Hershey Lodge
10 - 11 October 2013
Lot 211

1957 BMW Isetta 300


$35,750 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
  • Offered from loving ownership of 35 years
  • AACA and concours award winner
  • Matching numbers, with photo-documented restoration

13 bhp, 295 cc four-stroke single-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission with chain/sprocket drive, leading-arm front suspension with coil springs, rigid rear axle with quarter-elliptic leaf springs, and front and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 59.1 in.

With the microcar fever of the past few years, the story of the Isetta has become widely known. Italian refrigerator manufacturer Iso was the first to develop the design for an economical “rolling egg” that was ideal for the streets of post-war Europe. The design was licensed to other manufacturers, with the most prominent one being BMW, which refined the engineering, improved the build quality, and gave the car the benefit of their worldwide marketing. BMW made the Isetta not just as an economy car, but also as a fashion statement, as it offered reliable performance, a comfortable interior for two, and the famous front-opening door with its folding steering column.

The Isetta offered here is particularly desirable, as it is offered by its proud owner of 35 years. He found this car in an issue of Road & Track magazine in 1978, and in the late 1990s, he completed a beautiful restoration that utilized all original sheet metal and glass; this restoration is fully documented by accompanying photos. It is surely among the highest-quality Isettas available, as it is the desirable sliding-window model that has a fabric sunroof, and it is confirmed by its serial number plate as being an original U.S.-delivery example with the most powerful 300 engine.

Attesting to the quality of the restoration and the long-term enthusiast ownership, the Isetta has been shown four times at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, winning three of the times. It was awarded its AACA First Junior Award here at Hershey in 2012, and it was also exhibited in the microcar exhibit at the New York International Auto Show in 2011. While beautifully presented, it is no “trailer queen,” as the owner reports that it also runs and drives well. It will be delivered to its new owner complete with a selection of Isetta literature from the owner’s 35-year collection.

It goes without saying that even at the most prestigious shows, an Isetta is sure to attract attention, which is particularly true of an example such as this one, as it benefits from decades of good care, a quality restoration, and the reassurance of its previous awards at major shows. Every collection needs a microcar, and this one is ideal for the buyer seeking one of quality.