1959 BMW ISETTA 300

A small but per­fectly formed bun­dle of fun!

New Zealand Classic Car - - Words: Photos Courtesy -

Ul­ti­mately, it was the hum­ble, ba­sic, cheap to pro­duce, re­li­able, and af­ford­able Isetta that al­lowed BMW to trade its way out of trou­ble. Be­tween 1955 and 1962, when BMW launched its 1500 sedan — fore­run­ner of the clas­sic BMW 2002 — it pro­duced around 160,000 of th­ese so-called bub­ble cars, while other com­pa­nies built them un­der li­cence in fac­to­ries in Eng­land, France, and Brazil.

The owner of this lovely ex­am­ple had had a nig­gling urge to se­cure one of th­ese lit­tle beau­ties since his stu­dent days. Years later, in 1995, he was in Whangarei and saw an Isetta in bright-green BP liv­ery. Af­ter some swift ne­go­ti­a­tions, it was loaded onto a trailer and brought back to Auck­land.

Thus com­menced a love af­fair that has per­sisted to this day. The owner still can’t drive this car with­out a huge smile on his face!

Over the years, it has re­ceived a thor­ough over­haul and is war­ranted and reg­is­tered for daily use.

First pur­chased in Auck­land in Jan­uary 1959, it has had 15 own­ers. The cur­rent cus­to­dian met one of them a few years ago, and he re­counted how he used to drive it reg­u­larly from Whangarei to Muri­wai on the west coast and back, a some­what daunting prospect, as by no means could the Isetta be re­garded as a high­way cruiser.

It does, how­ever, cer­tainly rel­ish reg­u­lar use around town, and the main rea­son it’s be­ing of­fered for sale is that the owner is not find­ing the time to use it enough.

This is an ap­pre­ci­at­ing, use­able, re­li­able clas­sic car, eas­ily garaged and ser­viced, and one that will re­pay fur­ther care and at­ten­tion.

The car may be viewed in Devon­port, Auck­land.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Cam Calder: ph. 09 445 4328 or 021 244 2784, or email cam­calder@par­adise.net.nz.

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