Author Topic: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear  (Read 30443 times)

Big Al

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2010, 08:32:39 am »
Unhelpfully reply - It looks and weighs the same as Clarkson head.

I remain amazed at the stupidity of this design of adding weight when moving the battery and a reorganisation of several other parts would have achieved the same result as plonking a lump of steel in the sill. You can tell the cars were made in a Railway works by dilberts. I could not own a machine of such pathetic development from what was, grudgingly I accept, a reasonable Microcar when it first appeared. Like BMC they managed to create an increasingly bad car, 1100 to Allegro - best of the bunch, early MG1300 which was a popsy. Isetta, the German 250cc version. Both produced some 2 or 3 years into a long production while real development and good engineers were available for the task with some priority over the accountants.
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Bob Purton

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2010, 04:00:33 am »



when moving the battery and a reorganisation of several other parts would have achieved the same result

Come on then Al, what other parts would you have moved over to the left hand side?  Moving the battery over a few inches would make very little difference. Its easy to make sweeping statements.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 04:02:21 am by Bob Purton »

marcus

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2010, 08:27:11 am »
Better still: a flip-over steering column, like in a Heinkel He 111 bomber which can be flown from either seat!
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Big Al

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2010, 09:57:36 am »
I like the flip over steering column. You could do that in a Trienkel but have to be thin to get in. Might try it in a modified Type 70 two seater.

Without having a car in front of me to measure up I will take your challenge. The better spec battery moves to the root of the wheel arch. That is as far over as you can get for the heaviest item. The spare wheel fits betwixt and between the wheel arch and parcel shelf over the battery which would be in the void of two circular items sunk into the floor an amount. That would mean a slightly narrower seat however the indent for the moved spare wheel would allow for staggered seating avoiding shoulder clash as in Morgan and MG. Seating therefore quits. The electrics can move as can the airbox to access on the side with a piped connection - indeed profiled that would increase torque. The fuel tank could use the void on that side although a variable weight might be considered a problem in itself unless a level indicator was present so the driver could make the calculation as to the level of fuel/cornering. Indeed it would be possible to move the chaincase over if you really get into it and use a longer axle. That would improve the functionality of the output flexidrive. Not sure of the weight required but that lot should do it but if not each car would come with a Terrier trained to lean out of the window.
Of course they could have made the car so it was balanced in the first place like just about everyone else did but then it would not have been an Isetta but a Treinkel. No wonder BMW threatened to take Heinkel to court, the swine made a better car using the same principles, the cheek of it.
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Bob Purton

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2010, 10:39:01 am »
When you work on them you will realise there is no room in the rear wheel arch, there is no electrics, thats if you are talking about siba style control boxes etc, it has a proper reverse despite what Clarkson says! The air box weighs nothing. As far as I can see the fuel tank is the only thing that could have been moved and as you say that would be a variable advantage, owners of the period would have kept a jam jars worth of fuel in it!  :D The only practical suggestion is the terrier leaning out of the window. For a British team hell bent on making a RHD 3 wheeled version without the option of moving the engine and gearbox the counter weight was the only practical way around it in my view. Your point about designing it with the engine on one side being flawed in the first place is a point but also on shacky ground because the original version was a four wheeler with a weighty little axle and worked perfectly well but then again so does the RHD version with the counter weight. One advantage often overlooked is that the British bods at least swapped the gear change sequence around to give a proper standard H sequence gear change. I'm still struggling to get used to my LHD back to front shift. You are so often right about these things Al but not this time. ;) I agree the Heinkel addressed some issues well but I cant live with all the vibration and the awefull gear change.

steven mandell

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2010, 10:47:32 am »
How much did the counter weight weigh and exactly where did it stay?
I think Al may have been referring to the root of the front wheel arch as a new location for the batterry.

Big Al

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2010, 12:04:29 pm »
If there is enough room for a counterweight behind the wing then there is for a battery. The rest follows logically. Even bits of tin and control boxes weigh something. Changing the rules because something is not very heavy is not really fair. The moment of any mass moved out from the axis line is of value on this exorcise. I bet it could be done but without a car or data I cannot prove it.
You hit the nail on the head, Isetta needed a RHD version. There was no investment money so the counterbalance was created and entered history once the fourwheeler was denied trike licencing. This is the reality and has to be lived with.
Of course I would take issue with the Trienkel gearchange, which is very good if set up correctly. Indeed I would put it against that of the Isetta, which is pretty complex in its own way. A well sorted Treinkel will out perform an Isetta in most departments, including acceleration, as it has a slick gearchange? Vibration, yes, no way round that but then it does not have a huge chassis under it. I was never happy in a RHD Isetta. The best Isetta I had to drive was the Ex Phil Bowler 250 German boy.
Of course one reason the Isetta had the engine in the side was to create a short enough car to park with the door over the pavement. The early ISO made a reasonable stab at this. BMW had the choice of producing a well engineered version of the layout, or a smart in line version which could have been an advance but chose the option of modifying what was there, save cash, and sell cheap. Who is to say they were wrong. But with the need for parking lights in Germany parking end on to the pavement was not a realistic possibility. The Isetta represents a distinct trade off in design against development costs. The problem with most Microcars sadly.
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Bob Purton

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2010, 01:47:25 pm »
I cant answer Stevens question about what the weight weighed but I can post the question on Isetta world and report back.

Al, in fairness to you I have only had a drive of two Heinkel/Trojans and both had rotten gear shifts so maybe I got a false impression. Uncle earnest had the advantage of designing it from scratch where as BMW as you suggested worked with an existing design and that spells compromise. I guess a thin skinny battery would have gone in where the weight is but that would have created its own crank hour limitations. All things are possible if you throw enough money at it but that wasnt part of the exercise, It had to be done economically, as you said this is the nature of most microcars. Still doesnt alter the fact the the RHD car works fine. Nothing personal but if you are much heavier than average its going to have some effect on any three wheeler. I remember Phils car with the Z bar trim, a nice car and I know he much regretted mugging it away, still we've all done it! At the end of the day the cars are what they are and the rest is history but we will al have our preferences, I would rather sacrifice acceleration for a chassis mounted car and much less vibration.I would like to have a drive of a well sorted Heineken some time though, I may be missing out!

marcus

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2010, 01:54:18 pm »
Uncle Earnest? Mein Gott, haben sie no idea, Purchtonn? Ernst was sein name!
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Big Al

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2010, 03:02:34 pm »
two Heinkel/Trojans and both had rotten gear shifts so maybe I got a false impression.

Most of them have as they have not been set up for a gear change without play in it and/or an engine that ticks over on demand. It is in the detail.
I can understand the chassis thing, a lot easier to live with. Of course a 4 wheeled RHD would be better but there is always something that is.
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Bob Purton

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2010, 03:32:55 pm »
I will have to get the Mrs to translate that, she is of good German stock you know! It explains everything!

Chris Thomas

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2010, 04:13:13 pm »
Good German Stock

Would that be Gulasch?

Chris T

zetasports

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2010, 02:14:37 pm »
I remember my messerschmitt from when I was 21 and used to a TR2 and it scared the stuffing out of me when I was driving,

it seems to me the 4 wheel types of vehicles are a bit more safe in my experience but who remembers MR Bean, how many crashes did he have?

marcus

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Re: Jeremy Clarkson drives a red Isetta on Top gear
« Reply #43 on: October 02, 2010, 03:27:27 pm »
Mr Bean's adversary drove a Reliant with a single front wheel and a relatively high centre of gravity, noe a good combination when cornering because the is no "outside" wheel to counter he lean. Double front wheelers are generally far more stable. The Messershmitt is a stable car, but the direct steering does need a lot of control from the driver. Also, most 3 wheelers are designed with the concept of Cabin Scooters rather than 4 wheel sports cars, so it is not really fair to compare them! The Morgan 3s (and all the simlar/copies), with their engine slung low between the front wheels gave superb handling, and outer-corner cars and motorcycles, but of course at the expense of being very cramped, with little luggage space.
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