Despite being originally designed and created by Iso, BMW made the Isetta “Little Iso” its own after acquiring a license from the Italian automaker. It was a hit, especially with its touted fuel efficiency of 78 miles per gallon in the US. So much so that BMW made over 160,000 units of the original bubble car from 1955 to 1962.
Restored on YouTube found one example abandoned out in the woods. It’s a 1959 Isetta 300, an Isetta Moto Coupe DeLuxe example with sliding windows, which means that the Microlino EV’s forebear is more than 60 years old. However, it’s estimated that this rusting Isetta has been sitting around for over 40 years.
As expected, the Isetta 300 here was in pretty rough shape. With decades of being stuck amongst vegetation, several parts of the microcar were already rusted. The open roof certainly didn’t help its case with all outside elements entering and consequently destroying what’s left of the cabin.
The folks from Restored first tried to start up the engine, to see if there was life coming from the 13-horsepower 298cc engine. It was a lengthy process, which involved cleaning and fixing the wiring. Eventually, they were able to turn the engine up.
After a number of inspections and replacements, including a new set of 10-inch white-wall tires, the Isetta comes back to life and back on the road. The whole process took two days. The first destination was a car wash where the microcar received a quick shower.
Then, the guys checked the maximum speed that the Isetta could reach at its current revived state. It was able to reach 45 miles per hour (72 kilometers per hour), which was over the minimum highway speed limit in some states. Hooray for the microcar, and we think we’ll see more of this restoration project in the future.
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