The Isetta: BMW’s Most Ridiculous Car Ever
With Doug DeMuro at the wheel, the Isetta, BMW’s slowest car, is a rolling hazard.
At the end of World War II, the European economy was in shambles. In order to get back on a road to recovery, people needed transportation, but did not have a lot of spare cash to spend on new automobiles. An Italian refrigerator company called Iso decided to make an inexpensive small car called the Isetta (Italian-ish for little Iso). BMW, in their own financial woes, needed a small car to sell, which didn’t require a lot of money for development. As such, BMW licensed the design from Iso to build Isettas in Germany. There were a number of Isetta manufacturers worldwide, but BMW became the most iconic, by far.
The single-door, one-and-a-half seat, diminutive getabout machine gained popularity. Namely because it was inexpensive to purchase, insure, and register, being that it was legally driven essentially as a side-by-side scooter. It was frugal to own and operate, didn’t use much fuel, and was able to make it into town to run errands without too much issue, so long as there wasn’t a steep hill on the way. But with horsepower ratings in the teens, it wasn’t exactly a speed demon, as Doug DeMuro finds out in the video above. With just one person, the Isetta is a rolling traffic jam trying to trudge its way up a hill.
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Despite all of the nonsense that goes down in this video, Doug seems to enjoy himself in this quirky little BMW. This is probably about as far removed as you can get from a brand new 5-Series, but even we must admit that it has a whole lot more character. Would we want to commute every day in an Isetta? Not a chance, but we wouldn’t mind having one around for weekend drives into town.