2016 Shannons Melbourne Spring Classic Auction

1959 Borgward Isabella TS 2-Door Sedan




Engine In-line four-cylinder, 1493cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Body Work Sedan
Colour White
Interior Red & White
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Steel disc
Brakes Drums


This lot is no longer available

Borgward’s new Isabella range was released in 1954 as a replacement for the Hansa, employing monocoque construction and sold in a number of different guises, including a two-door saloon, coupe, cabriolet and station wagon. With elegant Trans-Atlantic styling and plenty of chrome, the Isabella was a handsome alternative to the Opel and Ford, neatly bridging the gap to more expensive offerings from Mercedes-Benz. Under the bonnet, Borgward’s compact four-cylinder engine was mated to a four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox via a hydraulic clutch, using a column-change lever typical for cars of the period. The standard engine’s output was 60 horsepower but a more powerful 75 horsepower unit (known as the TS and using two Solex twin-choke carburettors) was used in the cabriolet and later found its way into the saloon. With independent suspension using a swing axle at the rear, the Isabella handled well and proved a willing performer, with excellent road manners. The Isabella’s bespoke cabin was nicely appointed, with plenty of space for four adults to travel in comfort, the padded dashboard and large steering wheel both typically Germanic features. The Isabella remained in production until 1962, but Borgward was sadly in receivership and no replacement was forthcoming. In total some 202,862 Isabellas of all types were made over an eight-year period, making it commercially successful and it was one of few German cars exported to Australia in the 1950s, although few survivors remain on the road today. With a strong following around the world and plenty of support from clubs both in Australia and overseas, Borgward Isabella ownership is certainly a rewarding experience and the car is certainly a highly individualistic alternative to other makes of the era.