BMW R10 Scooter

In the previous posts, I’ve featured scooters from marques who you may not have expected to make scooters – as diverse as Harley Davidson (here), Ducati* (here) and even Maserati (here). My online pal Darrin sent me another for the oddball files – Ladies and Gentlemen, I present The BMW R10.

Dating from the early 50’s – so predating the Lambretta LI Series 1 by a good few years – the rumour is that the R10 nearly made it into production – only being pulled at the last minute in favour of the BMW Isetta bubble car.

An early plasticine and wood model, with some metal parts was created to show the R10’s potential to compete against the dominant Italian scooter brands of Lambretta and Vespa – remember – it was the 1950’s that were the true heyday of the motor scooter – and everybody wanted a piece of the action.

The streamlined, fully enclosed bodywork without removable sidepanels, and the large integrated front mudguard are a typically Germanic approach – one adopted by Glas Goggo, Heinkel, Zundapp and Maicoletta…although I don’t think many of those German scooters looked as elegant as this Beemer. The one weird design decision they made (in my opinion at least) was to incorporate the horn right at the front of the mudguard… totally throwing off the sensuous, smooth Italianate curves.

So, if BMW had gone all in on this scooter would we all be riding around on Beemers instead of Lambrettas a Vespas? Maybe. Or maybe, it would have been a modest domestic success in Germany, like the other aforementioned brands – never quite attaining the indefinable cosmopolitan appeal of it’s Italian rivals. Who knows!

A big thank you to reader Darrin Slack for the images and post suggestion. Darrin has supplied me with plenty more fascinating content – stay tuned Lambrettisti, and enjoy the ride!

*I could have sworn I’d done a post on the Ducati Cruiser 175 – but a search of my archives tells me it aint so. Consider in on (my ever expanding) to do list.

Cute Classics

Found some of the cutest classics money can buy on a well known auction site starting with e. And they’re not going for silly money. More than I can afford, but not silly money.


First up is this glorious little Glas GoggomobilGlasGoggomobilTS250

A German car with a definite Italian look about it, this rare TS250 Coupe is being sold as a non-running project. The good news is the car is pretty much complete and original. Having spent most of it’s 59 years in South Africa it’s almost rust-free too. A cracking little motor for £8.5k.
Here’s the eBay link


Next, and just a pretty is another tiny classic, this Autobianchi Berlina

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Dating from 1966, it’s got Italian good look in a small package – a stylish alternative to the more commonly seen Fiat 500, with which it shares many mechanicals.
Here’s the eBay link


Talking of 500’s – there’s always a few on eBay… but this Giardiniera offers a little more space than the standard saloon.
Here’s the eBay link for the Fiat

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Finally, for now, is this 1962 BMW Isetta… the classic ‘bubble car’. It’s not cheap, at a shade under £14k, but I’ve seen them a lot more expensive than this…  it purports to be in excellent nick, dry stored for a number of years. Before then, it had a full engine rebuild.
Here’s the eBay link for the Isetta
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BMW eSetta concept

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I know, I know, it’s been a while. And back I come, not with a Lambretta post at all, but another microcar. What can I say, I love ’em. Messerschmitt’s and Isetta’s particualrly. And like the Smite that I have written about previously, the concept I’m posting about today has obvious DNA of one of those originals, but this time the Isetta.

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It’s the work of Tony Weichselbraun, a recent graduate of the University of Applied Arts in Viennna, the eSetta was part of his Diploma, I can’t put it any better than the man himself, so here’s what he says about it on his coroflot page:

“The eSetta is an urban electric vehicle indended as a car sharing platform. It is inductively charged at sharing hubs, thereby eliminating the unfound fear of limited range through empty batteries. Its design is inspired by the legendary BMW Isetta. The front door slides and rotates, allowing passengers to enter and exit the vehicle via sidewalk. By giving the car a highly recognizable and friendly appearance, I intended to reinforce the positive aspects of car sharing.”

Well, I certainly think he’s pulled off freindly… it’s got more than a hint of puppy dog about it… I’d almost expect a wagging tail!, and while I always prefered the 3 wheeled variant of the original Isetta, four works pretty good here, I can see that it uses the available cabin space better. Tiny wheels though! So, would I choose this (in the unlikely event of it ever going into production), or my pevious favoutrite, the Smite? A bit of an accademic question, as neither look like they’ll be on sale any time soon. But if they both were, lets just say it would be a close run thing.

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Tenuos Lambretta link? (apart from the “etta” suffix), this kind reminds me of the way the Fido electric scooter concept kinda looked like a model D, as I poster way back.