Please note that the cars or exhibit items shown in this database are part of our collection but may not be on display when you visit.
Driven by the need for post-war affordable transportation, BMW decided to supplement slow sales of their larger models with an inexpensive car. In 1955, BMW acquired the license from ISO (an Italian refrigerator company) to make this “bubble car.” As many as 3,925 Isettas were sold in the US. during 1958. But U.S. sales slowed when California ruled that Isettas could not enter their state’s highway system. Even though the Isetta has 10" tires, weighs less than 800 pounds, and goes from 0 to 30 in 11 seconds, mechanically it is a very reliable car. You will notice this car has one door; it seats two passengers. Many Isettas survive to this day. The Isetta you see here has had a few engine modifications–taking it from 12 hp to 20 hp which increased the maximum speed from 53 mph to 65 mph. The custom paint job–Porsche magenta and Chrysler yellow paint–is an attention-getter.
Manufacturer: Bayerische Motoren Werke AG
Country of Origin: Germany
Drivetrain Configuration: Rear-engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Top Speed: 53mph
Years of Production: 1955-1962
Number Produced: 161,360
Original Cost: $1,093