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In-Box Review
Borgward Isabella
Borgward Isabella Limousine, metallic
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Collection: CARS&TRUCKS
Manufacturer: Borgward
Type: Isabella
Series: Vintage car
Brochure: Herpa Cars & Trucks 2011 / 03-04
Item No. 034654

Borgward Isabella
Borgward was a German automobile manufacturer founded by Carl F. W. Borgward (November 10, 1890-July 28, 1963). The company was based in Bremen. The Borgward group eventually produced four brands of cars: Borgward, Hansa, Goliath and Lloyd.[1]

The Borgward Isabella was a medium-sized, two-door saloon manufactured by the Bremen based auto-manufacturer Carl F. W. Borgward GmbH from 1954-1962. Initially, the car was badged — like its predecessor — as the Hansa 1500, but within the company it was known from the beginning by the code name, Isabella (not after Carl Borgward's wife whose name was Elisabeth), and cars produced after 1957 bore the ‘Isabella’ name, inscribed eye catchingly [sic] within the rhombus at the centre of the front grille.[2] The early cars enjoyed an enthusiastic reception in the market place. Unfortunately, early models were afflicted by teething troubles, reflecting a rushed development schedule, and the marketplace would later prove unforgiving.[3] The company went bankrupt.

Production of the Borgward Isabella began in 1954. The Isabella would become Borgward's most popular model and remained in production for the life of the company.[4] Vehicles were exported to several markets, including Australia and Malaya, where only 10 examples were sold.[5] In Argentina, the Isabella was manufactured from 1960 to 1963 by Dinborg, a local subsidiary of Borgward.[6]

On May 21, 2008, the Grandson of Carl F. W. Borgward, Christian Borgward, together with his partner Karlheinz L. Knöss founded the Borgward AG in Lucerne (Switzerland). The publication of the foundation was reported in the Commercial Register of Lucerne on June 25, 2008. In 2005 Christian Borgward (President of the Borgward AG) together with Karlheinz L. Knöss (CEO and Vice President of the Supervisory board) started the revival of Borgward. They started the development of the new Borgward Automobiles with the Norwegian Stylist Einar J. Hareide, creator of the legendary "Four-Eyes-Face" of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, set up the organisation and engineer team and developed a unique, independent car concept. Christian Borgward is owner of the Borgward brand rights. Borgward AG is responsible for the development, production, sales and marketing of Borgward cars, ships and aircraft.[7]

Herpa Borgward Isabella
Modelers of the Wirtschaftswunder ("Economic miracle") era now have an important German sedan. Your Borgward Isabella is factory assembled. It’s securely packed in a form-fitted tray held inside a clear plastic carton with end opening flaps. A red Herpa label decorates the packaging. My model sample is skillfully molded and assembled with any blemishes or flaws. Doors, the hood, and the grille have recessed lines. The door handles are raised. The underside is a single piece with simple molded detail. Soft tires (Whitewalled!) pressed over the chromed hubs support the model.

Detail and Trim
Isabella features chrome ringed headlights and tail lights of appropriately colored clear lenses. Herpa even uses yellow lenses for the 'torpedo' signal lights under the headlights.

Detail inside the passenger compartment includes a dashboard, steering wheel, and seats. With large clear windows you can see a lot of it. The windshield has fine wipers molded on.

The automobile is trimmed with gleaming chrome strips along the sides, around the windows, about the headlights, raised ornamental strips, bumpers and the hubcaps. It features a separately attached side view mirror, handsomely chromed.

Upon the grille is the rhombus Borgward emblem, molded and printed in fine detail on the front grille. Isabella is printed along the front quarter panels in legible script.

Painted in metallic lichtblau (light-blue) the model boasts a smooth finish. To me this lichtblau is a darker slate blue. Herpa offers an Isabella in a dark wine hue.

Off the Lot
Herpa makes seven Isabellas including coupés, station wagons, and a police car. With amazing detail, this stately HO scale Borgward Isabelle is a pleasing little model of a classic European sedan, c. 19548-1970s. A number of them will enhance any model railroad or diorama of the period. Recommended.

Please remember when contacting retailers and manufacturers, to tell them you saw this model here -- on RailRoadModeling.net.

[1] - [7], Borgward Isabella. Wikipedia. 7 July 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borgward_Isabella.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: High quality molding, assembly, detail, and finish.
Lows: Molded underside details.
Verdict: This HO Isabelle will enhance any model railroad or diorama of the era.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: 034654
  Suggested Retail: 9,00 €
  Related Link: Borgward Models
  PUBLISHED: Jul 21, 2011

Our Thanks to Herpa!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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