Developed by Renzo Rivolta’s Iso works in Italy, the Isetta was also license-built by BMW in West Germany, where it’s unusual shape begat the whimsical nickname “das rollende Ei” – the rolling egg. The Isetta may have sold poorly in Italy, but the timing for BMW was perfect, as it quickly became fashionable and was extensively used by the Bundespost. In the United States, the Isetta achieved cult status following several appearances on popular TV variety shows of the era.
Measuring just seven feet, nine inches long and only four-and-a-half feet wide, the Isetta was barely larger than a standard plywood sheet. As a result, Isetta owners were never at a loss for a parking space, contributing to their strong popularity among city dwellers. In fact, in many ways the success of this small automobile saved BMW from being taken over by Mercedes during the late 1950s.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2009 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona, in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California, in January of 2010 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona and in March of 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.
13 bhp, 298 cc overhead valve air-cooled 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 four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 59.1"