From digest.v6.n892 Fri Jul 18 03:43:20 1997
From: BMW_at_comet.net (Phil Marx)
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 14:07:14 -0500
Subject: re: Isetta Value
Mike Biles asked:
>I've got a friend of mine who's trying to sell me his '57 Isetta 300.
>It's in good shape (for a car that hasn't been driven in at least 15years)
> The body has no rust (a little surface rust but nothing through the
>metal), the only problems with the body are a dent on the drivers side
>(looks like someone kicked it) and the canvas sunroof needs to be replaced.
> The engine turns over but doesn't run, and the tires have plenty of
>tread but are very old and cracked (most are flat).
> The car has been stored in the back of a garage for at least 15
>years and I don't know if there was any gas left in the tank or carb.
> My friend is asking $2500. Is that a good price? What kind of mess
>would I be getting myself into? How hard is it to get parts (especially
>engine parts)? And finally what is the value on a restored Isetta?
>Hope that wasn't too many questions.
Isetta values have been all over the place recently. You don't give any
info about what model this is, but read on. About two years ago there was
an auction in GA of the collection of the inventor of the stain resistant
carpet. Apparently he owned about 50 well known Duesenbergs so the crowd
was primed and well heeled. The first three cars in the sale were Isetta,
the first a nice S/W coupe as I recall the next another lesser quality
coupe and the last a chopped coupe masquerading as a cabrio. To the best
of my memory the first car went for about $7k, the nicest of the bunch, the
next for $10k as the audience got warmed up, and the chopped mess brought
around $12k. This was viewed in the Isetta community as insane and yet
typical of bidders with no knowledge and lots of cash. Recently, March
'97, the microcar collection of American Bruce Weiner was hauled off to
England to be sold by Christie's Auction house. This collection of over 40
obscure microcars was incredible in that all cars were painstakingly
restored to a level normally reserved for Pebble Beach. That still doesn't
explain the results. There were 2 BMWs in the sale. A '59 600 valued by
Christie's at $3400-5000 brought $10,183 (USD) not including VAT. The '57
Isetta S/W coupe valued at $6800-10,000 fetched $33,327! (A '60 FMR 500
Tiger Cabriolet (messerschmitt) brought the highest bid at over $48,000.)
Conventional wisdom in the Isetta community is that a long-dormant car not
missing many parts, needing complete restoration but restorable is probably
An original daily driver needing only cosmetics and upgrading can bring
Restored cars with major rebuild, paint, trim in excellent condition but
not perfect are $6000-10,000.
Frame-off professional restorations are bringing $12,000-14,000.
If you do take the plunge you will need the Micro & Minicar Club
Good luck, don't do anything stupid. Parts are usually available but are
not cheap. Major engine overhauls are common and really not cheap. When
in perfect shape the Isetta is a hoot to drive and be seen in, but may not
meet your expectations. If it's a bubble-window model and you are the
least bit claustrophobic or live in a hot climate, punt. Also, your body
shop will probably want just as much to paint this car as any full size
[ Help ]
- -Phil Marx BMWCCA #6021 M&M Club #570