The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum
15 - 16 February 2013
Lot 553

1961 BMW Isetta 300 Police Car


$86,250 USD | Sold

United States | Madison, Georgia



ID No.

A genuine police-specification example.


Manufacturer: Bayerische Motoren Werke

Origin: Munich, Germany

Production: few

Motor: 1-cyl., 4-stroke

Displacement: 295 cc

Power: 13 hp

Length: 9 ft. 4 in.

Identification No. 593852

Destined to become one of the best-loved microcars of all time, the Isetta evolved from its origins in Milan, Italy and grew to be built under license in a number of different countries. The most influential licensee was BMW, who took the little car under its huge corporate wings and provided it with a very thorough German development and production career. The standard version, now called the "bubble window," overlapped the new "sliding window" export version by some six months, ending its run in March 1957.

All Isettas had a sunroof to enable occupants to escape should someone park too close to the front-opening door. A cabriolet version was also offered, and it featured a small collapsible soft-top section where the fixed rear window normally was. A variety of specifications were available for different countries’ requirements. For example, the U.S. export version had large 7-inch headlamps and “nerf bars,” while the tropical versions had door grilles, and the three-wheelers were built for England and Austria.

The later cars, like this example from 1961, had a different profile side-window alloy strip, door script, separate tail lamps, and a wide alloy “wing” below the slotted air intake. This rare example of a genuine factory-built police car, in regulation police green, is from Duderstadt, a district of Hildesheim in Niedersachsen. It features an authentic blue flashing light and radiotelephone, which were added some time after the Isetta was taken out of service.

This police-specification Isetta has been given what can only be called an outstanding, concours-quality restoration. The green paint is deep, even, and complemented by a flawless application of the police insignia, which was incredibly difficult to source. All surfaces have been properly refinished, down to the felts used in the glass sliding windows and the black crackle finish applied to the base of the blue flashing light. It is truly a show car and will stand out among a field of Isettas, or any number of microcars, due to its uniqueness and quality of presentation.