BMW Isetta: The Iconic Bubble Car is The World’s First Microcar

BMW  (unsuccessfully) tried to sell the Isetta also in the United States

bmw isetta mini car

BMW produced the Isetta in various versions, from standard to deluxe, with two engines (a 250 cc initially and, since 1956, a 300 cc), and in 45 different colors.

bmw isetta 1960

bmw isetta 1958

yellow white bmw isetta minicar

blue white bmw isetta minicar

bmw isetta mini car

green mini car

mini car 1955

As well as industrialist Rivolta cannily selling the production license for his inexpensive Isetta bubble car around the world, including Velam in France, De Carlo in Argentina and Romi-Isetta in Brazil, ISO sold its largest manufacturing rights agreement for the model to the cash-starved and ailing BMW in Munich.

VELAM: The French Isetta with a couple of sporting twists

French Isetta velam

Isetta velam mini car

white French Isetta velam mini car

French Isetta velam sport version

De Carlo Minicar, Argentina

De Carlo Argentina Minicar

De Carlo Argentina

Green De Carlo

Romi-Isetta Brazil

romi isetta brazil 1956

romi isetta brazil

romi isetta brazil green yellow minicar

Surprisingly, the BMW Isetta was an immediate success; over 160,000 units were made from 1955 to 1962, including a longer a more powerful 4-seat version (the BMW 600) until the competition with the much larger Volkswagen Beetle and BMW 700 put an end to its commercial success.


red mini car

red minicar inside

mini car

blue minicar