Classics for sale: 1958 BMW Isetta 300 LHD hot rod
Two alternative versions of the future combine in this 1958 microcar with a difference
What happens when you combine big and brash with small and quiet: a 1958 BMW Isetta 300 LHD hot rod. This clash of worlds is available in our classifieds, but you'll have to be quick, as the sale ends in just over a day.
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The Isetta three wheel microcar was first produced in 1953 by Italian form Iso, which although experienced in automotive engineering, was better known for refrigerators. It became hugely popular and Iso negotiated the licensing of building the car to firms across the world, including BMW.
BMW rebuilt the car around its own one-cylinder motorcycle engine, and changed most of the parts so it was essentially an all-new car. After a while a bigger engine was also put in, and a change in German regulations meant the Isetta eventually ended up with a 298cc (18.2ci) single-cylinder four-stroke engine capable of powering the car to over 50mph. Over 150,000 examples were made.
Such an engine isn't suitable for a hot rod though, and the example in our classifieds, currently located in Virginia Water, an idyllic town west of London, has had a 750cc Honda V4 retrofitted. It retains its manual transmission, is left-hand drive having originally been sold in the United States, and has only covered 2026 miles since being bought new from the USA.
The car's only door is at the front to enter, as is often the case with microcars, but there should be no worries in looking like a fool while doing so thanks to the 'traditional' hot rod livery of a black upper half and a lower half consisting of purple-lined orange and yellow flames.
Inside is a similar pattern, with the seats containing a central flame motif that splits to adorn the driver and passenger's shoulders. If the heat is getting a little too much, then the car's sliding sun roof can be put to use. The listing is currently at £19,925 ($26,222) for immediate purchase, although buyers can make offers at different prices.
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