1958 Isetta 600-BMW’s “Eggsecutive” Limo

Germans in the 1950s weren’t concerned with having “the ultimate driving machine,” they were just happy not to be walking or pedaling. With a limited market for cars like the spectacular and expensive 507 roadster, BMW needed a volume model to survive. They understood the needs of the post-war European market and decided the best niche to exploit was the sub-VW Beetle class of microcars that had become popular with Germans who had not yet fully recovered from the ravages of the Second World War.

Appliance maker Renzo Rivolta’s little Isetta seemed tailor-made for someone of limited means who wanted something more than a scooter or a motorcycle with a sidecar. A deal was struck to license and produce the 250-cc Italian microcar that became known in Germany as das rollende Ei, or “rolling egg,” for obvious reasons.

In the first half of 1955, BMW sold about 10,000 Isettas on its way to a total production of over 160,000 by 1962. BMW replaced Rivolta’s 250-cc, two-stroke twin with a 300-cc air-cooled single, which was half its motorcycle engine. It was therefore easy to use the whole BMW 600-cc twin in the rare jumbo-sized version of the Isetta. Listed in BMW catalogs of the day as a “limousine,” the BMW 600 could seat four in relative comfort.

This particular 1958 Isetta 600-BMW’s “Eggsecutive” Limo was a ground-up restoration on a solid original car that still sported its original paint and showed a genuine 25,662 miles on the odometer. With just one mile on the freshly rebuilt engine, four-speed transmission and clutch, a new interior, and gleaming salmon and white paintwork, this example of a rare microcar is ready to enjoy and turn heads everywhere.

Rob Sass

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Rob was pre-ordained to accumulate strange collector cars after early exposure to his dad’s 1959 Hillman Minx. Sass served as Assistant Attorney General for the state of Missouri and then as a partner in a St. Louis law firm before deciding his billable hours requirement terminally interfered with his old car affliction. His stable of affordable classics has included a TVR 280i, a Triumph TR 250, an early Porsche 911S, and a Daimler SP250. He currently owns a 1965 E-type coupe and a 1981 Porsche 911SC.

Posted in German