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Sunday, May 29, 2011

BMW Isette (1955-1962)


Postwar attempts to conquer the market, BMW with luxury cars failed. Was salvation Isetta - a small car, which was the solution for anyone looking for agile vehicle with low maintenance costs

In the early 50s Twentieth century, an Italian company Iso SpA. produced refrigerators, scooters and vans Tricycles. Owner Iso - Renzo Rivolta - decided to build a small car for mass audiences. New vehicle constructed Ermenegildo Preti and Pierluigi Raggi. Auto motorized scooter received from the diminutive of the name of the company - Isetta. In October 1953 during the show in Turin, the car became a huge sensation. Something like this never seen before. A vehicle with an appearance reminiscent of an egg with bulging windows and only one door in front of the car. The canvas roof in case of accidents he served as a driver and a passenger emergency exit. For Isetty only one entered the door, which was also the front wall of the car.

Facilitate the attachment of swing along with the steering wheel. It was a two-seater, although with two adults could even fit a small child. Behind the seats was quite big trunk, which indicates the spare tire.

Although the appearance of car looked like a trike, in fact, had four wheels. The rear, however, were placed so close together that in some countries car was counted and taxed as a trike. Renzo Rivolta, however, decided to concentrate on the production of Iso Rivolta sports car, so sold the license for manufacturing Isetty to several countries. The most serious customers turned out to be the German BMW, which is a small car made even more famous.

In Bavaria, at once slightly modified bulbous silhouette of the car. In Motocoupe as originally called this car, also a new single-mounted, motorcycle engine in the BMW R25 / 3 with a capacity of 250 cc and a power of 12 hp. It consumed only 3.7 l/100 km. Auto rozpędzało to the maximum speed of 85 km / h. Also changed the front suspension. To keep Isetty in Germany entitled them even motorcycle license. The greatest advantage of the car was its price.

For BMW Isetta you had to pay 2,550 marks. The laborer then earned about 90 marks a week. Moreover, compulsory third party insurance for the car was 1995 model, and the bill from the IRS only sang for 44 brands. "That's less than a dachshund" - then proclaimed slogan. In 1956, production came Isetta 300, motorcycle engine capacity of 298 cc and a power of 13 hp. At the end of the 50s BMW introduced the long, four-seat version of Isetty 600 equipped with two-cylinder power unit in the system boxer and additional side doors. However, this model does not enjoy such popularity as the previous one. The last of the 161 728 copies Isetty rolled off the production line
in Germany in 1962.

Apart from Italy and Germany, Isetta manufactured in other countries. In France, it has produced in years 1955-1958 under license from Iso Velam company. There were built five versions of the car - a standard, convertible, luxury, sports and racing. Approximately 3,000 copies Isetty Romi was founded in plants in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, Brazil. In 1957, Isetta of Great Britain began production of the 300 establishments in the old railway in the English Brighton licensed to BMW. In this version the doors open to the left, and moved the steering wheel to the right side.