Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Little Cars At Auction In Monterey

by Mike -

These little cars are all just cute. They are designed for easy maneuvering in traffic, high MPG and low cost. Some of these cars were successful financially for the manufactures and one of them is in production today, although in a more modern form.

1957 BMW Isetta 300 Cabriolet at RM Auctions.

Estimate: $40,000-$60,000 - offered without reserve.

RM says:

13 hp, 298 cc BMW four-stroke single-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with leading arms and coil springs, rigid rear axle with quarter-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel drum brakes.

- A fresh, ground-up restoration
- An original export-market model and a solid Texas/Southwest car
- Desirable and rare Cabriolet body style and color combination

The Isetta was created by Iso, under the leadership of Renzo Rivolta. This BMW version was made under a license from Iso which was beneficial to both companies. The Isetta has been appreciating lately, so this estimate could very well come true.

Estimate: $15,000-$20,000, offered without reserve.

RM says:

22 bhp, 50 cid inline four-cylinder engine, one-barrel carburetor, three-speed manual transmission, beam-axle front suspension with transverse leaf spring, live rear axle with quarter-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical brakes. 

- An early example from the Bantam’s late-1937 reintroduction 
- Older body-off restoration
- Recent mechanical inspection

Small American cars just did not seem necessary in the 1930s when this car was made. Like many car companies the American Bantam company had financial problems. However, American Bantam is credited with creating the first Jeep.

Estimate: $25,000-$35,000 - offered without reserve.

RM says:

78 bhp, 1,275 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine, twin SU carburetors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front and rear hydrolastic suspension, and front disc, rear drum hydraulic brakes. 

- One of 2,384 “true” Mini Cooper 1275 ‘S’ and 1,324 LHD models produced 
- Single-family ownership from 1965-2003
- Highly documented, accompanied by FIA papers and ready to race
- Completely matching numbers from new and still fitted with the original documented accident and rust-free shell

The Mini is a very innovative design with the engine mounted horizontal in front and driving the front wheels. Their was no need for a drive shaft so the interior had more room. It turned out that this design led to quite a competitive race car capable of doing well in road races.

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000 - offered without reserve.

Gooding says:

245 CC Horizontal 1-Cylinder Two-Stroke Engine, 1 BBL Solex Carburetor , 14 BHP at 5,000 RPM , 4-Speed Manual Transmission , 4-Wheel Drum Brakes, Front Independent Trailing-Arms Coil Spring, Rear Swing Axles with Coil-Spring Suspension

This is the German answer to the Italian Iso Isetta. Except it appears that the steering wheel does not move out of the way when the door opens like it does on the Isetta.

Click on the images for a larger view.

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