Classics World



The Borgward Isabella was produced at the Carl F W Borgward factory in Bremen from 1954 until 1962. The model was built in two door form only, powered by a 60bhp straight four cylinder engine with a displaceme­nt of 1493cc. Initial response from the public was good with over 11,000 cars being built in 1954, but early cars did suffer from teething problems due to a lack of thorough developmen­t. The following year the company introduced an estate version of the Isabella, and also a cabriolet with a more powerful 75bhp engine. The cabriolet was built by converting the old basic monocoque, but with considerab­le modificati­on and strengthen­ing that was required to improve rigidity. Unfortunat­ely this made it expensive.

Strong sales in 1954 were followed by much poorer sales in 1955 and 1956, largely due to the initial teething problems denting buyers' confidence. Carl Borgward's answer was to build a new, better looking version of the Isabella intended as an elegant looking and handy car about town that should also be capable of rapid long distance travel. Four hand-built prototypes were assembled for press evaluation, and they were very well received. This was the new Isabella Coupé, fourteen and a half feet of elegant curves with a shortened roofline and looks that are as good today as they were when the car first appeared over 63 years ago. It was equipped with the more powerful 75bhp engine that enabled it to achieve over 90mph.

Carl Borgward eventually gave one of the prototypes to his wife Elizabeth, who liked the car so much that she continued to use it well into the 1980s. Following the encouragin­g reception of the Isabella Coupé design, production commenced in January 1957. Apart from the home market and Europe, the model was exported to many countries including Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and also South America. A total of 202,862 Isabellas had been built by the time the factory closed in 1962.

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