Over the past several years, we've had a chance to meet and deal with a number of folks that provide services that can help get your Isetta back on the road. The following is a list of competent vendors that have the expertise to help you out.
If you have a vendor that you'd like to recommend, please let us know via our Feedback link so we can pass it along.
Revised July 2009
CLASSIC AUTO WORKS:
Mike Shambarger has been at it a long time. He's done everything from classic cars to street rods to pro street machines to Isettas. He never expected to have not one, but two, Isettas get layed on him at the same time ... ours and Robert Mace's. CAW did everything ranging from minor patch panel work on our car to major patch panel work and scratch fabrication all the way around on Robert's car on top of a whole new floor board. The finished products were a knockout! Mike and his guys shoot Glasurit paints and epoxy sealers. He also uses 3M RockerSchutz undercoating and sound deadener upon request. Check out their site at www.ClassicAutoWorks.biz
Yep, that's Robert's green Isetta body at the top right corner of the home page. More pix in the "Album" section.
Perry's Motorcycles and Sidecars:
Perry Bushong runs an interesting motorcycle dealership here. Sure, you can buy a new bike but you can also take advantage of their vintage restoration services. This is where we had our Isetta motor rebuilt. It went from sitting silent in a cardboard box to looking and sounding like this. (Note: This is an 8 MB audio/video download. A subwoofer and plenty of volume makes it extra special!) Perry has completely restored an Isetta, worked on many others and knows the R/25/26/27 series motors like the back of his hand. Perry's rates are very reasonable to boot. Give Perry a call at (817) 429-9922. The physical address is 816 South Sylvania, Fort Worth, Texas, 76111. Be sure to check out the museum while you're there, too.
Need that Isetta carb tweaked? You can go straight to the source on this one. Bing can completely rebuild your 1/22/98 carb right down to bead blasting it and spiffing it up with a new appearance kit or just sell you the parts and manuals if you want to do it yourself. Their Web site is bingcarburetor.com. They do great work and are a pleasure to deal with.
Isetta John can not only supply you with parts of all kinds, he also offers rebuilding services for your engine, transmission, chain drive and shocks. He's been at this a long time, folks. John has a Web site as of now or can be reached by phone at (201) 939-2208, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by Pony Express at 419 Union Avenue, Rutherford, New Jersey, 07070 *note as of July 2009, John is no longer supplying "trim items" or "new" parts, only rebuilding services and used parts
Speed & Sport Chrome Plating:
This Houston-based company provides triple show chrome services for folks all over the United States. They can provide restoration work on dinged parts as well. They don't have a Web site but you can call them at (713) 921-0235 with any questions concerning cost and turn around time. Be sure to take a thorough inventory of your parts, including snapshots, before you ship them off. You'll save them some time and effort if you include a copy of that inventory and your pix with your parts shipment.
Jet Hot Coatings:
The Jet Hot folks started out coating high temperature components for the US Space Program and run a first class organization. Their Jet Hot 1300 Sterling coating looks like a cross between polished aluminum and chrome. It holds up under high temperature use and looks outstanding. Check 'em out here or give them a call at (800) 432-3379. You can submit a request for quote for your exhaust header, valve covers, oil pan, blower housing and whatever else you can dream up. The quotes they gave us were right on when time came to have the work done. Fast turn around and great customer service!
Metal Rehab Technologies:
These guys are located in Fort Worth, Texas. It may not be convenient for everyone but they do work for people from all over the United States. They operate an environmentally friendly dipping process that removes paint, Bondo, tarred acoustic insulation, etc if you're going that route on your Isetta or other automotive project. This is NOT acid dipping, ya'll. As a matter of fact, you can check out the entire process on their Web site. Call them at (800) 856-1824 for more info. Stan Clason is their Operations Manager and can answer any of your questions. When they strip a car down, they don't fool around!
White Post Restorations:
This well respected Virginia company has been widely used for their brake cylinder rebuilding services. Cruise over to their Web site at whitepost.com You can also call them at (540) 837-1140 or FAX 'em at (540) 837-2368. Be sure to ask for Billy or "W.R.".
BMW Mobile Tradition:
Although not the most intuitive software in the world, BMW Mobile Tradition offers a CD with exploded diagrams and part numbers for 15-20 vintage cars and bikes including the Isetta. The last we heard, it was going for around $40.00. Their online store is bmwworld.com. Here, you'll find the model numbers of the cars, including the Isetta, that are contained on the CD along with the part number. These CD's are offered through BMW dealers only. Too much work you say? Just give your local dealer a call and ask for part number 72 00 0 035 315.
Need a birth certificate for your Isetta? BMW Online can fix you right up. Click on the link, search on "mobile tradition" and check out the Original Production Certificate. For $90.00 you get a cool sheepskin with pertinent info on your car from BMW's archives. Full instructions are included on the site.
Ninety bucks!?! You've got to be kidding. I can buy a new wheel cylinder for that much. OK, here's an option that won't cost you anything but a minute or two at your keyboard. Just email Andreas Harz at BMW Archives in Munich. The email address is
Include your car's serial number in the message and ask for any production info that exists in the Archive's database. No, you won't get a suitable-for-framing sheepskin sportin' a trendy hologram in return. What you should expect is the exact date of manufacture, date of arrival on US soil and the importer, probably FADEX in New York City. Oh yeah, and the original factory color.
Palo Alto Speedometer:
If you need to get that speedo refurbed, calibrated or have a new face screened on, these are your guys. Truly terrific work! Their Web site is right here. You can also call them at (650) 323-0243. Ask to speak to Hartmut Mees about your VDO speedo. Also, if you ship it off, be sure and pay a few extra bux for insurance, both ways.
Got a vintage, legal license plate that you want to stick on your Isetta but it looks sorta hammered? Mojo's site will walk you through your options, show you examples of their work, quote prices, turn around time, etc. Check it out.
Ed Korn's Cycle Works:
Ed Korn is well know for his crank rebuilding services. He also has Isetta tools and videos to boot. Ed's Cycleworks site is right here. (note: Ed sold Cycleworks to DAN who runs it as good as Ed or BETTER now!)
Insurance For Your Isetta:
While many traditional auto insurers, such as State Farm, offer antique/classic auto insurance, you might stand to save a chunk of change by checking out the following vendors who specialize in antique cars and street rods. All insurers listed have Web sites that allow you to create on-line quotes.
One item worth mentioning here is that most insurers are going to ask you to submit pix of your car and will need other pertinent info from you before they will issue a policy. Be sure to call these folks and find out what they will require up front so you can have your ducks in a row.
If you live in the Central Texas area, here are some folks that you need to know:
If you live around these parts or are just looking for one incredible excuse for a road trip, Commercial Services provides top-notch media blasting and powder coating services. Owner Larry Norton and his better half, Sherry, can fix you right up. Their physical address is 2008 Avenue N, Austin, Texas, 78727. Phone is (512) 251-7711. Or just visit their Web site right here. Tell 'em the Isetta guys sent you.
Custom Sheet Metal:
Ron Schwierking runs an amazing shop here. If you can dream it up, Ron and his guys can make it. They're located at 8821 North Lamar Blvd at the intersection of Payton Gin Road. Ron made up a very nice muffler heat shield from 1/8" aluminum stock for our car. Their phone number is (512) 836-3259. If Amanda answers, and she probably will, be sure and ask her how "Pretty" the Balling Python is doing.
Cecils' Auto Trim:
At 30+ years in business, Cecil's has seen it all. Shop foreman, Randall West, can sew up an Isetta interior you'll be proud of. He knows the quirks. Contact Randall at (512) 452-5067 or go by their facility at 4926 North Lamar Blvd at the intersection of West 51st Street. He has fabric and carpet samples for you to look at and can steer you in the right direction on picking out a fabric and pattern that will look good on day one and stay that way.
Another old Austin business. Need keys? Just take them the key codes stamped into the face of your ignition switch and door lock handle shaft and the following blank key codes. The ignition key code is Taylor Lock Company number M73N , the door key code is 62VB. By the way, any competent locksmith can make keys for you if you supply them with these four numbers. Have two or three sets made while you're at it. They're cheap. You can order an engine cover key from either Hans Rothkegel or Werner Schwark for around $10.00. New engine cover lock/key combos run about $25.00.
ProSource Auto Glass International: Owner Richard Tankel contacted Isetta Tech to inform us that LoCan International, the company his family owned and operated for almost 50 years, has been sold to a large conglomerate. It was Lo-Can that tooled up the first Isetta replacement windshields many years ago. Richard has set out on his own with ProSource. His intention is to continue providing hard-to-find glass for vintage European and micro cars. We have suggested that he look into producing Isetta rear windows as well as the side glass and help solve the nagging problem of trying to find good, used glass. To contact Richard via email, click here or call him toll-free at 877-345-2800. Be sure and tell him Isetta Tech sent you!
Lo-Can International: Need a new windshield? Lo-Can's got 'em. Their number is (800) 345-9595 or check 'em on the Web at locanglass.com and ask for their part number FW-38-CLN. Should run you just under $300.00 plus crating, shipping and insurance. Be absolutely sure that you pay for insurance on your windshield when you order it! It might be worth mentioning that our first windshield came in cracked. One phone call to Lo-Can and they swung into action, shipped another windshield out the same day and arranged for UPS to pick the farkled unit up. Three days later, we received two phone calls to make sure everything had been taken care of, which it had been. In this day and time, that's impressive. Another company with a first-class customer service approach.
Coker Tire: The Number One outfit for all vintage automobile tires. They even have new tires for your family armored personnel carrier! Check out their Web site at Coker.com or call at (800) 251-6336 for questions or orders. The tires they offer for the Isetta are the BF Goodrich Silvertown blackwall and whitewalls, size 4.80 x 10. We got our Michelin MX 145R10 radial blackwalls there but Coker has been out of stock for sometime and, at last report, didn't expect to see any more of them. Might not hurt to periodically check if you're wanting to go the radial route. If you're running split rims, they have those bent stem tubes for you too. Just ask for part number TR-87 and you're set. These are truly great people to deal with and they know their stuff! The guy that took our tire order even knew what an Isetta was!
Westco Batteries: These folks carry all sorts of batteries for motorcycles, ATV, jet skis and ... microcars. They also offer a nifty battery charger, the Accumate, that's worth looking in to. Their Web site is right here.
Yuasa Batteries: Want a second opinion on batteries? Yuasa has been at it a long time and offers their own line of products as well as manufacture OEM batteries for several bike manufacturers. Click here to check out their site. For what it's worth, we run a Harley-Davidson battery (65989-97A, about $75.00) in our car. Reliable sources report that Yuasa is the manufacturer for H-D and other bike manaufacturers' batteries as well.
Bench Mark Works: Vintage BMW bike shop in Sturis, Mississippi owned and operated by Craig "Vech" Vechorik. Vech is a technical writer for the US BMW Motorcycle club and specializes in pre-1970 BMW bikes. He's owned several Isettas, used one as his daily driver for 6 or 7 years and knows 'em cold. He stays pretty well booked with motorcycles and is not necessarily a resource for Isetta restoration but he stocks an incredible amount of parts for the R25/26/27 engines. He can rebuild your fuel petcock for you as well. Vech's online parts store can be found on his Web site at benchmarkworks.com. Call Vech or Elaine at (662) 465-6444.
Palo Alto Speedometer: If you need to get that speedo refurbed, recalibrated or have a new face screened on, these are your guys. Truly terrific work! Their Web site is paspeedo.com. You can also call them at (650) 323-0243. Ask to speak to Hartmut Mees about your VDO or Smith's speedo. Be sure and pay a few extra bux for insurance both ways when you ship it off.
Andover Restraints: Want to put a set of good seat belts in your car? You need to check out Andover's selection of belts. Their Web site is andoauto.com. You'll not only find their belt product lines but mounting options and guidelines for the best belt for your car. For the Isetta, we'd recommend the 72" units just in case both the driver and passenger just got up from a big dinner. You can also call 'em at (410) 381-6700 9-6 EST Monday through Friday.
Bavarian Autosport: Mostly add-ons for later model BMW's. If you're looking to really lock down that Isetta brake system and go hi-tech, grab 3 of their stainless steel brake hoses, part number SSBH-18MF at $25.00 a throw. They're 18" long and have the correct 10mm male/female fittings. Their Web site is bavarianautosport.com. To order your lines, call 'em at (800) 535-2002, extension 5 for sales. These fit a bunch of other Beemers as well.
California Import Parts, Ltd: This outfit is a major VW parts supplier. Our steering damper came from here. It's the damper for an early VW bus and fits like a champ. Ask for their part number VWC-211-425-021-A. Should set you back around $16.00. Their Web site is cip1.com or phone 'em at (800) 313-3811.
Griot's Garage: We wish we'd never seen this catalog. If you want to really set up a neat garage for your Isetta and/or any other car, click on over to griotsgarage.com and check out the potpourri of goodies they have to offer. You'll find things here you didn't even know had been invented yet. This is one of those "I've always wondered where you got those things" kinda places. Their land line is (800) 345-5789.
Quicksilver Trailers: Looking for a trailer? Check out Quicksilver's Web site. Looks like another place you can go nuts.
California Car Covers: Here are the folks that can fix you up with a custom made Isetta car cover. They offer many different styles so pricing varies depending on how you want yours sewed up. As of December 2003, the Isetta is not listed in their site's search engine but the pattern number is #14330. Read more about it at CCC's Web site or call 'em at (800) 423-5525 for pricing.
Fuller Metrics: Here's a Canadian firm that has just about everything metric. Cruise their online catalog for some of those hard-to-find items. Click here to check out their offerings.
McMaster-Carr Supply Company: McMaster-Carr has to be the king of tools and hard-to-find item vendors. Their Web site lists so many products it's unlikely you'll have the time to take it all in. Interesting reading to say the least.
If you live in the Central Texas vicinity, check out these fine folks:
Breed & Company: Unquestionably Austin's finest hardware store. Visit these folks for your metric nuts, bolts and washers. They have just about everything you'll need to replace or upgrade your existing fastening hardware. They are the undisputed king of metric here in Austin. Try to go in with a specific mission in mind. If you don't, no telling what you might end up bringing home.
Their physical address is 718 West 29th Street,Austin, Texas, 78705. Phone number is (512) 474-6679. They also have a store in Westlake Hills but, as of last visit, the 29th Street store is the ticket for the best fastener selection.
Isetta Tech. Live from Austin, Texas. Copyright 2002-2005.