In 1993 Werner and Marlies Schwark bought their first 1957 sliding window convertible out of a museum with 2200 miles. After back and forth negotiation with the 88 year old original owner, the Isetta convertible was flown in from Maine. Rebuilding the fuel system and the brakes as well tune the engine the Isetta was road worthy which we entered at the local Woodstock 4th of July Parade. Shortly after that we were searching for a bubble window convertible which turned out a tougher task than original thought. Two years later in 1995 we came across an ad in which a bubble window convertible was offered for sale. The owner stated that in order to receive the bubble convertible all the parts and cars needed to be purchased like all or nothing scenario. We were amazed how many cars and parts the guy collected since the mid 1970s. He bought these cars from surrounding states and in no time 30 plus BMW Isettas BMW 600 cars were collected. To that time Isettas as well as BMW 600 weren't worth much.
Searching overseas at BMW AG and other fine clubs revealed that not many of the BMW bubble window convertibles were manufactured therefore this model has to be rare regardless of the condition. Many cars were stored inside ploe barn and some of the rougher cars were overgrown by kudzu which could not be identified. Since half of the cars were totally covered we negotiate the price down for the package. Unveiling the other cars later was another adventure. The better cars we had a good knowledge about the condition therefore with that in mind we negotiate the price for what we could inspect therefore the second half of the Isettas were free as long as we haul them all!
One slider convertible and one slider coupe were loaded onto the trailer for the long journey back. Few weeks later a convoy with few large trucks and trailers with a bunch of friends took place in order to transport 30-plus cars back to Georgia. Some cars are really nice others are more likely parts cars. One body shell we left behind for kudzu to consume. The task storing all these cars was not easy therefore a close friend offered us his large backyard for a temporary location.
We sold some Isettas within the USA and others were shipped back to Germany. Sorting through the cars and parts felt like being a kid inside a candy store. Another friend who helped transporting and negotiating the deal bought two Isettas. All the better and rarer cars we kept for future restoration. That was the turning point what had been a hobby blossomed into a business.
In 1995 we bought our first commercial property inside an industrial park. A building was bought to hold most of the parts and cars. Isettas-R-Us, Inc. was formed the same year to offer quality parts and accessories as well a rebuilt service for most of the mechanical components like engine/transmission/chaincase and carburetor back to factory specifications.
Our first 1957 Isetta convertible received a full frame up award winning concours restoration winning one trophy after another. Followed shortly thereafter by our BMW 600 sunroof model. These cars were shown at some major micro car shows as well at the National BMW events all over the country. More and more Isetta enthusiast contacted us searching for hard to find part as well as sending their cars to us for a full frame up restoration that prompted us to put together a list of quality Isetta BMW 600/700 parts of mail order items. As request grew Werner enjoyed the challenge of trying to find the parts they needed and began having parts manufactured which involved the expensive process of creating molds and dies. Werner also had many parts remade by the original companies who produced these in the past.
Meeting with some German suppliers as well with the BMW Mobile Tradition Division of BMW sharing the knowledge and information helped us making the right decision planting the seeds for further expansion. Boxes of remanufactured quality parts arrived daily. Werner developed a complete inventory of Isetta BMW 600/700 parts reaching the goal of being able to offer a replacement part for every component of the car.
Over the years Isettas-R-Us, Inc. expanded into a new location to house the vast inventory of parts. Further expanding the business into a full service restoring BMW air cooled cars as well conducting research and development of new products.
Our sons Fabian and Steven are interested into the business but are more involved getting their college degree. Fabian had a project in school about the Isetta engine and he took our cut away engine/transmission model as well as drove the Isetta to school demonstrating he project which he passed with an A+. Steven had a similar project about the Isetta brakes and clutch system. He took a complete restored frame to school as well as another Isetta. The teachers were amazed how simple and well the Isetta was built. Steven had no problem and passed with honor. Marlies my lovely wife brigs a significant office management experience to the Isettas-R-Us Inc. company as well a creative hand designing custom embroidered motives for the enthusiast as well car covers for various models.
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