presented in a nice restored condition
- Charming and highly collectible microcar
- A significant vehicle in BMW's illustrious history
Renzo Rivolta's Isothermos company had begun life pre-war making
refrigerators. Rivolta was passionate about all things
petrol-powered, and he began to expand the company's range, adding
motorbikes to the portfolio, renaming the works Iso Autoveicoli
S.p.A. After World War II. 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 236 cc two-stroke engine, which drove the
closely spaced twin rear wheels via a four-speed gearbox. A
clutch-operated, four-speed motorcycle gearbox drove the twin rear
wheels, which were placed just 20.5 inches apart.
In the 1954 Mille Miglia, Isettas claimed the first three places in
the economy classification, the winner averaging over 70km/h. BMW
approached the owner of Italian company Iso and its designer/owner
Count Renzo Rivolta with the idea of purchasing the rights to build
the car. Rivolta sold not only the production rights to the Iso but
much of the body tooling as well.
BMW debuted the Isetta at the 1955 Frankfurt Auto Show and fitted
it with its own 12-horsepower, 247-cubic centimeter four-stroke
engine, later upsizing it to 297 cubic centimeters with 13
horsepower, as this model has.
The tubular chassis provided for a light body, which weighed in at
just 700 pounds. In combination with the motorcycle engine, it
offered miserly fuel consumption and a mere DM 2,580 purchase
price, which was just 500 more than the R25 motorcycle with which
it shared its engine.
This particular Isetta was registered on the 3rd. Of March 1959.
The car is believed to have been in Germany from new and was
purchased by a Dutch collector four years ago. He purchased the car
to put her in his company as a marketing tool and therefore needed
to have a very beautiful example. This specific example was body
off restored and technically in very good condition. The car is
period correct restored with unique original finishes.
With just 13 horsepower, every drive in an Isetta is an adventure,
and it is nearly impossible not to smile when stirring the 4-speed
gearbox and listening to the little single-cylinder buzz of this
well-sorted example. To many collectors, it doesn't bother them
that the car doesn't go very fast.
Small and unassuming though it may be, it is without question a
significant vehicle in BMW's history.To view this car and others
currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at