BMW was at the brink of bankruptcy in the late ’50s. Soaring costs of the 507 roadster and meager sales across the line prompted the Bavarian company to turn to cheaper models. BMW licensed the Isetta micro car from Iso SpA, and in time, and with several other smaller models, the German company turned the ledgers black again. Over 161k of the single-cylinder BMWs sold worldwide.
1957 was the first year for the 298-cc engine — among other changes — and also the first for U.S. sales. This yellow 300 only has 11,802 miles and sat restored in a collection for a long while.
The fuel system, ignition, suspension, steering, brakes and electrical system were all evaluated and fixed where needed, but no major engine or transmission repairs were needed. There are two cracks in the paint (shown in the listing’s images) at the door hinge and on the driver’s side panel.
A note about driving these cars: The 4-speed’s shifter is on the left of the car, wedged between the driver and the side panel. It’s a little awkward at first, but not difficult once you get the hang of it. I’d say it’s a little harder getting used to being the smallest thing on the road, and because of that, I wouldn’t suggest long commutes in one. But they’re great for running around town.
Eight 1957–62 BMW Isettas sold in the past year on eBay Motors. Good to excellent examples averaged from $17k to $24k. This one started at $5k and shot up near $10k before the first day of bidding ended. Click here to see where the bidding is now.