A note from the teacher (Brian)
While preparing our Isetta for the 2013 Hillsborough Concours D'Elegance we discovered a problem with our paint. It chipped too easily and, mostly under the car, would lift in spots from the primer coat. We knew we couldn't offer the car for sale with that potential problem, so the decision was made to pull the body, remove everything attached (chrome, convertible top & sunroof, rubber, all glass, door, etc.) take everything back down to bare metal and have it professionally repainted. A good friend and top notch mechanic, Scott Bergan, offered to take the motor and make sure everything was perfect. I was never happy with the top, my fault, too taunt and requiring two people to put it up. So a new top and sunroof was installed . All new rubber , motor mounts, and a few missed bolts replaced with ones bearing the proper markings: the car was put back together and 100 miles put on the clock. We decided to consign the car to Barrett Jackson's January 2014 Scottsdale sale. This was a little counter-intuitive, as BJ is best known for American muscle cars and enormous sales of over 1500 cars., but we felt that was the venue we wanted. By clicking on the image above you can see the BJ catalogue listing, and a few of the internet postings after the sale.
Jan. 2014, Getting 500269 ready for a new home
This was a delightful moment at this 2012 event. As the Isetta approached the podium to accept the Chairman’s Award, shyness and humility stalled the Isetta’s engine. Rob Fisher, the Chairman himself, ran around to push the little car to accept the award! There was a loud round of applause, the car started right up at the desired spot and the Chairman, not even winded, presented The Chairman’s Award. That’s Rob, taken a few minutes later, holding the massive Peoples Choice Award perpetual trophy. The trophy, with our name engraved, stays with the concours, and we took home a lovely crystal charger.
After another year of 'fine tuning' we returned to 2012 Hillsborough, again participating in the Parade D' Elegance, but the real surprise came when the Team Isetta car was awarded both The Chairman's Award (“presented to the exhibitor most deserving of recognition by the Concours Chairman and Vice-Chairman.”) and The People's Choice Award (“This award recognizes the automobile you would most like to drive right off the field this afternoon.”) I've always loved the Peoples Choice Award. Last year it was given to Mozart's 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Corsica (valued "in excess of $25 million"); one of the most beautiful automobiles in existence. A photo of that spectacular Bugatti hung on our shop wall for six years.
Click on the image to enter 2006-2007 Team Sprite site
Welcome friends, to the Living Wisdom School's Vintage Car Restoration and Preservation honors elective, the complete rebuilding and restoration of a rare 1957 BMW Isetta 300 Cabriolet. The Team Isetta car, number 500269, was manufactured in Germany on March 18th 1957, and arrived in New York City on April 1st of the same year. The Isetta was parked with a broken drive shaft coupling sometime between 1965 and 1968, and was never driven again, becoming a sort of mini-storage and long-term affordable housing to countless generations of rodents. The original owner had filled in the sunroof, and covered the factory blue paint with a fire engine red. We purchased the car in Wyoming from the second owner, and, in the back of a borrowed pickup, brought it to our school in the Sierra foothills of Northern California. Team Isetta was a four + year project, with a revolving class of two to three students between the ages of thirteen and seventeen. Classes met once a week, as well as after school and on weekends. Three of our start-up crew were members of the original Team Sprite, a remarkable eighteen month restoration of a 1958 Austin Healey bugeye Sprite.(If you're not familiar with that story, please take a moment and click on the Team Sprite photo on the lower right.)
The 56th Annual Hillsborough Concours D'Elegance August 2012 Team Isetta's 1957 300 Cabriolet winner of The Chairman's Award and The People's Choice Award.
After four years of meticulous work, our Isetta was started and driven for the first time at 6:00 pm on August 27th 2011, At 7:00 am the following morning it was on display at the prestigious 2011 Hillsborough Concours D' Elegance, where it was selected to participate in the Parade d' Elegance.
Have you ever seen more than three Isettas in one day? Click on the image above and watch a parade of over 175!
Our Favorite Isetta Videos
To view click on the image
Two very fun animated commercial for the Israeli phone company Pelophone.
Here is a fantastic clip from the 1957 TV show "The Price Is Right." Listen to the audience as the car is rolled out.
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