1958 BMW Isetta 300
|Originally produced by the Italian motorcycle manufacturer Iso, the Isetta (little Iso) was first produced in 1953. Due to the facts that the Isetta, nicknamed Das Rollende Ei the rolling egg was only a marginal seller, and Iso wanted to concentrate on sports car production, Iso decided to sell the rights to the Isetta. BMW, which was in dire financial straights at the time, and facing the prospect of a buyout by Mercedes-Benz was in need of a fast selling product, and was one of three purchasers of the rights. Introduction of the Mini in 1959 signaled the end of the Isettas popularity, but the rolling egg had achieved its purpose, to bring BMW back from the brink of financial failure and securing its future.
Specifications: Isetta 300; 13 horsepower, 18.61 cubic inch, one-cylinder, motorcycle engine. Price New: $1,093. Weight 770 pounds. Total production: 160,000.
Connections: Fuel economy of 60-63 miles per gallon comparable to todays hybrid-electric cars, achieving 59-72 miles per gallon. Some British models were produced with 3 wheels, allowing it to be registered as a motorcycle, avoiding taxation and licensing requirements.
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