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The Big One: 1959 BMW 600

BMW 600 left side

Alright, so maybe this Isetta isn’t really that big, but compared to the standard sized model, this thing is huge! Listed here on eBay and parked in Wimberley, Texas with a starting price of $6,500 and no bids at the time of writing is this 1959 BMW 600 Isetta Limousine.

BMW 600

As you can see there is a back door with a back seat inside, which is what makes this Isetta a “limousine”. This micro car was last seen running in San Marcos, Texas in 1969 when the engine failed.

BMW 600 back door

There is rust showing in a few places, but the worst of it is on the front door. The owner has located a solid front door but doesn’t say if it is included with this purchase or not.

BMW 600 frame

There is a separate chassis and the owner was able to get the engine to start and run for a few seconds. Swapping the engine shouldn’t be too difficult. Just make sure to check the replacement engine out carefully, you don’t want to install it only to discover it is worn out.

BMW 600 intr

The headliner is gone, the drivers side panel is damaged, but according to the seller the vinyl is still fairly good. The have a VIN tag from the 2nd chassis that has a title in the owner’s name. Given the title situation, you might be better off moving the body from one chassis to the other. There are many other images with the ad to help you see all the pieces to this puzzle.

BMW 600 dash

The dash looks to be in good shape, but would benefit from some new paint. If you are looking for a micro car project that has room to haul 4, this might be the project for you!



  1. Avatar photo Moparmann Member

    At 6’4″, I just can’t envision myself fitting into this one, so I’ll pass!! :-)

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    • Avatar photo RayT

      I’m 6’2″, and I fit in one of these fairly well. Same for the smaller one!

      These were probably the strangest driving experiences I can remember. They’re not as bad as someone who has never been in one might think, though they would not be particularly comfortable on the freeway.

      The 600, despite the more powerful engine, didn’t strike me as being as quick as its smaller brother. That may have been an illusion. Of course it handles better, and we actually stuck a passenger in the back seat who claimed it wasn’t all that bad.

      Both of ’em felt like stretch limos when compared to the Messerschmitt KR 200!

      Oh, by the way: This deserves a full resto, complete with the proper engine and no modifications. There aren’t that many left.

      Like 0
  2. Avatar photo DENIS

    What size mower-deck fits this one????

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Joe Gotts


    Just take the front seat out and sit on the back seat.

    No worries about legroom then.


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    • Avatar photo Moparmann Member

      LOL!! Too funny!! My arms aren’t long enough for that!! :-)

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo mike young

    Had two back in ’69… One we threw off the cliff at “Land’s End” here in San Francisco. I was 19….seemed like a fun thing to do at the time. Very interesting construction. Combination: Starter,Generator, distributor. Which ran off the rear end of Crankshaft! Neat… But complicated. Separate brushes for starter and generator of course…. Nice smooth little twin. (I’ll pass on the single-Isetta)… I had a BMW R-25 motorcycle a couple years earlier. The twin is nice.

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  5. Avatar photo James

    Purchased a BMW 600 in the late ’70s. At 6′ 3″ the legroom and distance from the steering wheel was certainly acceptable. Don’t pooh-pooh the interior space. It’s all interior space if you think about it.

    There’s storage space behind the rear seat and the seat back folds down so one can (if adventurous) travel two up with more than a weekends luggage on board.

    The easy high performance mod would be to install a BMW 700 Sport engine. Fast bubble.

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo johnforsman

    My Dad had the smaller Isetta. When I was a boy he got ticketed on the 101/Ventura freeway in the San Fernando Valley. The Isetta didn’t have the legally required 15 hp. My family also had in that era an equally bad Hillman (Minx?) Station wagon, a Morris Minor was ok, but got wrecked. A Metropolitan followed a bullet nosed Study (I think I left toys in the huge rear side pockets when it was towed, a Renault Caravelle (it could not go 40mph on the San Diego/405 Freeway from the San Fernando Valley over to West Los Angeles). We then went upscale with a DS 19 Citroen, and finally in ’63 with an Avanti.

    Like 1

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