'It's called a what?'

Sheree Silverwood/Times Record Reporter
The Lenochs' Isetta.

Steve and Geri Lenoch of Coralville, Iowa hear that a lot when it comes to their 1958 BMW Isetta 300. You're not alone if you've never heard of one. Most people haven't. An Isetta 300 is a tiny car made by BMW from 1955 - 1962. Several European car companies produced an Isetta, but the BMW was by far the most popular. It features a one-cylinder, 13-horsepower engine with a four-speed transmission. Top speed for the Isetta is 52 mph, and it gets a whopping 65 mile per gallon!

Steve said that the little red and white car was in terrible shape when he bought it in 1987. It has been sitting  in a field in Ohio for many years. The restoration took four years, mainly due to the fact that parts for Isettas are in short supply. He did manage to find everything he needed, and didn't have to fabricate any of the parts. All of the mechanical work on the car was done by Steve himself, and he sent the car out to have the bodywork and interior done.

Steve and Geri drive the Isetta around Coralville, but they do trailer it to shows. Steve said the reason for that is that the car is so tiny that they just can't carry enough luggage and supplies in it, so they trailer it to shows and then drive it around whatever town the show is in. Steve said the most commented on feature of the Isetta is the door. The entire front of the car swings open and the steering wheel moves out of the way for the driver and passenger to get into the car.