German engineer/designer Carl Borgward progressed from general engineering to the manufacture of three-wheeled trucks under the Blitzkarren and Goliath names in the mid-1920s. Hansa-Lloyd was taken over by the Borgward group in 1931, but it was not until 1939 that the Borgward name first appeared on a motor car.
The company resumed production after WW2 with the Lloyd LP300, a small saloon built initially with timber/fabric bodywork, and then in 1952 Borgward introduced the Hansa 1800. Germany’s first all-new design of the post-war era, the Hansa boasted a backbone chassis, independent suspension all round and an all-synchromesh gearbox. The best-selling Isabella arrived in 1954. Badged as the ‘Hansa 1500’ until 1957, the Isabella (its factory code name) boasting a modern, unitary construction body/chassis and eye catching American-influenced styling.
It was just what the German public had been waiting for and went on to become the most successful Borward ever. More powerful (75bhp) Cabriolet and Coupé versions joined the range and were excellent performers, with a 95mph maximum speed and exemplary road manners. Production ceased, in the wake of Borgward’s controversial bankruptcy, in 1962.
This nice original 1960 Borgward Isabella was delivered to Spain, later finding its way to Germany and the last private owner. Usefully the Isabella is fitted with power steering, and said to drive well. Finished in white and with an extensive history file, this is a charming and stylish coupe and a rare sight on today’s roads.