Electric conversion on 1963 Isetta

Begonnen von Jollyjester, 04 März 2022, 09:17:24

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Electric Isetta

Last evening, I came across a TV Prog name 'Vintage Voltage' on one of the lesser TV channels. The object was to convert a 1963 BMW Isetta to Electric Power.

The Owner had inherited the vehicle for his Father. 

"How much are you prepared to pay to do this?" asked the Presenter?
" Oh, £20.000 or £30.000 !!"

It was decided to 'lock' the gearbox in 3rd gear, and the electric motor would drive though that in both directions. The Gearbox end cover was removed, with the aid of screwdriver levers and a large hammer.

Various coupling between the gearbox and electric motor manufactured with CNC Machining. Yes, it did work with a range of circa 75 miles. But at what cost!!

I picked up the registration Number. JYN 284, but this morning that is 'unknown' on the UK Govt Register. Of course, remember it is TV.
Not real, I know,  I worked in front of cameras for 30+ years



I forgot to add the 'Best Bit.

The Presenter told us; 'Isetta's were originally fitted with a 4 CYLINDER ENGINE' !!!

Can i get one for the R25 ??


Are you talking about this series?
At least I found the preview for this episode

Sounds like an interesting project. Although I am actually against the "destruction" of such old vehicle cultural assets
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Zitat von: Jollyjester am 04 März 2022, 09:17:24
I picked up the registration Number. JYN 284, but this morning that is 'unknown' on the UK Govt Register. (...)
If it is the car from the video, maybe you try to swap the "J" and the "Y" in the query.  ;D

I´ve done such a conversion with another old car a few years ago.
Nothing was "destroyed", except some holes for cables. Everything is reversible.
And in fact, I use the car more often than with the ICE. Mainly for all the short distance trips, going downtown, to work, shopping, everything where you normally say it`s not worth to start the engine. (Unfortunately not in the moment, battery problem.)

Ok, the sound is gone. But stuck in traffic is much more relaxed.
It is a hobby, no alternative to overhauling a broken engine. For that the costs are actually too high.



YJN 284 is the one
Year 1961 .Type of fuel. electricity

Vehicle make   ISETTA
Date of first registration   April 1961
Year of manufacture   1961
Cylinder capacity   0 cc
CO₂ emissions   Not available


This is pure blue sky speculative waffle, but it occurs to me that a BMW single, perhaps an R25, would make for a good conversion to electric. Properly done, of course, & with nothing of the original bike brutalised irreparably.


'G. Mate'

' How are you today ?' and things in the 'Land Down Under' ?

I saw Shane Warne at the WACA Perth, I think January , '01 ? also a game viewed  with binoculars, from Telegraph Hill, Alice Springs

R25 electric, with the power they produce, 2 x 1.5 v AA batteries would do the trick!

How about a BSA DBD34, with out the noise !! Aaarrrggg. My Brother had a DB32, Bump Start, close ratio box, full race trim. on the road. all the Eddie Dow bits in the 1960's.

Raise a 'tinnie' to to the Great Man.


Greetings O Jesting One
I saw the news about Warnie early this morning & it's been full on all day. The nation is in shock. It's kicked young Vlad's efforts way off the front page. Plus we've had really bad flooding lately. A minor item compared to Warnie.
Actually I'm not really a cricket person but watching some of the footage they've played of him he got those those cricket balls to defy the laws of physics.

So you've spent time in the Colonies? Perth? The Alice? I've been to both but a long time ago.

Yes a DBD Goldie would need a few volts. The BSA I got my posting name from is a bit more humble, a now 600cc M20. I'm fitting a new engine currently, which has delayed work on the R26.

I think I will raise a tinny to Warnie tonight.

Stay upright.



In the 1950's ex. W.D M 20's ( war department ) could be purchased for about £29/19/0 ( £29. 95 ) from a huge London  Dealer. Pride & Clarke, is Stockwell Rd, Brixton , South London . Known as (Pride & Sharks) . They more or less owned the whole street, and there wold be literally several hundred 'Used' bikes on display in the road. They also did did 'used parts' from dismantled bikes. I went in one time with the R50s / Watsonian sidecar and filled it with BMW single parts. No body wanted  "*&%$£;" German bikes then .

BSA M20 story.

In the 1970's the St Albans MCC ran a checkpoint for the National Rally, ( still going annually ) The idea was entrants could start at any one of perhaps 60 locations all over England. traveling from one town to another, and at the end of 24 hours on the road, everyone finished at the same location, Stoke on Trent, Cheltenham etc having travelled exactly 600 miles.

There might be 5.6.7 hundred entrants Bikes and sidecars. Each checkpoint you visited gave '2 points' so the aim was , exactly 600 miles  and max checkpoints ( 2 points ), say 32 ,= 664. Usually June  July

It ran from 10.00 Sat-10.00 Sunday

The distance between each checkpoints was calculated, and closed in the early hours ( say 02.00 , so no one exceeded the 30 mph. overall speed limit.

About 01.30 Sunday morning 2 guys came in pushing an M20, rear tyre puncture just up the road as they approached our checkpoint.

We took out the wheel, new inner tube, off they went. That was it . good bye

Roll on a year.

Go to; 'About 01.30' Sunday morning'

Same thing happened  !!!

I entered the Rally with the BMW /Watsonian ( had a good navigator ) and some success. We won the 500 ccs class 3 years running, 70/71/72; and the whole thing outright in '71. Our error on time after 600 miles, 24 hour, 34 controls, and 'special test ; was 2,4 seconds.

After the we retired

The rally is still going on, but of course with the modern bike, sat nav', heated that and that, the distance is now only 400 miles and you can start and finish where ever you wish!


There's a 1961 R 50 S barnfind for sale on VBMWOA site. $14,500.



Only 6 models of the R50s were imports in to Britain by AFN Ltd. Mine was the last, March 1963 and 13 from the end of the Production run of 1364.

I sold it in early 2012, as we need a new Kitchen and all the bits.

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