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1957-62 Borgward Isabella Coupe: Doomed beauty

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The gorgeous 1957-62 Borgward Isabella Coupe was doomed from the start. Manufactured by a German company that's all but unknown to Americans, it was amongst the prettiest cars produced anywhere during the 1950s. Unfortunately, Borgward developed financial problems that brought the coupe an early demise.

Powered by a 75 horsepower four cylinder engine, the Isabella coupe was no rocket, but more like a larger Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia. A civilized touring coupe with copious style, offering economy along with beauty, the two-seater Isabella Coupe was rarely seen in the U.S.

Designed, as were all his cars, by Carl Borgward himself, the Isabella Coupe was virtually handmade. Its liberal use of lead body filler can make restoration challenging. Only 9,537 Borgward Isabella coupes were built, so you rarely see one today, especially here in the U.S.

Borgward developed financial difficulties in the early 1960s, went bankrupt, and closed down. Some more pedestrian models were built in other countries for a few years after, but the beautiful Isabella Coupe ceased production in 1962. Today, these coupes are little known, affordable classics.

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