This BMW Isetta Is the World’s Meanest Minicar

R2D2 figurehead and apocalyptic patina? Check and check. With a clean title!

byBen Keeshin|
This BMW Isetta Is the World’s Meanest Minicar

You want to drive a special car? Only one on the block? How about only one in the world, and it has half of an R2D2 replica pasted on the roof? Here, via Craigslist, is your ride: a 1957 BMW Isetta minicar with a Volkswagen transaxle and “Radio-Active” stenciled on the door. A note: If any charges of insanity have been made against you in the past few months, or you work at a nuclear powerplant, you might take a pass on this one.  

Coming from the America’s center of creativity, costumery and the grotesque, Los Angeles, this Isetta looks like an automotive extra from last year’s Mad Max: Fury Road. The decapitated Star Wars robot looks like a victim of war—a futuristic scalp fashioned atop an antique BMW—and the “Radio-Active” tag underscores the menace of the message. This is one German minicar not to be messed with. Stand clear, Smartcar nerds; yield, Fiat fools. What is an Isetta if not cute? Deranged.

Gargantuan rear tires lend the fairly busted Isetta an aggressive stance, but with less than 10 horsepower, this is one of the few cars that radiates a greater sense of speed at rest than under power. The interior looks pretty barren, and the seller makes no mention of the car’s condition. (Read: It probably doesn’t run.) Still, $3,800 seems like a fair price for a rare piece of automotive history, intergalactic merch included, and the engine bay is ripe for an engine swap. Or, let the kids use it as a playhouse and guarantee that they’ll grow up with a weird streak as wide as the Mississippi.