Monday, October 17, 2011

How Small? Isetta Did the Job

Having recently sampled the diminutive Scion iQ (coming soon to your Toyota dealer), I thought about how small a car could be. The smart car (they prefer the initial lowercase "s") is smaller than the iQ--but going back a bit, how about the Isetta? Made by BMW (originally by ISO Spa) in the lean years after WWII, the tiny bubble car is about a cute as it gets and served the needs of the times for extremely economical transportation.

The miniscule Isetta has only one door--and it opens in the front. The steering column comes with it! You can park it nose-in to the curb and step right out onto the sidewalk. Its 13-horsepower engine is adequate for moving it down the road at up to 53 mph.

I actually rode in one back in the late 1950's and it was fun--what I can remember of it.

More than 161,000 were made, and you can still see one today--especially if you visit a microcar event.

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