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My motoring mini marvel: Leominster engineer Robin James restores BMW Isetta to its former glory
A RARE motor vehicle has been restored to its former glory thanks to a Leominster engineer.
Robin James, aged 73, spent more than three years restoring the BMW Isetta.
And it was no mean feat, with parts for the German-manufactured vehicle hard to come by.
Robin, who runs Robin James Engineering Services, said: “It took several years to restore as it was quite difficult to find all of the parts.
“We found a specialist company in the south of England and they built some of it. The rest of it involved some restoration work in Germany.”
Mr James said Isettas – or “bubble cars” as they were known – date back to the mid 1950s. The initially popular vehicle was overtaken when the Mini came on the scene in 1959.
More economical, cheaper and able to carry four people instead of three, the Mini was very popular and initiated the decline of the Isetta.
Mr James said: “They were used and abused when they were owned, like any other vehicle. Each vehicle has a life and when that life is used up it goes down the chain of ownership.
“The further down the chain it goes, the worse the condition gets.
“It’s only a fraction of any vehicles that get put to one side and survive.”
Mr James restores vehicles from all over the world at his Clinton Road base – the earliest dating back to 1903 and the latest between 1985 and 1987.
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