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 CoupesArrow PictureManufacturersArrow PictureBMWArrow Picture600 (1957 - 1959)Arrow Picture1958 BMW 600 
1959 600 Image Right
 

1958 BMW 600 news, pictures, specifications, and information

Coupe
Chassis Num: 122850
 
Sold for $74,250 at 2010 RM Auctions.
The Iso-derived BMW Isetta 300 helped the BMW Company find its financial footing, and avoid a possible takeover by Mercedes-Benz. The 600 Isetta was a vehicle that bridged the gap between the company's small Isetta base model and their larger luxury models. The design was simple and basic, powered by a 582cc horizontally-opposed, overhead-valve, air-cooled two-cylinder engine offering 23 horsepower. They had a four-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel drum brakes.

The 600 model was considerably larger than the Isetta, with seating for up to four occupants. The engine was derived from BMW's own R50 motorcycle and offered speeds of over 60 mph. However, it was eventually outsold by the Volkswagen Type 1 'Beetle' after around 35,000 units had been produced.

This example has been given a recent and complete body-off restoration. It is finished in a two-tone exterior finish of blue and white with a complementary mix of new restored brightwork and new blackwall tires and original-type wheels with wheel covers. It has period correct checkered blue and grey upholstery, using the original interior pieces as a pattern.

In 2010, this car was offered for sale at RM Auction's 'Automobiles of Amelia Island' event where it was estimated to sell for $30,000 - $40,000 and offered without reserve. The car was enthusiastically bid upon, receiving a high bid of $74,250, inclusive of buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | May 2010
Coupe
 
The BMW 600 complete with 582cc, flat-twin, engine (from the R67 motorcycle) and semi-trailing arm independent suspension looked somewhat like the Isetta 250 and 300 bubble car but lost much of the 'bubble' shape in the translation because of its lengthened chassis, 4-doors and conventional rear axle. It fell between the two camps, looking like a conventional car and oozing bubble car cuteness. Somehow, the base model VW Beetle won the economy/value battle and only 34,000 600s were constructed in two years.
Coupe
Chassis Num: 150261
 
Sold for $38,500 at 2012 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $30,250 at 2012 Russo & Steele.
This BMW Isetta is finished in two-tone color combination of Old English White over a light metallic copper bottom with whitewall tires. It has been restored and recently treated to a fresh coat of paint. The interior has been reupholstered in taupe-colored correct German vinyl. The 582cc horizontally opposed 2-cylinder engine develops 19 horsepower, there is a four-speed manual transmission, and four-wheel drum brakes.

In 2012, this car was offered for sale at the Amelia Island sale presented by Gooding & Company. It was estimated to sell for $25,000 - $35,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for $38,500 inclusive of buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2012
At a time when cheap, short-distance transportation was incredibly preferred by consumers, BMW introduced the Isetta in November of 1953 at Turin. One of the most successful microcars that were produced in the post-WWII years, the egg-shaped Isetta's design originated in Italy. The Isetta received the nickname ‘bubble car' because of its bubble-like windows and its egg shape. Other nicknames for the Isetta were ‘das rollende Ei'; the rolling egg in Germany, along with the ‘Sargwagen'; coffin car, ‘yogurt pot' in France, ‘huevito'; little egg in Chili and in Brazil, the ‘bola de futebol de fenemê'; soccer ball of FNM.

The Iso Isetta originated from the Italian firm of Iso SpA, a company that originally began building compact three-wheeled trucks, motor scooters and refrigerators. In the early 1950s Renzo Rivolta, Iso's owner, chose to build small vehicles for mass consumption. Pierluigi Raggi and Ermenegildo Preti, the engineers behind the design, built the Isetta with a scooter engine. Isetta means little ISO in Italian. The designers came up with the design by taking two scooters, placing them close to each other and adding a refrigerator before shaping the result like ‘a teardrop in the wind'.

Considered by some to be the best microcar of all time, the Isetta caused quite a stir when it was unveiled. More unique than anything out there at the time, the ‘bubble car' was only 7.5 feet long and 4.5 feet wide. The entire front end of the vehicle hinged outwards to allow entry, along with an exit for passenger and driver through the canvas sunroof in the event of a crash. Making access to the single bench seat simpler, both the steering wheel and instrument panel swung out with the single door. There was enough room inside the vehicle for two passengers to sit comfortably, and behind the seat was a spare wheel hidden underneath a large parcel shelf. Ventilation was available by opening up the fabric sunroof, and a heater was optional.

The Isetta came with a 236 cc 9.5 hp two cylinder two-stroke motorcycle engine. Dynastart was a combination generator-starter, and a manual gearbox provided four forward speeds and reverse. The rear wheels were 10-inches, and a chain drive connected the gearbox to a solid rear axle.

The original prototype came with one wheel at the rear, but unfortunately this made the vehicle very susceptible to rolling over, so two rear wheels were places at the rear 19 inches away from each other. Since the track was so narrow, no differential was needed. The front axle was an updated variation of a Dubonnet independent front suspension.

The Iso Isetta achieved a top speed of 45 m ph, and could reach 30 mph in just over 30 seconds. The Isetta featured a small fuel tank that only held 3.5 gallons, and could get somewhere between 50-70 miles per gallon of gas.

Iso introduced two models, the Autocarro; a commercial version with full-width rear axle and the Turismo which had a narrow 50 cm rear track. The Autocarro came in a variety of body styles, an enclosed truck, a tilt-bed, a fire engine and a flatbed pickup. In Italy the Autocarro was immensely popular as that type of vehicle was utilized often.

Achieving an average speed of 43 mph, several Isettas were entered in the Mille Miglia in 1954. The Isetta took the top three spots in the economy classification, a distance more than 1,000 miles that the drivers achieved in more than 70 mph. Even though at first the Isetta was incredibly popular, it began to drop in popularity due to renewed competition from FIAT with its 500C model.

At this time, Rivolta wanted to spend his time and energy on his new Iso Rovolta sports vehicle, and also concentrate on doing license deals. During mid 1954, BMW started talking with Rivolta about not just a license, but in fact the complete Isetta body tooling. Licensing the Isette to BMW wasn't the last thing Rivolta did, he also negotiated similar deals with companies in Brazil and France.

In 1955 the production of Italian built cars ending after the construction of about 1,000 units. It is estimated that around 4,000 Autocarros were built, while Iso continued to build the Isetta in Spain until 1958.

The first car to be produced in Brazil, the Romi-Isetta was introduced on September 5th, 1956. A total of 3,000 units were introduced from the beginning of production until 1961. Iso licensed the Isetta to Romi, a machine-tool manufacturer in 1955. Romi is located in the city of Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, in the State of São Paulo. The Iso design and engines remained ntil 1958 before they were replaced with the BMW 300 cc engines.

The Isetta's powerplant was redesigned by BMW. The powerplant was rebuilt around a BMW one-cylinder, four-stroke, 247 cc motorcycle engine that produced 13 hp. Most of the original elements of the Italian design stayed the same while BMW re-engineered much of the vehicle, so that none of the parts between and Iso Isetta and a BMW Isetta Moto Coupe are interchangeable. In April of 1955, the first BMW Isetta was unveiled. In the following eight months a around 10,000 ‘bubble cars' were produced.

BMW added the Isetta 250 to the lineup. Keeping the same 'bubble windows' as the original Isetta, this version was redesigned to carry a modified version of the 250 cc 4-stroke engine from the BMW R25/3 motorcycle and the front suspension was also updated. The 250 was two-tone colored and featured headlamps fixed separately to the sides of the bodywork.

The cylinder head was made up of aluminum while the crankcase and cylinder were constructed of cast iron. At 5800 rpm, the single-cylinder generated 12 hp. Compared with the motorcycle engine the head was rotated by 180 degrees. The twin-bearing crankshaft was also much larger and came with reinforced bearings due to the heavy Dynastart unit that combined the self-starter and the dynamo. BMW also enlarged the sump for installation in the vehicle and cooled the engine by a radial fan and shrouded ducting. The Isetta 250 had a top speed of 53 mph and in Germany could be driven with just a motorcycle license.

The Isetta Moto Coupe DeLuxe; or Isetta 300 was introduced in October of 1956. Considered to be the ‘sliding-window' Isetta, as longer, sliding side windows replaced the famous bubble windows. The 300 featured an enlarged single cylinder to a 72 mm bore and 73 mm stroke which now achieved a displacement of exactly 298 cc. The compression ratio was already raised from 6.8 to 7.0:1. The engine now got 13 hp at 5200 rpm, while the torque jumped to 18.4 N•m at 4600 rpm. The top speed remained at 53 mph on the Isetta 300.

Produced with the intent to be an enlarged Isetta three-wheeler with even more power, along with a conventional four-wheel configuration, the BMW Isetta 600 was the largest of the BMW bubble vehicles. Though the front end of the 600 looked just like the regular Isetta, the wheelbase was stretched to allow room for four passengers comfortably. All-new semi-trailing arm independent suspension was introduced, while a conventional rear axle was also added. This was the same suspension that would be found on every new model for the next 40 years.

Featuring a much more powerful engine, the Isetta 600 came with a 582 cc twin engine from the R67 motorcycle, and could achieve a top speed of 64 mph. Only 34,000 Isetta 600's were produced in the two years of its lifespan, mainly because of the competition from the entry-level VW Beetle.

After 161,728 units had been built, in May of 1962, BMW ceased production of the Isetta.

An all new Isetta is scheduled to be released in 2010 and will be built on the same platform as the Fiat Topolino. The rear engined, rear wheel drive vehicle is expected to achieve 100 mph.

By Jessica Donaldson
For more information and related vehicles, click here

CORROZZERIA ZAGATO: CARS OF THE 'LIGHTNING Z' HONORED AT THE 19TH ANNUAL AMELIA CONCOURS d'ELEGANCE'
The cars wearing Zagato's 'lightning Z' badge have become classics and icons. On March 9, 2014 the 19th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance will honor the brilliance and creativity of Ugo Zagato and his heirs with a class of Zagato-bodied cars from the likes of Ferrari, Maserati, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Hispano-Suiza, FIAT, Rolls-Royce, Lancia, Lamborghini, MG, Bentley, Porsche, Spyker and even British supercar builder Aston Martin, for whom Zagato created their masterpiece, the landma...[Read more...]
Tom Fritz Creates The 19Th Annual Amelia Island Concours D'elegance Poster
The posters for the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance have become collectible car art and the 2014 edition is no exception. Today the Concours revealed that the 19thannual event poster was created by famed hot rod artist Tom Fritz and honors Jochen Mass on the 25th anniversary of his victory in the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans driving his Mercedes-Benz Sauber C9. The beautiful piece takes creative cues from the first Amelia poster in 1996, well-known for honoring the record-setting drive of Sir Stir...[Read more...]
Mercedes-Benz Honors Top Down Driving In Sunny Amelia Island
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CADILLAC CONCEPT CARS STAR at AMELIA CONCOURS d'ELEGANCE
There are limited production cars, there are rare cars and there are concept cars that never find their way to the showroom. A fleet of Cadillac's rare and mythic Motorama and Detroit Auto Show Concept Cars will take to the field at the 18th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance on Sunday March 10, 2013. Created under the supervision of GM's legendary styling chief, Harley Earl, the Cadillac Concept cars of the 'Fifties were created as the stars of GM's Motorama shows. All are blood anc...[Read more...]
Gooding & Company Presents the Renowned Drendel Family Porsche Collection at its Amelia Island Auction
Gooding & Company, the acclaimed auction house celebrated for selling the world's most significant and valuable collector cars, is honored to announce its recent consignment of the Drendel Family Collection of 18 Porsches. Recognized as the world's finest private collection of its kind, the Drendel Family Collection consists of both road and race cars spanning 25 years of Porsche history from 1973 – 1997. With 10 of the 18 lots being offered without reserve, the arrival of this extraordinary co...[Read more...]

Arrow Right 1958 BMW models
BMW 3200
BMW 501
BMW 503
BMW 507
BMW Isetta 300

Collectible: A Gathering of the Exceptional and Captivating
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BMW: 1951-1960
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BMW
Monthly Sales FiguresVolume
March 201432,107 
February 201422,017 
January 201418,253 
December 201337,389 
November 201331,752 
October 201327,574 
September 201323,568 
August 201324,523 
July 201324,043 
June 201327,074 
May 201325,230 
April 201323,225 
(More Details)

 
1 Series
1600
2 Series
2002
2800
3 Series
3.0 CS
3.0 CSL
3.5 CSL
318i
3200 CS
327/328
4-Series
5-Series
501
503
507
6 Series
7-Series
700
850
Dixi
Isetta
M Coupe
M1
M3
M5
M6
New Class
X1
X3
X5
X6
Z1
Z3
Z4
Z8

1959 600 Image Right
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