BMW started producing the BMW Isetta 300 in the mid 1950’s. People did not drive the long distances as they do today and BMW recognized a need for a single cylinder vehicle for transportation. This vehicle was a vast departure from BMW’s normal vehicles but went on to become the world’s best selling single cylinder engine. The Isetta realized total sales of nearly 162,000 before production was halted in 1962.
1956 BMW Isetta 300 shape was designed to resemble an egg and was quickly termed a “bubble car”. The specifications were outstanding for this tiny car at a time when most vehicles were very large. The 1956 BMW Isetta 300 received 63 mpg and touted a four speed transmission. The Isetta could reach speeds of 53 mph and was equipped with a gas tank that only held 3.4 gallons of gas. The BMW Isetta 300 barely exceeded seven feet in length and four feet in height with a small wheel base of 58 inches.
The micro BMW Isetta 300 was equipped with only a sun roof and small winglike windows that were able to be used. The front of the vehicle opened up for passengers to get into the vehicle instead of standard doors. The BMW Isetta 300 originally sold for a little more than $1,000 and if one is able to be found today, a collector will pay upwards of $15,000 depending on the vehicle’s condition.
The 1956 BMW 507 is still considered one of the sleekest vehicles ever produced. BMW had originally planned to import the 507 to America but the extremely high price tag made Americans reconsider the purchase. Owners of one of these highly desirable cars are able to fetch a small fortune when selling one today.
Only 252 1956 BMW 507’s were ever produced. The car was initially designed to appeal to the sports car market. Max Hoffman persuaded BMW to produce a roadster model after the BMW 501 and 502. BMW was far ahead of the times in producing the vehicle which has since achieved a celebrity status and is highly sought by collectors.
BMW originally set a price tag of $5,000 dollars. Production issues with the 507 caused the price tag to swell to $9,000 dollars and eventually land at $10,500 dollars. This extremely high price point caused the vehicle to be out of reach of the target audience for the car. Several celebrities purchased the 507 including Elvis Presley and race car drivers Georg Meier and Hans Stuck.
The limited number of BMW 507’s ever produced has made the vehicle one of the most highly sought after classic cars of all time. Two hundred and fifty two 507’s were originally produced. Classic car enthusiasts put the number still in existence at an amazing 202. This car which originally sold for $10,500 is able to fetch a whooping $900,000 to $1,000,000 price tag when currently sold.
The year of 1956 was a tough one in the racing for Maserati. It was so disastrous that the company needed to make money in the area of commercial sales in order to avoid receivership for the entire company. This is the year the 3500 GT was born. Not only was this vehicle a success for the 1956 year, it has been the best-selling vehicle Maserati has ever made.
On the outside, this vehicle appeared no different than any other touring car being put out in the era. Under the hood was traditional Maserati: with a twin-cam engine with three carbs and 6-cylinders. The suspension was no different than other vehicles of the time, with coil-overs in the front and leaf springs in the rear. The braking system consisted of standard drums. The frame was constructed of a durable tubular metal.
The initial model was handsome, no doubt, but there were a few problems in the initial design. First, the gearbox, which was four-speed, was nothing but trouble. Over time, the four-speed gearbox was replaced with a five-speed ZF model. That took care of one problem. The other problem was the fuel injection system never worked for any period of time.
This Maserati was more readily accessible to consumers who were not super-rich. This set the 2500 GT apart from other foreign sports cars. In 1956, one of these beauties sold for $11,400 – which is equivalent to $70,000 today. Although these vehicles were rather pricey, they do not hold their value. The current owner of a ’56 3500 GT will be a person who loves it rather than someone who is trying to show how much money they have.