Friday, March 4, 2011

Isetta - The Most Popular Micro-Car

by Mike -

The Isetta is primarily known as a BMW but it was designed by Iso (Isetta means little Iso) and licensed to BMW and to VELAM in France and Romi in Brazil in the mid-1950s. It was a successful model for BMW, they produced approximately 161,000 Isettas from 1955 to 1962.

The Isetta was also a success for Iso because the financial arrangements allowed Iso to move on to the creation of GT cars starting with the Iso Rivolta GT and then the Iso Grifo along with a few other models.  

Iso was a manufacturer of scooters after WWII and so the first version of the Isetta had a one cylinder scooter engine. The door incorporated the steering wheel and dashboard so that the driver could drive front first into a curd side parking and open the door and step out directly onto the sidewalk (the steering wheel and dashboard moved out of the way with the door). This is a very small car and it takes up less than half of the space of most other cars.

These little cars have been showing up at auctions and classic car dealers more frequently in the last few years as they are becoming more appreciated as a part of automotive history.

There are three Isettas for sale now on eBay, including this one below.

The Isetta below is for sale at the RM Auction at Amelia Island on March 12, 2011.

Click on the images for a larger view.

The Isetta is stylish too.


  1. What a history for such a little car...great photos......thanks for posting Mike!

  2. I am happy that you like this story.