My First Car: Little bubble car proved lot of fun

Richard Read with the 1958 Isetta bubble car he bought for £60.

Richard Read with the 1958 Isetta bubble car he bought for £60. - Credit: supplied

Richard Read tells of some happy memories and scary moments in his Isetta bubble car.

In 1966 I bought my 1958 Isetta bubble car from a friend for £60 – it was my pride and joy and I washed it every Saturday morning.

It was blue and had a bench seat but fitted my girlfriend and father and also my husky dog which laid on the parcel shelf. We went miles in it .

Once, when driving my girlfriend home from Great Yarmouth to her house in Norwich, along Riverside Road the fog was so thick you couldnt see and so my girlfriend – Carol who has now been my wife for 49 years – walked in front of the car only to end up in a pub doorway on the other side of the road. It was scary.

Coming home one evening from visiting an aunt in Buxton Llamas, near Wroxham, a stag jumped right over the top of the car giving us such a fright.


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As we were only 18 and 19 at the time we decided to go to Southend for a week – I still don't know how her father gave his permission – but, after only one night in a bed and breakfast, money was short so we slept in a layby in the bubble car (well we tried). In the morning there was a knock on the door at about 6am and a man and woman, who had pulled up in thier caravette, asked if we would like a cup of tea. My girlfriend said 'No, thank you' – I couldn't believe her.

We then drove to the seafront where we had a wash in the toilets and headed home. At least it was an experience!

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We had the Isetta until 1968 when I sold it to put down a deposit on a caravan for us to live in as we were getting married.

During the time I had the car I decided to take off the air filter as it made the car go quicker but that didn't last long as muck got into the engine and it cost me all the money I had to put right.

I always think of the fun we had in our little car and wish we still had it. Happy memories.

Tell us about your first car and the adventures and scrapes you had. I doesn't matter how long ago it was, just email your motoring memories with a picture of the car to motoring@archant.co.uk or post it to Andy Russell, motoring editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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