Founded by Dr. Carl F.W. Borgward - a fitter and turner who, after surviving World War 1, would purchase a small manufacturing business and transform it into an automotive component manufacturer of both radiators and fenders. The company’s first true automobile
would be the 1924 200cc 2-stroke “Blitzkarren” delivery vehicles, which led to the more successful “Goliath” light commercials. In a stroke of automotive and economic genius, Borgward purchased shares in the ailing Hansa-Lloyd company for a fraction of their value, effectively taking control.
In 1930 he would purchase the company outright and merge it with Goliath. In 1931 came the three-wheeled Goliath Pionier, then in 1934 came the Hansa 1100 and 1700, these latter iterations proving to be good looking and well made, and being widely regarded as the cars that re-established the marque. During the war Borgward built military vehicles, but by wars end little of the production facilities were left. Not to be defeated, Borgward (who was now in his mid 50’s) would rebuild and, in 1949, would release the first “all new” German car, the Borgward Hansa 1500.
A succession of larger capacity models would follow - including a diesel
version, but it was the totally new Hansa 1500 released in 1954 for which the company is best remembered. Soon to be renamed the Isabella, over 200,000 would be manufactured, including arguably the highpoint of Borgward design, the Isabella Coupé.