The success of the Volkswagen Beetle in America led to the proliferation of imports from across the globe. Most were very practical vehicles that would be more attractive to your typical Rambler customer than someone drawn to the contemporary style and size that was prevalent in the American market at the time.
But foreign manufacturers also offered their more stylish models to John Q. Public. This Borgward Isabella TS coupe was one of the nicest of the era, which is why it’s the ClassicCars.com Pick of the Day. It’s listed for sale by a dealer in the Netherlands with facilities in Linden, New Jersey. (Click the link to view the listing)
While the name Borgward seems to challenge the tongue of English speakers, the German company actually sold a decent number of automobiles in America in that brief period when it seemed everyone was trying to conquer the American automobile market. In fact, R.L. Polk & Co. shows 4,619 Borgwards were newly registered in the U.S. in 1960. That’s even more than the number of Porsches registered in the States that year! Of course, this example is an original Euro-spec example.
The monocoque Isabella was introduced in the summer of 1954 and was popular as a two-door sedan, combi (wagon), and pickup. Special versions were introduced within the next several years, including the TS cabriolet, and the TS 2+2 coupe and cabriolet. Regular models were powered by a 1493cc four-cylinder engines with 60 horsepower, with TS models featuring an upgraded version with 75 horses. Over 200,000 Isabellas had been built through 1962 by the time the manufacturer went bankrupt.
Isabella coupes have been on the American auction scene for quite some time, so they’re not as esoteric as one may believe. This restored Iceland Blue example reportedly has been maintained by a former Borgward engineer for the past 14 years. Seller says this example “is now both optically and technically in good condition,” though the two-tone interior “has some traces of use here and there, which are completely in line with a classic from the 1960s.” Asking price is $46,950, with shipping to New Jersey costing an additional $1800. Best of all, you can pay in U.S. funds to a local bank so there will not be any exchange rate issues.