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You see the coolest stuff at vintage races

Thought some of you might get a kick out of this. This is a race-modified BMW Isetta. You wouldn’t think people would race a car that came stock with only 13 horsepower and three wheels, but then some people race lawn tractors. :wink:

Note the outriggers that have been added for cornering stability, and the digital race gauge cluster added to driver’s left.

Unfortunately it wasn’t racing that day - I suspect the lack of a roll cage, harness, and pretty much any other safety system meant it wasn’t eligible to compete in an SCCA race, but still very cool to see.

These were taken at the Brian Redman Vintage Races at Road America in Wisconsin last weekend.


In WI, they race motorized bar stools!


Training wheels!

The Isetta was pretty well stripped to begin with, yet the owner seems to have removed the interior trim.

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On that model, it’s called “paint.”


That seat is far, far, far more luxurious that then stock Isetta I drove in the very early '70s (a buddies). As is the carpet. And everything else. Compared to stock Isettas, that thing is a Rolls Royce.

Nice bumper. I guess that’s the lone safety feature… :smile:

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I would guess that this car is the Race Support Vehicle for car #95. This is normally accomplished by golf carts or ATV’s but this IS a vintage race so why not an Isetta?

Fits in the trailer as well as a golf car and waaaaay cooler!

In motion:


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That too is a major upgrade from the stock Isettas.

While I never drove or rode in one, there were a couple of them in my town in the late '50s-early '60s, and I used to peer into them whenever I walked past. The original seats were extremely spartan–unlike the seat in this one–and I don’t think that they originally had carpeting.

Safer and more convenient that a motorcycle for a trip to the grocery store. I can see why people would like them. The older Isetta’s can bring some serious cash apparently in the classic car market. Here’s a 1957 listed for $55,000 .

What are those dials, etc. on the black panel/structure at the left of the driver’s elbow?

They are not a part of a stock Isetta.
Nor is the beautifully padded seat. Or the little “training wheels” in the back. The stock Isetta has two 10" wheels 6" apart in the rear end.

Or sometimes only one wheel in the back. The ones sold in the UK were switched to 3 wheels to qualify for lower registration fees.

The left-side gauges are just supplementing the car’s stock instrumentation, which consists of a speedometer, and an odometer. Anyone wanting to know any more about what their car was doing had to add gauges. :wink:

Can’t tell actually but they have on board monitors for racing that give all kinds of information: Lap time-RPM-what gear you are in and more stuff than a person might need. Are they functional , who knows.