BMW 600

The BMW Isetta 300 was introduced at an ideal time for the German automaker; not only did it contribute to the burgeoning minicar craze of the late 1950s, but the Iso-derived “rolling egg” also helped sustain BMW’s financial strength, thereby avoiding a possible takeover by Mercedes-Benz. After several years of successful sales on both sides of the Atlantic, BMW sought to bridge the wide gap between the diminutive Isetta and its larger luxury models.

Though quite similar in basic design, the resulting 600 model was considerably larger than the Isetta, with seating for up to four occupants. Its air-cooled 582 cc, horizontally-opposed two-cylinder engine was derived from that of BMW’s own R50 motorcycle and allowed top speeds of over 60 mph, making the “Isetta Limousine” (as it was often and incorrectly referred to) much better suited for highway driving than the smaller Isetta 300. While initial sales were encouraged by economy-minded consumers in postwar Europe and the fuel shortages of the era, the 600 was eventually outsold by the more conventional-appearing Volkswagen Type 1 “Beetle” after some 35,000 units had been produced.

23 bhp, 582 cc horizontally-opposed, overhead-valve, air-cooled two-cylinder engine, Zenith carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, front leading arms with coil springs, rear semi-trailing arms with coil springs, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 66.9"

Source: RM Auctions

Be part of something big

BMW 600