Saturday, March 20, 2010

I WANT ONE!!...not a hot rod but still very cool....

Ok...At the risk of being chastised for repeating myself, and with all the email response, I am forced to repeat George Rogers Isetta photos from "A true "Canadian Graffiti" story(2 posts down) with a little run-down on the little beauty and with my old friend Meyer Toole's research, had come up with most of the missing names from the photos.....you will see below....but FIRST....

....The Isetta was one of the most successful micro cars produced in the post WW II years, a time when cheap, short-distance transportation was most needed. Although the design originated in Italy, it was built in a number of different countries including Spain, Belgium, France, Brazil, Germany, and the United Kingdom(England). Because of its egg shape and bubble-like windows, it became known as a bubble car - a name later given to other similar vehicles.
The car's origins were with the Italian firm of ISO SpA. In the early 1950's ISO SpA was building refrigerators, motor scooters and small three-wheeled trucks. ISO's owner Renzo Rivolta(no relation to John Tre(Revolta) :-) :-) had decided he would like to build a small car for the masses, and by 1952 with the help of his engineers had designed a very compact car that used their scooter engine and named it Isetta - an Italian diminutive meaning little ISO. It is said that the sylists had arrived at the design of the Isetta by taking two scooters, placing them close together, adding a refrigerator and shaping the result like a teardrop in the wind.
The little Isetta was released to the public in late 1953. The 4-part brochure below has all the details and specs you will need to know.
BMW had began talking with Rivolta in mid - 1954 and bought not just a license but the complete Isetta body tooling as well. Rivolta didn't stop with licensing the Isetta to BMW....he negotiated similar deals with companies in France and Brazil. After constructing some 1000 units, production of the Italian built cars ceased in 1955, although ISO continued to build the Isetta in Spain until 1958.....It is thought that some 4,000 were built there.
There you have it!....A little ISETTA history.......NEXT - Names and repeat photos!


Ok!....thanks again Meyer and George....here are the names left to right. 1 - Jim Zaphe, 2 - ??, 3 - Ted Lake, 4 - Richard Smith, 5 - could this be George Melnik(or Melnyk)??, 6 - Eddie Corbett, 7 - Colin Fredrickson, 8 - George Rogers, 9 - Doug McKessock, 10 - Meyer says he knows but still digging it out of his memory.
NOTE: The grease gun in an Ontario 4 quart fruit basket beside the car on the curb..!
Wow - ten guys in an Isetta just outside Fort William Collegiate in 1960...I think we only got seven into my VW!
Love the simple way to park(above right). Now the Brochure!!....


I think it has the modern "Smart Car" beat to bits...., and of all the things a guy like myself wants to accomplish in his lifetime, "I want to own an Isetta, or at least drive one!" Do you have one I can try out?....LOL :-)
Click on all to enlarge!

4 comments:

George R. said...

Interesting material on the Isetta! The parking strategy illustrated in the brochure may hint at how Ted's Isetta became so wrinkled. Incidentally, the FWCI Isetta photos were taken in 1960.
Geo

Dave said...

I stand corrected....thanks George.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Jim Zaphe in Regina.
Number 10 is Jim Forbes

Dave said...

Wow, you REALLY are the #1 guy? Any answers about the #2 or positive spelling about the #5 guy. Also...do YOU have any hot rod or car stories...If so, email me at dcan@tbaytel.net . Thanks for filling me in about #10. Best Regards, Dave