Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

60 mpg From A Stock BMW

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the diminutive BMW Isetta -- introduced over 50 years ago -- managed an incredible 50 to 60 miles per gallon. Following the devastation of WWII, there was a need for affordable and efficient transportation in Europe. Italian designers unleashed the incredibly successful Vespa motor scooter, along with an odd micro car called the ISO Isetta. After creating a sensation at the 1953 Turin auto show, German manufacturer BMW licensed and mass-produced the tiny machine in several different two and four seat configurations. BMW went on to produce over 160,000 of these strange little machines between 1955 and 1962. Sadly, it became a victim of booming worldwide economies -- with money in their pockets, buyers migrated to more expensive traditional vehicles.

The original BMW Isetta 250 was powered by a modified 250 cc BMW motorcycle engine capable of reaching a mere 85 km/h (52 mph). The little 2-seater was followed in 1956 by a 300 cc model, and a 600 cc 4-seater became part of the family in the late 1950s. A mere 34,000 4-seaters were produced, in part because of stiff competition from the VW Beetle.

Today, Isettas remain popular collectors items. And -- if fuel prices continue to climb -- a new generation of micro cars might soon reach the shores of North America.

Isetta photos, info, and links (Isetta Source)


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