Classic Van Auction Talk

Friday 1 March 2019

1957 BMW ISETTA 300 4- WHEELER BRIGHTWELLS AUCTIONS Wednesday 6th March 2019 Leominster Classic Motoring Auction Centre Easters Court, Leominster, HR6 0DE


Wednesday 6th March 2019
Leominster Classic Motoring Auction Centre
Easters Court, Leominster, HR6 0DE

Lot No. 87
Registration Date 1957
Make & Model BMW Isetta 300 Four-Wheeler
Colour Blue
Registration Number N/A
Chassis No. 506638
Engine size 300 cc
Engine No.
Documents NOVA reference
Estimate £16,000 - £18,000
Designed and built by Italian fridge manufacturer Iso, the Isetta caused a sensation when it was launched at the Turin Motor Show in November 1953.
Unlike anything seen before, not only was it small (only 7.5ft long by 4.5ft wide) and egg-shaped with bubble-type windows, but the entire front end of the car hinged outwards to allow entry and exit. The steering wheel and instrument panel also swung out with the door as this made access to the single bench seat easier.
The Isetta soon captured the attention of BMW who made a deal to design and manufacture their own version of the car under licence. BMW quickly made many changes, including a new 247cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, borrowed from the BMW R25 motorcycle, that made 12bhp and boosted top speed to around 50mph.
In 1956 they fitted longer side windows and a larger 298cc engine to produce the BMW Isetta 300, now with a heady 13bhp and improved torque that made hill climbing a little easier. The other stroke of genius that came from the German firm was to fit two wheels at the rear of the car and thus give it some much-needed stability.
This is a 1957 model that was recently imported from South Africa. It is rare in being an RHD model (although in a car of this size, right and left are theoretical concepts) and its rarity is increased by being fitted with a boot rack and a panoramic sunroof (which also doubles as emergency escape hatch).
The car is astonishingly sound due, no doubt, to the South African climate, although it has had some attention since arriving in this country. The lucky bidder who takes this Isetta home with him will find it needs very little, partly because it is in such good condition, but also because there is not much of it to go wrong.
The car is not yet UK-registered but does have the all-important NOVA form which will make this process straightforward.

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