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First developed by Renzo Rivolta’s highly successful Iso SpA in Italy and license-built in several countries, the Isetta, Italian for “little Iso,” was primarily intended to provide economical and practical transportation for the masses.
The Isetta was built and developed with considerable enthusiasm into several model configurations by BMW in West Germany, where it became known whimsically as das rollende Ei – the rolling egg. Thanks to its ease of operation in dense traffic, the Isetta enjoyed widespread use by West Germany’s Bundespost (Postal Service). While small in size, the Isetta’s influence was large, and revenue from the microcar helped to save BMW from being taken over by Mercedes-Benz, its much larger rival, during the late 1950s.
Finished in red, this BMW Isetta is an improved sliding-window, 298 cc variant from 1959. It is equipped with a delightful canvas sunroof and complemented by nice brightwork and period-style whitewall tires. It was restored from 1996 to 2002 by a previous owner, Bill Klageman of Michigan.
Under the consignor’s care, the Isetta has seen only limited local driving and has never been shown, allowing its new owner the pleasure of returning it to the public eye. Many copies of restoration-related correspondence, as well as parts and service orders, accompany the sale of this small but mighty BMW.