1959 Borgward Isabella - today's exotic tempter

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine


German coupe now a rarity

1959 Borgward Isabella - today's exotic tempter
This was very much a luxury item in its day.

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Borgward is a name that you rarely see these days, but it was once regarded as a serious competitor for the likes of BMW and to this day its demise is the subject of controversy. Some feel it fell victim to a conspiracy.

Founder Carl Borgward proved to be very much a hands-on owner, driving a hugely ambitious expansion of the model range through the 1950s and early 1960s.

The Isabella is unquestionably the best-looking car made by Borgward and was part of that expansion program.

Seen as a competior for the Volkswagen-based Karmann Ghia, it was powered by a 1500cc inline four borrowed from the saloon range, matched to a full-synchro four-speed manual transmission.

It had independent suspension all round (swing axles at the rear) and was very much regarded as a luxury item in its day.

They were expensive in their day and have always been a rare sight on local roads. That said, we did a reader resto story on one very recently, in issue 402 of Unique Cars magazine.

Borgwards are well-supported by a national club.

This 1959 example appears to be complete and the owner is asking $37,000.

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