HomeTechnologyAt $14,500, Is This VW-Powered 1956 BMW Isetta A Killer Deal?

At $14,500, Is This VW-Powered 1956 BMW Isetta A Killer Deal?

A Good Price or No VW-Powered 1956 BMW Isetta Dice

If you’ve ever wanted a car that can roll while you’re sitting on those wheels, then today Good price or no dice Isetta is for you. Let’s see if this wild custom mic is as dangerous to your wallet as it is to your person.

If you’re a fan of Spiderman’s seemingly endless supply of redundant reboots, then you’re no doubt aware that supporting character Aunt May continues to get younger with each iteration. If they keep this practice going, in a few years the filmmakers will no doubt be playing a toddler in the role.

A stereotypical old aunt or retired grandparent was the likely target of the 2005 Buick Le Saber we considered yesterday. Now, with nearly 20 years under its high-waisted belt and just 100,000 miles on the odometer, the big Buick has a bit broader appeal. And, at $6,400, so does its price. That earned the majestic sedan a solid 65% win at the Nice Price.

Now if you have a grandparent – or family member for that matter – who shows up in something like this goofy 1956 VW-powered BMW Isetta, then you have a pretty cool family. Or maybe one that’s a bit technical.

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Speaking of wacky, the story of the Isetta itself is a bit wild. The bubble car became one of many tiny, economical cars destined to get Europe back on the road after World War II. The first model, with its iconic single front door and close-set rear wheels, was designed by Italian industrial company Iso SpA, which was owned by Renzo Rivolta. Yes, it’s the same Rivolta that stood behind the eponymous sports cars and GTs Iso Rivolta and Grifo, and in fact, in Italian, Isetta literally means “little Iso”. Strange as it may seem, this little Iso was so successful that the company licensed the design to other companies outside of Italy, including BMW in Germany.

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The Germans overhauled the Isetta considerably, changing the positioning of the headlights and replacing the original version’s two-stroke scooter engine with a 247simple cc four-stroke with 12 horsepower. This was later increased to 298ccs and 13 horsepower as German shift taxes became more relaxed.

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This quadruples the cylinder count but keeps it in the country as it sports a Volkswagen flat-four and associated four-speed manual transmission. Ignore Facebook Marketplace’s claim that it’s an automatic. It’s an obvious trick.

The engine appears to sport dual-port heads, but it looks like the manufacturer was content with using a single carburetor. More in keeping with the crazy aesthetic of the car, the engine features a stinger exhaust with what appears to be just a glass pack for a muffler and what is arguably the most oil filter placement precarious of all cars on the planet.

Naturally, the transmission change necessitated an enlargement of the rear axle and wheel locations. This necessitated the creation of half rockets which also serve as mounting points for the skinny taillights. A fabric sunroof and cheerful Kermit the Frog paint job give the Isetta a fun look, as do the front-opening door and stowable steering column.

It’s a pity then, that the seller warns that the car is a death trap. According to the ad, the throttle is “super tricky” and the seller warns that the car “will wheelie on command.”

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That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you like carnival rides. The question, of course, is who is this custom car other than the manufacturer? You would then need to ask if anyone would pay the seller’s $14,500 to claim the privilege of taking possession? Before we go down that rabbit hole, it’s worth noting that the ad makes no mention of the car’s title, and it’s not shown with license plates — or even a place to mount them. It’s just another of the inscrutable aspects of the car.

With all that in mind, what’s your take on this wild bubble car? and his $14,500 asking price? Does that seem like a fair price for falling into Isetta’s trap? Or, is that price even crazier than the car?

You decide!

Facebook Marketplace out of Caanan, Connecticut, where to go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to hiimdannyganz for the hookup!

Help me with NPOND. Hit me at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed price tip. Don’t forget to include your Kinja handle.

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