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A BMW ranked as 3rd Worst Car of ALL TIME by "The Street"...

Discussion in 'BMW' started by eblue540, Jun 17, 2012.

    • Member

    eblue540 Fourth Gen Bimmers

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    I'm thinking that the clamor for the remaining examples of this car is not matched for the others in this dubious "Top 10 Worst" list.

    [IMG]

    Third Worst.
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    Pyewacket1

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    Well, it wasn't really much of a car... If compared to modern cars of today, or for that fact, American iron of the same time period.

    Then again, America wasn't in the midst of recovering from total devastation caused by round-the-clock bombing campaigns from 10 years earlier, or any of the other repercussions caused by the loss of WWII.

    Only when things are put in their proper context can one accurately determine the quality of the item.

    You have to wonder what a factory-fresh-looking restored model would sell for today at an auto auction...

    drummerfc guest

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    UGH. I have hated those things ever since Steve Urkel piloted one of 'em around trying to win Laura's heart in "Family Matters"!! :D

    50's-60's example of the Stupid (errr, Smart) Cars we see zipping around today.

    BLECH. (Of course, just IMHOFWIW!)
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    mrsbee

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    Sorry, whenever I see those things, I kind of think of the noise a big crunchy bug makes when it hits my motorcycle helmet.

    A second later, I think of how easy they must be to park in urban locations.

    Meh, I need the exercise anyways, I'm not above walking the extra couple of block to NOT be seen driving one of those.
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    MGarrison

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    Out of context, I suppose there can be an argument made for the Isetta as a world's worst car - however, there have been all kinds of oddball miniscule bubblecars a lot less practical than the Isetta - the Isetta at least was produced in some numbers, and served a genuine transportation purpose for those that used them in its day. In the context of BMW history, the miniscule Isetta is one of the reasons BMW survived the postwar years of the 50's at all. The Isetta & BMW 600 (a 4-seater Isetta) played their part in keeping BMW alive through the financially troubled years of the late 50's and a near-acquisition by Mercedes at the end of the decade. It might be a bit much to say that without the Isetta, we wouldn't have BMW here today, but the bigger cars BMW was selling in the 50's were not big sellers.

    See this to get an idea of BMW's production during this time, check the chart here: (scroll to the bottom of the page) http://classicandvintagebmw.tumblr.com/502 - Excluding the 3200, BMW's big-car production for the 10 years preceding the introduction of the Neue Classe was a grand total of 22,742 cars, or, on average, less than 2,275 cars, per year. I don't have the annual production numbers, but it wasn't even that much by the late 50's, as the various models had more sold in their earlier years of production.

    In contrast, BMW produced nearly 196 thousand Isettas & 600's from 1955-62, and 188 thousand 700's from 1959-65. BMW still had financial losses and was on the brink by 1959, but the Isetta, 600, & 700 helped bridge the gap until BMW began to achieve some financial success with the advent of the Neue Classe 1500.

    If the Edmonds editors wanted to go a little further into obscurity, I would have thought a speculative nod would have gone to the 3-wheeled British-built version of the Isetta - how could that version, with Lucas electrics supplanting the Bosch/Hella originals, in a vehicle that was easier to tip over due to a single rear wheel, not be worse?

    (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isetta)

    There were also the Messerschmidt, the Fiat Jolly, the hopelessly obscure Scootacar, I'm sure numerous others I've never heard of, and my nomination in lieu of the Isetta, the utterly ridiculous Peel Engineering Trident with it's nearly ventilation-less clear-plastic dome roof/windshield. I guess it must have rained a lot on the Isle of Man, as anyone in that thing for any length of time on a sunny day would eventually be compelled to stop, get out, and say "Stick a fork in me, I'm done" or let themselves die in it due to heat stroke.

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    MGarrison

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    So, Isetta, worst car? Eh, there's a lot worse - I could probably take a ride in an Isetta, I wouldn't even fit in a Peel Trident (never mind getting cooked while driving); the Isetta is unusual, but certainly unique, and has it's own kind of cuteness. But, to whatever degree the Isetta had a role in BMW's continuance so that we can all enjoy any of the relatively recent crop of bimmers, I'm certainly appreciative of it for that!

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    MGarrison

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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Thanks, Brother G, for saving me a lot of typing! I don't think there's much doubt that the Isetta saved the company when they bought the license---and the tooling---to build it in 1955. (How Rivolta-ing!)

    Remember, kids, BMW was in total ruins after WW-II; not only were they not allowed to build motorcycles or cars---let alone aircraft engines!---they simply didn't have the capacity. Their only real factory, in Eisenach, was grabbed by the Soviets.

    I used to ponder the idiocy of building, once they were allowed to build cars again, the 501 and 502: big, luxurious barges with a big, fat price tag. But I finally understood, after patient tutelage by people who know stuff, that BMW had been---and is today---a company that made money on margins, not volume. They actually designed a wonderful little car around 1949---I think it's the BMW 351?---that looks a bit like a Fiat Topolino. But the company simply didn't have enough capacity to make enough small, thin-margin high-volume cars to show a profit.

    The 700 truly saved the company (along with Herbert Quandt's investment to save it from the Mercedes takeover), but the Isetta kept it on life support from 1955 to 1959.
    • Member

    eblue540 Fourth Gen Bimmers

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    Which means that this little "3rd worst car" fundamentally enabled the existance of the reason we are all here....

    drummerfc guest

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    Wow...talk about a rewrite of childrens' classics "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Little Engine that Could", eh?? :cool:

    Thanks for the info guys...I now have a new appreciation for the Isetta, knowing that without it we wouldn't all be able to assemble in this little asylum to discuss our smokin' hot rides!

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