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Art: 1957 BMW Isetta 300

By Steve Rosen · January 18th, 2011 · CityBeat Recommends

The Cincinnati Art Museum has been displaying automobiles near the front entrance for several years now — part of the attempt to spotlight functional design — and the latest one is probably the most unusual to date. It is a�European microcar, a 1957 BMW Isetta 300 on loan from Lance and Diane White, designed by an Italian firm, Iso, that specialized in refrigerators.

The steering wheel and instrument panel swing out to allow access to a bench seat, and�there is an emergency�exit through the canvas sun-roof. Because of its shape, it was also known as a�“bubble car.” Heaters were optional. These were popular in Europe while Detroit churned out fin-bedecked ships on wheels. Now, a generation of microcars is finally popular here. The classic one is on display now through April�17.

Go here for museum hours, ticket information and directions.



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