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A Borgward Isabella Under Splendid Lights

Illustration for article titled A Borgward Isabella Under Splendid Lights

The colors and shadows highlight a long-forgotten German carmaker which went under just as BMW began its devastating ascent.


Borgward was the sort of car company whose trajectory is eerily familiar to many American makes. Founded in the ‘20s and hit immediately with the Great Depression, it soldiered on through the war, then expired a few years later.

This car, the Isabella, was the company’s last great hit: 200,000 examples were produced from 1954 until the Bremen-based firm’s bankruptcy in 1961.


At the opposite end of Germany, a similar company was in similar trouble. Instead of going under, BMW created the 1500, better known as the Neue Klasse. And you know how their story progressed from then on.

Photo Credit: Andreas Levers

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Borgward made a pretty spiffy Isabella coupe in the late '50s too. They're prized collectors items now.