Thursday, December 07, 2006


By BS Brash

BMW Isetta, nicknamed the "rolling egg", the BMW 250, 300, 600 and Isetta cars were designed at a time when cheap, short distance transportation was needed. Driving one is like driving a heavy beachball. The only front door, is literally on the front. When the door opened the steering wheel swung back out of the way and it was possible that two small people could set in the seat side by side. The 600 has a rear seat and one extra door that opens on the right rear side to allow passengers into the rear seat

BMW Isetta 250, 1955. In a classic understatement, BMW ads for the USA called the car "a new concept in vehicle design." The cars have a one-cylinder BMW motorcycle engine with a 4-speed transmission. The top speed is 53 mph, and it gets 63 miles per gallon. The gas tank is less than two gallons, this from a time when gas was .25 cents a gallon and you could fill your tank for .50 cents. In 1958 you could buy one for $1,093. Adjusted for inflation, today the same car would cost about $7,500. I don’t think so, even if it is a Beemer! They are cute though. I drove mine to cheerleader practice and wound up with 4 dates that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise! My interest in the Isetta lasted 4 dates and then I traded it off for a 57 DeSoto Adventurer with 2 4bbls, and a Hemi. Vaaa-Roooom!

As I said in the title, The King owned an Isetta, not only that , but he also gave one as a gift to Col Parker just before honoring his draft notice. A draft notice that he did honor! I wonder if the music idols of today would honor a draft notice? I kinda doubt it!

If you ever get a chance to drive an Isetta, take it. It is an experience you won’t soon forget!

Picture Caption:
Elvis shown exiting an Isetta, probably during his vacation in Munich while stationed in Germany.

Copyright BS Brash 2006

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