Monday, December 27, 2010

Ebay Oddballs - Aerocar Prototype?

The seller of this vehicle knew very little about it's history. It is believed the vehicle was built at the Grumman aircraft facility in Witchita KS in the late 40's to early 50's.

The seller had these original black and photos that were included in the sale. The photos listed the names of the builders from left to right as: Cameron Baily, Max Ray, Kelly Krentz, and A.A. Reddy.

While reminiscent of the Taylor Aerocar, it's definitely not an Aerocar.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Isetta - Heater/Choke Levers & Shift Rod

Driver side interior panel removed.

Heater and choke lever assembly before restoration.

After a little bead blasting, paint, and nickel plating.

The top metal cup and rubber bumper removed showing the bottom brazed metal cup on the shift rod.

All the components of the shift rod were bead blasted. The shift rod was painted the original silver/grey aluminum color. The stick and metal cup nut were nickel plated, and the joint bushing was replaced.

Dash Dog Food Contest

Dash Dog Food Contest from the March 9th, 1959 issue of LIFE Magazine.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dirty Oil Wears Out Motors

Especially on a car with no proper oil filter! Change you oil regularly and get yourself a magnetic oil drain plug. A magnetic oil drain plug that fits Isetta's is available from BMW motorcycle dealerships. The BMW part # is 11-13-1-744-329

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Few Photos Taken In Japan

I was recently in Japan and was happy to see this 1989 Nissan Pao sitting in someone's driveway. The Nissan Pao is one of my favorite retro-style vehicles. My other favorite retro-style vehicle is the Nissan Figaro also produced in 1989. There was a Figaro in front of my hotel but unfortunately I couldn't really get any pictures of it because of traffic and the crowds of people.

A Citroen 2CV navigating Tokyo traffic.

On the way to my favorite store Muji, I spotted this food vendors Subaru Sambar Combi Van masquerading as a VW.

I was doing a little architectural tourism checking out the Prada Aoyama Tokyo store designed by Herzog & de Meuron when this small one seat micro came cruising by. Amazingly there was just enough gap in the traffic to snap this shot.

Isetta Brochure - USA Model 1956

Friday, November 19, 2010

10 Guys 1 Isetta

Photo Credit - George Rogers

These photos were taken in 1960 in Ontario, Canada. The guys in these photos look like they're having a lot of fun, but I sure feel sorry for this poor Brighton built Isetta. It couldn't have been much more than 3 years old in these photos. For the full story and more photos visit:

British Isetta Brochures

Under license from BMW, Isetta of Great Britain began producing Isettas (the sliding-window variety) at Brighton in 1957 with selected British parts. The Isetta was initially not popular in Great Britain until a three-wheeled version was introduced. The three-wheeled version was taxed at a much lower rate than the four-wheeled version. Isetta of Great Britain continued to produce four-wheeled Isettas, but only for export to Canada, New Zealand, and Australia

I've never seen any reference to Isetta's without a clutch pedal until I came across this Smiths Selectroshift brochure. I'd be interested to know if anybody drives one of these British Selectroshift Isetta's.