Although it has Italian roots, the funky Isetta is inexorably linked to BMW. The German company produced the vast majority of the diminutive bubble cars with single cylinder 250- and 300-cc engines that produced a whopping 12 and 13 horsepower, respectively. They are certainly not the “Ultimate Driving Machine” sport sedans on which BMW later built its reputation, yet the Isetta developed a loyal following because it so well fulfilled its role as an economical city car.
For collectors, the Isetta offers an iconic, quirky classic that,while not cheap, does offer a different sort of value. After all, how many other cars can fit three to a parking spot without a lift?
If you’re a fan of the strange Italian/Bavarian microcar but need a bit more gusto than 13 horses can provide, here are three examples of Isettas that toss originality aside. Engine swaps here mean far more power, not that the bar was terribly high.