This is probably a unique vehicle. It is an early Borgward Isobella with the more intersting rear lights. Now a desirable classic car of some quality. But hold fast as things are not as simple as that. oh no. This van has been in the hands of the Hot Custard crowd. So when I got it. it was powered by a Ford Pinto 2 lt engine on a 5 speed stick shift gearbox rather than the 1. 5 lt 60 bhp Borgward unit on the original four speed gearbox. It has been lowered and has Mercedes wheels for a wider 'meaner' stance. Much has been done well but the Pinto engine was far to powerful for the drum brakes. despite an intensifier added to the front wheels. and in fifth it was difficult to maintain the motorway speed limit! It is also too low for ease of driving. Therefore I replaced the Pinto engine with a 1600cc Ford (Fiesta) deisel unit as this offered great economy and the same power as the original engine had. In this form it performed much better and was rediculously cheap to run on free tax and nudging 60 MPG as you can get away with driving it sedately being an old car. Fifth being effectively an overdrive gear. It happily towed my matching and early Eriba Puck to shows and on holiday. Now you do not even need an MOT either. However the Pinto days left its mark and the car suffered brake failure. A front ali brake shoe failed as a product of poor fitment and extra pressure from the intensifier during an emergancy stop. I have rebuilt the brakes but as they were. with the intensifier in the system. I believe restoring new backplates correctly. ie so they are flat and not bent to buggary by clots using levers to take the drum off. will now be quite adiquate. There are more backplates in the spares and they will prevent the problem re-occouring. So at that point the car left the road in 2003 as I never got on with doing this task. Partly this was because over the period of ownership I collected all the parts missing that it would need to turn the vehicle back into original specification. So with the car come some valuable assets like. a set of original wheels with hubcaps. spare front and rear axle assemblies so as to rebuild them in the workshop and swap the entire subassemblies keeping the car as mobile as possible. a set of standard springs to replace the shortened ones. rear light lenses and a complete 70 bhp TS engine and gearbox assembly. though the engine requires rebuilding. A satisfying task as far as I am concerned and I was/am half tempted to put it in my special. So the chap has two ways to go. It can continue being a modified and cheap car to run or it can revert to its original form. possibly repainted with some suitable sign writing as a Bosch delivery van or something. Such a machine would command a high price judging by what I see at auctions. Also I am pretty sure there is no other RHD one. So whats the condition? Well time has taken its toll. There is an area of floor needing replacing under the front seat. it has a black folding rear seat added by the way. There are some areas blistering so there is a need to get into them. One headlight mounting looks poor. Round the rear door hinge the restorer made a poor job and I had to botch this till rebuild time. Not difficult but the paint has to come off to do it right. The bumpers have surface rust now. So really it can be patched up and look well or treated as a full restoration of the body. Mechanically not much to buy. its quality stuff and fettling in the workshop. Go original and its a bit more work. The deal. Well quite simple really. I am starting the auction at what the car owes me. If that is to much. I will keep it and it is worth moving it to the new storage shed. I will probably never get round to it. as I have a load of other projects to do. but that's another matter. I think. to make it easy. that I will not include the Borgward engine and gearbox in the auction. as either folk might not want it. or they might already have one to put in. The buyer will have the option of buying the Borgward engine and gearbox for an additional £100. That does not mean I am selling it for a £100. as it is worth more than that to me. Clearly the car will need to be collected. Since my van has blown up I cannot easily get it to Dover as I have no suitable tow vehicle. I have no issue with it being exported. though. However it goes nowhere till I have full cleared funds. The car may be viewed in Faringdon. Oxfordshire. the spares cannot as they are stored securly elsewhere and I am not getting them out unless its worth the effort!
Also published at eBay.co.uk
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Comments and questions to the seller:
from rob zorab, dated 17 september 2019 Is the Isabella still available after so many years?
from Alexander, dated 28 november 2018 Hello, I am Intresting at the Borgward Combi.
from Graham, dated 13 december 2015 Hi Alan do you still have the Isabella van ?
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