Category: `family-matters` On Screen Cars

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2011 BMW Isetta - Would Steve Urkel Approve?

Not long ago did an article about the new 2011 BMW Isetta Concept. You may remember our earlier article about Steve's infamous love affair with not only Laura Winslow, but his not-so attractive funny looking BMW Isetta. Never the less Steve had car love bigger than the Volkswagen Beatle. After seeing the new concept, I had to ask "Would Steve Urkel Approve?" Let's look at the differences shall we? The first striking feature is the fact the car has two doors. There is no large single door on the front. Granted I can understand. The single door on the front may not be the safest thing in the world. The wheel base appears a little longer. Nothing wrong with a little extra nerdy leg room. Engine? The new Isetta will feature a full zero emissions electric motor setup. On a single charge the car will be able to go a 100 miles. Gas and diesel engines will be optional later in life cycle. I guess Steve and Laura would have a hard time making that trip to Cincinnati from Chicago huh? So would Steve Urkel approve? Given the "nerdy/tech" appeal of the car, I would think so. He'd be grin'n with his spenders all the way to the BMW dealership. Another chance for him to own a Isetta. If you recall, Steve's went over a cliff as he nearly escaped with his life. I wish him well! Got a nerdy car story for us? Let us know on our forums! Did I do that?

Steve Urkel's BMW Isetta

"Did I do that?" It's a safe bet that if you lived through the '90s and watched TV, that you've seen the show Family Matters. When I was growing up, I know my family sure did. Family Matters was an every Friday night affair. The whole cast and characters were great. But it was Steve Urkel who really made the show come alive. But how many of you remember Urkel's car? Who could forget that crazy little BMW Isetta? Steve's car was featured several times throughout the series. The car first appeared in episode 76, entitled "Driving Carl Crazy." The episode starts with Steve being excited about getting a BMW. His uncle gave it to him as a bribe to keep him away. Steve is dying to learn how to drive to impress his wanna-be girlfriend Laura. However no one will show him how to drive. Carl, Laura's dad, reluctantly volunteers to teach Steve how to drive. All of this is going on while Carl is trying a new technique to lower his blood pressure. As with everything else that happens between Carl and Steve, it doesn't end well. Carl's blood pressure spikes as an overly-excited Steve backs through the garage door. The clip below shows the scene where the Isetta first appears on screen. The car is spotted off and on throughout the rest of the series. There were two other episodes that Steve's Isetta played a big part in the show. For example episode 98, "It Didn't Happen One Night" Laura oversleeps and misses her ride to a cheer-leading competition in Cincinnati. Steve volunteers to drive Laura to the competition in the Isetta. The two head out on the road, and Laura quickly becomes frustrated by the slow speed of the Isetta (top speed of 53 mph). She stomps on the gas and pushes it hard, only to have engine failure shortly after. The two end up staying in a hotel later that night. The last episode the car was featured in was number 129, "Paradise Bluff." At this point in the series Steve is dating a girl named Myra, who is madly in love with him. The two are on a date in the Isetta, parked at a make-out point called Paradise Bluff. Things are not going so well for the couple. Myra gives Steve an ultimatum to commit to her or its over. In the heat of discussion the car lurches forward over the cliff. The Isetta is lost, but the two escape just in time. To our knowledge this is the last time the car was seen on the show. Final Thoughts Steve Urkel's BMW Isetta will live on in the hearts of millions of Family Matters fans. I think it's one of the funniest looking TV cars of all time. It's a perfect car for the perfect nerd. Granted there is nothing special about the Isetta used in the show. It's a stock BMW Isetta. It's the story behind the car that makes it interesting. Till next time keep your suspenders tight and your pocket protector in check, while we work on bringing you more On Screen Cars! Update: Have you seen the new 2011 BMW Isetta? Do you think Steve Urkel would approve? Reference: IMDB, Wikipedia (Family Matters), Wikipedia (Isetta),