Renzo Rivolta, whose Italian company, Iso SpA, originated the design of the Isetta, eventually licensed four different companies to make it, but if you’ve seen an Isetta it was probably made by BMW. I said before that they’re not particularly rare cars. That’s partly the point of this mini series on the Italo-German microcars. BMW sold more than 160,000 of them from 1955 to 1962 and it’s possible that the German car company would not have survived without that volume. Europe was rebuilding after WWII – that was the basis for the microcar boom in the 1950s in the first place. People on the continent needed cheap transportation. What was cheap transportation in the mid 1950s is a collectible these days, and many Isettas are probably in better shape than when new. As if to prove my point about how many BMW Isetta microcars there still are, and how so many of them are show car worthy restorations, this year’s Concours of America at St. John’s had microcars as a featured class and there were two very nice BMW made Isettas, this 1957 in red and a ’58 in ivory.
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