Monday, August 31, 2009

Isetta - Adoption Day

1957 BMW Isetta 300 (Sliding Window Export Model) - For several years my wife and I had been lusting for a microcar. I was telling a friend about a Fiat 500 I was thinking about buying, when he ask me if I knew what an Isetta was (I don't think he knew what a microcar geek I am). He proceeded to tell me about a woman he was doing work for that had two of them in her garage. Needless to say, after seeing the Isetta's, I completely forgot about the Fiat.

These pictures are from the day we picked up these two Isetta's. This is the condition we purchased them in. They have not been driven since 1971. The owner told me that they decided to retire the cars because they were having a very difficult time getting parts for them. Thankfully, these two Isetta's have always been garaged and while they may not run right now, they are in very complete original condition with very little rust.

This is Jan. Jan and her late husband were the original owners of these two Isetta's. They were purchased from the Kansas City BMW Isetta dealership which was at the corner of 39th and Broadway.

Jan and her husband lived in Parkville, Missouri. Parkville is a small rural town just outside of Kansas City, Missouri.

Jan worked for Air France and would drive her Isetta on back roads from Parkville to Kansas City's downtown airport.

Jan's husband was a foreign language teacher at Park College.

Below the seat, you can see a homemade panel with a Japanese Haiku that Jan's husband made for her Isetta.

I know it was a sad day for Jan. You could tell that these cars meant a lot to her. I think the one consolation for her was knowing that they were going to get a full restoration and be enjoyed by another couple much the way her and her husband had enjoyed these cars.

When we purchased these Isetta's from Jan, she was in the process selling her farm and moving into a downtown condominium a few blocks from us. So in a way, her cars are still very close to her, and of course she has full visitation rights. I'm anxious for the day that I'll be able to take her for a ride in one of her restored babies.