Author Topic: Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel  (Read 4335 times)

AndyL

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Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel
« on: April 07, 2015, 07:04:54 PM »
It seems my Isetta chassis was originally a four wheeler and was adapted to three wheels. Here's a shot of the dirty undercarrige, where I've been scraping off decades old caked on muck and bullets. You can see where the original shock tower mounting has been flame cut.



I expect this was done that the factory (at least I hope so). I've read about this in the past, and it appears my car may possibly be one of a batch that was originally earmarked for Canada before the importer went bust, and the cars were recycled into three wheelers for the home market. Might also explain why the chassis plate number makes little sense!
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

marcus

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Re: Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 07:35:17 PM »
I too had heard that some ex Canada ones were de-wheeled, perhaps in the Brooklands Gold Portfolio book.
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AndyL

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Re: Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2015, 07:48:21 PM »
The brackets that reinforce the three wheel damper tube need a bit of TLC. You can see in the picture that the bottom edge were flame cut.

I expect these would have normally have been put on the cross-member before it was welded to the rest of the chassis, but as they were retrofitted they had to be split. However not a very tidy job, they not been welded fully around the tube and the brackets are twisted, so I will need to address that.
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

Big Al

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Re: Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 08:38:09 PM »
I would be tempted to go four wheeled. Means finding a few bits though.
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AndyL

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Re: Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 10:20:41 PM »
Quite a bit of work, plus the mods to shorten the wheelbase to avoid the misaligned driveshaft problems inherent in teh foru wheeler.

If i want to go round bends fast, I'll break out the mini.
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

plas man

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Re: Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2015, 03:47:23 PM »
if your in doubt about the chassis No you could always take the cabin off . you cant miss it - even Bonds have one - and its not only the one on the bulkhead plate !

AndyL

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Re: Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2015, 05:06:42 PM »
The chassis number was also stamped on the front tube beneath the door hoop. Sadly the stamping was fairly faint, and as that bit of the chassis was more exposed to the elements, it got a bit more rusty and the numbers are largely illegible.

AFAIK they weren't  found anywhere else unless you know different?
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

AndyL

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Re: Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2015, 06:00:52 PM »
So I found another number on the front chassis tube. This one matches with the chassis plate, number 310558, which apparently is bobbins for a late 1959 car.  :o



1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

Bob Purton

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Re: Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2015, 10:26:26 PM »
Yep, you will be in the MOT exempt club.

wilksie

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Re: Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2015, 01:01:27 AM »
Isetta UK chassis numbers? A tricky topic. The first recorded LHD 3-wheeler was manufactured in 1958 and bore the chassis number 312102. The 'Canadian Deal' was in 1958 (or perhaps 1957) and the chassis numbers were said to be 10194 to 11963. I think it was Mike Hurn who did much research into this.

I am at a loss as to where your chassis number 310558 fits in. Did Isetta UK allocate unused chassis numbers to those cars returned to the UK from Canada? Was yours originally a chassis number 10558, and then had a '3' stamped before it to make it look like an original UK 3-wheeler?

By the way, I haven't seen the 'forward slash 3' on a chassis plate before. Any ideas? Sorry, more questions than answers.
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AndyL

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Re: Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2015, 03:53:06 AM »
I don't have any more information on the chassis plate number. One of life's little mysteries I guess.
I recall Lee Turnham from the IOCGB insisting my car would not have had 3" plastic rear lights. This was despite me assuring him my car was largely original, and no holes drilled for separate reflectors. Another little oddity.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 05:07:51 AM by AndyL »
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

Big Al

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Re: Isetta four wheel chassis to three wheel
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2015, 08:24:04 AM »
Returning serviceman, dodging the higher taxation? With Schmitts these sometimes gain odd lighting as the laws of the country where the car was sold were different to ours.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs