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Having enjoyed 28 years of dedicated single- family ownership from 1985 through 2013, this concours-quality BMW Isetta 300 from 1959 is a truly outstanding example that benefits handsomely from a complete body-off restoration performed by marque expert Werner Schwark of Isettas-R-Us, Inc. of Kennesaw, Georgia, from September 2003 through 2005. Retaining its matching-numbers 298 cc single-cylinder engine, the Isetta was a perfect restoration candidate as an unrestored but exceptionally well-maintained original car. During the exacting nut-and-bolt restoration process, the Isetta was completely dismantled and stripped to bare metal, with the chassis frame and body then correctly and painstakingly refinished and reassembled. Using the original paint remaining beneath the bumper on the vehicle’s door as a reference, the new blue and gray two-tone paint finish was professionally color-matched before application to ensure factory-correct authenticity.
The Isetta’s powertrain, comprising the factory-original 300 cc engine and four-speed manual gearbox, was expertly rebuilt to match. The engine was fitted with a new crankshaft, bearings, piston and rings, intake and exhaust valves, and new gaskets and seals. The brake, fuel, and suspension systems were all completely and correctly rebuilt as well. All fasteners were correctly replated, further heightening the impeccable quality of the Isetta’s restoration, and virtually innumerable new grommets, seals, and associated items ensure the Isetta is as complete and functional as it is beautiful. The interior was fitted with complete, factory- correct blue upholstery with smart white piping accents, and a new canvas sunroof was fitted. New and correct badges and trim pieces adorn the Isetta’s distinctive exterior, and a new windshield was installed. The wheels were powder coated for a durable finish and fitted with correct new bright hubcaps. The chrome luggage rack at the rear of the vehicle provides a useful and charming nod to the Isetta’s diminutive proportions.
Following completion of the Isetta’s restoration in 2005, it was shown as a display-only entry by Werner Schwark at the 2005 BMW Car Club National Meet in North Carolina, where the Isetta garnered rave reviews. As now offered, this wonderful Isetta is nicely accessorized with a blanket, picnic basket, and BMW umbrella. It is also accompanied by excellent documentation in the form of an exhaustive historical file containing service, repair, and restoration invoices dating from November 1985, a stack of registration renewals, correspondence, and photographs visually documenting the restoration process. Lovingly owned, carefully maintained and enjoyed, and beautifully restored, this fabulous Isetta 300 stands proudly as one of the finest examples of the small but mighty BMW that helped mobilize Germany’s postwar economic comeback remaining today.