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 Our 'almost' car buy...

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Anzahl der Beiträge : 1975
Anmeldedatum : 2010-06-23
Ort : Florida, USA

PostSubject: Our 'almost' car buy...   Sun 07 Oct 2012, 9:02 am

A remembrance of better times...

Picture this. It's 1960. I'm in Germany with my parents; my dad is in the service and stationed there. My folks only had one car, a 1955 Buick . Like all parents with children, they needed a second car so my mom could go shopping, pick up her boys at school, etc. while my dad needed a car to get to work.

A German fella came by the house one afternoon with a car to sell that my dad had voiced an interest in. He agreed to let my dad keep it a couple days before buying, just to test it. About 2 hours later, we two sons got home from school, and wow, did we ever want a ride in this little crackerbox. My dad started it up and the engine caught fire. My dad called the seller and told him to come pick it up; he no longer wanted anything to do with it. My brother and I never got to ride in one. As I remember, the one my dad looked at was exactly like the red and white one pictured at the bottom.

Yes, may have looked like a 3-wheeler, but had four!

Manufacturer..... BMW
Also called........ BMW Isetta
Production........ 1956-62 ~ 161,360 produced
Predecessor...... BMW 250
Successor........        BMW 600
Layout............. RR layout
Engine............. 298 cc single-cylinder 4-stroke (53 mph (85 km/h) top speed))
Transmission..... 4-speed manual

Last edited by MOF on Sat 23 May 2015, 6:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Anzahl der Beiträge : 1975
Anmeldedatum : 2010-06-23
Ort : Florida, USA

PostSubject: Re: Our 'almost' car buy...   Sun 07 Oct 2012, 10:36 am

To follow up on this subject of the Isetta, my dad wound up buying a 1949 VW bug. Surely wasn't fancy, I'll tell you. I know; I learned to drive in it when I was 15. No gas gauge, no gear synchros (had to double-clutch when downshifting or you'd tear up the gearbox), no radio, no power anything, including from the engine. Did have a canvas sun roof!

You see that doohickey on the firewall, way forward of the gearshift, above the hump? That was a lever that could be turned either left or right to dump a small cup of gas out and into the tank when the car started to run out of gas. Gave you about 20 miles til you were totally out of gas. But that only worked provided you remembered to turn that lever to full upright when filling the gas tank again! Filling the tank re-filled the cup. At either end of the dashboard are two glove boxes; neither with doors or covers. Neat! Easy to put stuff in, but watch out under acceleration; stuff comes right back out if over-filled. Laughing Did I say acceleration? Believe the engine produced 37 hp. Turn signals were semaphores implanted in the 'B' pillar. The VW my dad bought didn't even have the clock you see in the picture. And the paint was very bad, so my dad and I spray painted it a semi-shiny gray.

Top two pics are a 49 restored Beetle. I don't have a clue as to the year of the car at the bottom. Wasn't a '49 model, but rather newer.

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Anzahl der Beiträge : 12
Anmeldedatum : 2011-09-05

PostSubject: Re: Our 'almost' car buy...   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 9:43 pm

Oooh, that's an old one, with the double rear mini-windows. Didn't even know that you had to doubleclutch on these things, but given it's age, it figures. Good stories, though. (We had an old VW-bus type for a while - not ours, it was the company's car.)
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