Lot 614

The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

1959 BMW Isetta 300 Three-Wheel Special Export Model


$40,250 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Madison, Georgia



ID No.

A rare three-wheeled example for UK delivery in attractive colors and accessories.


Manufacturer: Bayerische Motoren Werke

Origin: Munich, Germany

Production: est. 25,000

Motor: BMW 4-stroke

Displacement: 297 cc

Power: 13 hp

Length: 7 ft. 6 in.

Identification No. 604283

In Germany, the Isetta was classed as a motorcycle, enjoying certain benefits in licensing and taxation. This was not true in several other countries, notably the United Kingdom, giving rise to British models with a single rear wheel, thereby meeting the definition of a motorcycle. Most of the British home-market production was so configured, although four-wheel Isettas from the UK were supplied to Commonwealth countries.

Other countries had similar regulations favoring tricycle designs, so BMW geared up for a three-wheel model intended for those markets not served by the British factory. This green and white example is a later Isetta with sliding side windows, of the type introduced with the October 1956 Moto Coupe Deluxe. While this only modestly improved visibility, it provided much better and more easily controlled cabin ventilation. Engine size was increased from 247 to 297 cubic centimeters around this time, markedly improving performance.

With recent paint, it would take only minor detailing to make it truly excellent. It has the coveted rear luggage rack and iconic Isetta wicker picnic hamper, as well as the standard roll-back sunroof in matching white fabric. A rare variant in the panoply of Isetta models, it will nicely round out the collection of the most committed aficionado.