NEC Classic Motor Show Sale 2014

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1962 BMW Isetta

Lot No.: 306

Registration: 854NMK
Chassis Number: A332072
Engine Number: A332072
CC: 300cc
Year of Manufacture: 1962
Sold for (£): 15,750

This Italian-designed Isetta microcar was built under licence in a number of different countries, including Spain, Belgium, France, Brazil, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Produced in the post-World War II years, a time when cheap short-distance transportation was most needed, it became one of the most successful and influential city cars ever created. Because of its egg shape and bubble-like windows, it became known as a ‘bubble car', a name later given to other similar vehicles.

With space for two and their luggage, the Isetta was perfect for the UK's urban and rural roads. In 1957, Isetta of Great Britain began producing 300 models at their factory in Brighton under licence from BMW. The British cars were right-hand drive with the door hinged from the right hand side of the car and the steering column moved across to the right as well. Being right-hand drive meant that the driver and engine were on the same side, so a counterweight was added to the left side to compensate. Lucas electrics replaced the German Hella and Bosch components, with a different headlamp housing being used. Girling brake components replaced the ATE brake parts. In 1962, Isetta of Great Britain stopped production of the little cars but continued to produce Isetta engines until 1964. The Isetta ‘Bubble Car' is surely the smallest car BMW will ever make!

This 1962 example is one of the very rare UK supplied right-hand drive Isettas. Presented in original White over Duck Egg Blue with matching interior, this car has had 6 previous owners from new. Recently benefitting from new window rubbers and full interior re-trim to the highest specification, the vendor is an Isetta Club Member and chassis number A332072 is known on the circuit as a rare genuine right-hand drive.

A decent history file is offered with the car containing various invoices dating back to the 1990s, owner's booklet and other Isetta paraphernalia included. Since 2002 the car has been displayed at various events and was re-commissioned in 2011. Described by the vendor as a "very original car, with many original parts still present, including the original turn signal indicator stalks, baker light switches and bumper guards." The bodywork is in very good order with no rust and the underside and floor pans are excellent. Prior to the auction this car will have a full MoT and a full service and tune at Bromley Bubble, the UK's leading Isetta specialist. A charming little bubble car, ideal for any collector of the marque.