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1961 BMW Isetta 300 Police

Destined to become one of the best-loved microcars of all time, the Isetta evolved from its origins in Milan, Italy and grew to be built in a number of different countries. The most influential was BMW, who took the little car under its huge corporate wings and provided it with a very thorough German development and production career. The Standard version, now called the "bubble window", overlapped the new "sliding window" Export version by some six months, ending its run in March 1957.

All Isettas had a sunroof, to enable occupants to escape should someone park too close to the front opening door. A cabriolet version was also offered which featured a small collapsible soft-top section where the fixed rear window normally was.

A variety of specifications were available for different countries' requirements. For example the U. S. Export version had large 7" headlamps and "nerf bars", tropical versions had door grilles, and three-wheelers were built for England and Austria.

The later cars, like this '61, had a different profile side window alloy strip, door script, separate tail lamps, and a wide alloy "wing" below the slotted air intake.

This rare example of a genuine factory-built police car, in regulation police green, is from Duderstadt, district of Hildesheim in Niedersachsen. It features the blue flashing light and a radiotelephone. The original door is from an earlier model, changed at some point in its police career.

Manufacturer: Bayerische Motoren Werke, Munich, Germany

Model: Isetta 300 Export (police) Motor: BMW 4-stroke Body : Steel
Years Built: Fall 1958 - 1962 No. Cylinders: 1 Chassis: Steel Tube
No. Produced: 25 697 Displacement: 295 cc Suspension Front: Swing Arm
No. Surviving: Horsepower: 13 Suspension Rear: Leaf Springs
Length: 90" Gearbox: 4 + rev Steering: Worm
Width: 54.5" Starter: Dynastart Brakes: Hydraulic
Weight: 700 lbs Electrics: 12 v 4 Wheels: 4.80 x 10"
Interior: Bench Ignition: Coil Top Speed: 85 kph

© 2002