Isetta: Cutest Cars Ever?

The birth of a legend

1956 BMW Isetta 300 with Z Molding

There are so many cute things in this world: cute kitties, cute toys, cute gadgets, cute babies, of course! Cute is a beautiful word; it makes you smile every time you pronounce it. I wish that even politicians were cute as well, but in most of the case they aren’t. However, cars are cure and I will hereby present you one of those cute cars.  Actually, to be even more specific, it is about the cutest car ever made! The Isetta!

The Italian company that produced this car was an expert in… refrigerators, among other things. The company’s name was Iso Rivolta and it first gave Isetta to the world. Isetta means “little Iso” and Isetta was indeed a very small car that had its share of fame back in the 1950’s. Iso Isetta was produced for only a few years by the mother-company and (only!) 1000 units were built in total. Other countries and brands followed the trend, though. Isettas were produced in Spain (again by Iso Rivolta), in France (by VELAM), in Brazil, where around 3.000 Romi-Isettas were manufactured; and, finally, Isettas got to be produced in Germany as well by BMW.

BMW Isetta

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1957 Bmw Isetta 300

It was BMW that made Isetta cars a legend; the cutest legend there is, to be even more precise! The story goes like this: by the end of the fifties BMW was on the brink of bankruptcy and the company had to find a solution. It was then when the brand decided to acquire the copy rights of Isetta and went on building its own version of Isetta. BMW kept the same design with its Italian counterpart, but re-engineered most of the car. BMW Isetta became so successful that literary saved the brand from collapse. Overall, 161,728 units were manufactured. Amazing story, don’t you think!?

Isetta cars had an egg-like shape and their windows looked like bubbles. This is why Isetta cars were named “bubble”. Upon its introduction, the car immediately gained popularity. BMW produced Isettas for seven consecutive years, but it stopped its production in 1962. Why? Well, I guess not everyone was willing, in a rapidly changing world, to keep on driving with maximum 53 miles per hour! Today, you can still gaze at one of these little old school cars if you pay a visit to BMW’s museum in Munich and even more than that! Among the brand’s popular old and new cars, one can also see a BMW Isetta, not to mention drive it too! Yes, you can drive an Isetta inside the museum!

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Isetta from 1955, BMW Museum, Munich.

After the original BMW Isetta, other models followed. The BMW Isetta 250, the BMW Isetta 300, the BMW 600 and the BMW Isetta Great Britain all carried on with the bubble’s legend. By today’s standards, the car sounds like a…joke, but back then I assure you that it wasn’t. Not to mention that there is one person alive today that would have disagreed with you anyway. Why? Simply because he is still driving his BMW Isetta and he’s very proud about it!

A proud owner of BMW Isetta

Jack Charney lives in South California. He is one of the most beloved inhabitants of the area: every time someone sees him driving his car he can’t fail to say hi or smile, since it surely is unusual to see such a car on California’s highways. Jack bought his BMW Isetta in 1957 only to sell it sometime after. The car’s engine had a problem and Jack couldn’t repair it; no one was repairing Isettas in California at that time!

Jack regretted selling his car to a friend when he heard that she sold it, as she got frustrated once when the car stopped working in the middle of the road. Long story short, when Jack decided that he couldn’t have lived without an Isetta, he tried his luck on finding a used car. Guess what? He ended up buying his old car, only this time it was painted pink!

Since then, Jack realized that as much as he lives, Isetta will be parked right outside his house, where anyone’s dream car deserves to be! Congratulations, Jack! You’ve got the cutest car on earth! Enjoy it!

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Racing in Patagonia: 1000 Millas Sport, 2013

There are plenty of classic car events organized annually around the U.S. and Europe, but there is a classic car event that stands out from the ordinary and it is hosted in South America. Have you ever imagined racing with a classic car across Patagonia? It sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Well, for the last 25 years the 1000 Millas Sport Argentina has been drawing the world’s attention to what it stands as South America’s single most prestigious classic car rally. This year the event took place between the 14th and the 16th of November and there was a good reason for celebration, as this year marked the 25th anniversary of this event.

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For its 25th anniversary 1000 Millas Sport Argentina welcomed more than 130 classic cars that raced across one of the world’s most inspiring landscapes.  The Italian race event Milla Miglia is actually the inspiration for Argentina’s take on celebrating the everlasting beauty of classic cars. The event is hosted by the Club de Automoviles Sport of Argentina which is included in the schedule of the World Federation of Historic Vehicle Clubs. In other words, 1000 Millas Sport Argentina is an internationally recognized event that applies the same quality standards as most of the festivals held in the U.S., the UK and elsewhere in the world.

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The race will also host some international stars such as the five times winner of Dakar Rally Cyril Despres or Juan Tonconogy, who won the Milla Miglia race this year. Overall, participants from fourteen countries will compete while driving classic cars that were produced between 1918 and 1983. These cars will be split in seven categories in relation to their characteristics and age.

BMW couldn’t have missed this high-status international event. The German automotive brand participated with three of its vast number of classic cars. Each one of these three BMW cars has left its own mark in the brand’s long history of car manufacturing. The three cars are: the BMW 328 Kamm, the BMW 2000 CS and the BMW 3.0 CS. Probably some of you are dreaming of buying these cars one day. However, how about settling with some used BMW cars from AA Cars that will come in much cheaper for any pocket!? I guess that this is up to every pocket!

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Milla Miglia-wise, it is certainly worth mentioning a few words about the route. Drivers participating in this rally have the unique chance to race for 1.600km across the lakes, valleys and tall mountains of the Patagonia area. Driving parallel to the Andes, South America’s longest continental mountain range, must be a precious experience. The race also crosses Chile, in what must be a lifetime experience, given the uniqueness and the splendor of the morphology of the landscape in Patagonia.

As far as it concerns me, one thing is for sure. If I had had plenty of money to spend, I would have invested some of them into buying a classic car. The era of my preference would have been the period between the 1940’s and the 1960’s. In that way, I would have felt like one of those important guys in Hollywood movies that spend their time driving around their luxurious cars in the streets of Chicago, New York and the like. You can never get bored of these cars…

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Some of the cars that represented this time period at the rally were the Jaguar XK 120, Chevrolet Corvette, the Austin Healey 100/6, the Porsche 356, the BMW 328 Kamm of course, the Merceds benz 190 SL, the Maserati 3500 GT and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SV, among many others…

To summarize: superb cars, magnificent route and an international interest turns 1000 Millas Sport Argentina into a very appealing event. Till next year!

2015 Ford Mustang Will Make its World Debut on December 5

Ford Mustang Finally Lands in Europe

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The sixth generation of Ford Mustang will be revelead on December the 5th in six different cities around the world. Ford Mustang will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014. Read More.

Seven Best Cars as Voted in the Golden Steering Wheel Awards

Seven Best Cars as Voted in the Golden Steering Wheel Awards

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If you love cars and especially the best cars available, then you must have heard already about the Golden Steering Wheel Awards. Learn about the seven best cars of the year as voted by millios of readers and experts of the field. For more, check my storify.

Used Cars Are More Popular Than Ever

Used Cars Are More Popular Than Ever

The second hand car market is growing rapidly in many countries around the world. This new trend is surely related with the longstanding economical crisis as more customers seem to care more about their budget and tend to prefer used cars rather than new ones. Read more.

CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report, 2013

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CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report is an important publication that indicates and evaluates the environmental strategies of the world’s 500 biggest companies.
If you think that the fight against climate change should unite us all,

read more on this story..

The World’s Most Valuable Brands of 2013

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Interbrand, Best Global Brands of 2013

I’m pretty sure that if Steve Jobs had still been alive, the day that Interbrand released its rankings would have been a day of celebration for him. To cut a long story short, Coca Cola lost the first place on the list after 13 years, as now it is Apple that looks the world from above. Who would have thought only a few decades ago that a small technology company would have managed to overthrow what it is the most recognizable brand in the world for half a century now? I guess it would have been an almost impossible guess; however, technology nowadays is just as important as the drinks we drink (probably), since five companies managed to make it to the top ten of Interbrand’s rankings (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Intel).

Generally speaking, I don’t think that Apple’s success must be perceived as an unexpected surprise. As a matter of fact, one only has to think of how familiar we are with the company’s products in order to understand that it didn’t make it to the top… without our support! Apple’s value is estimated at $98.3 billion, while Google, which came second on Interbrand’s rankings, is worth $93.3 billion. Coca Cola fell on the third place after a long reign as the world’s most valuable brand. IBM was fourth with its value at $78 billion and finally Microsoft ended up fifth in the highly competitive race.

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Apple’s Logo

As it concerns the automotive industry, there was strong competition between Toyota, Mercedes and BMW. Toyota will enjoy for this year the 10th place on the list, with Mercedes and BMW following at the 11th and 12th places respectively. As it concerns Germany’s most recognizable car manufacturer (that is, of course, BMW), the news are definitely encouraging. 2012 was the brand’s most successful year ever and everything indicates to the fact that there are still more good news to come for BMW in the future. BMW increased its sales by 40% on the Chinese market; given the facts indicating to the huge potentiality for growth on the Chinese market (as China’s expanding middle class is growing more and more demanding), BMW is expected to do even better in the near future. In addition, China is also expected to be BMW’s biggest market for the sale of electric cars, along with the U.S., that is.

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BMW

Interbrand has been releasing its rankings since 2000. There are several factors and criteria that determine the rating of the brands that appear on Interbrand’s list. First of all, the brand in question must have a presence on at least three continents, while at the same time at least 30% of its revenues must come from outside the brand’s home region. What is more, Interbrand also takes into consideration the financial performance of the brand’s products and the brand’s influence on the customers’ desires and preferences.

One thing is for sure, if you merely look at the Interbrand’s rankings: Americans must be particularly happy, as the first five companies are all based in the U.S. No surprises here, though; the United States of America are still far ahead in innovation and technology compared to the rest of the world. As for Facebook, yet another American brand, it gained 43% during the last year, which makes it the top riser among all other brands on the list. It is currently positioned on the 52nd place. However, given these speedy rhythms of growth, next year it might climb much higher.

Google

Google

To sum this up, maybe it is not a coincidence that as I was writing this post I opened a bottle of coke. Then, I started researching on Google while using Microsoft’s technology embedded on my notebook. As for Apple, well, my iPod must be somewhere around here, as I am writing down these lines; not to mention that I cannot stop thinking of the moment my environmental-friendly BMW vehicle, that takes me anywhere I dream to go! So, here you have it: indeed, these brands are shaping out our lives! Enjoy!