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Death Trap: Corvair Swapped 1957 BMW Isetta

This 1957 BMW Isetta (chassis 494528) features a 150 HP, four carb Corvair engine among other modifications needed to accommodate the swap, and was reportedly built by a shop class in the 1970s. Dubbed the Corsetta, it’s also said to have been featured in a 1977 issue of Hot Rod Magazine. As demonstrated here, the car is prone to wheelies and is further described as being scary fast. Find it here on eBay in Wilmington, North Carolina with reserve not met.

Noticeably, the rear axle is much wider than the front and was likely swapped from a Corvair as well. We actually dig the flares. stripes and extended tail housing the larger engine, and the ad mentions weights in the front and a wheelie bar mounted beneath the rear faring. Prior to the seller’s purchase two years ago, the car had been garaged for ~30 years. Paint and body work were refreshed and repaired where necessary, and despite a noted crack in the recent finish, it looks well done.

BMW Other | eBay

A somewhat unfortunate 70’s staple, diamond pleat upholstery remains in good shape for the most part, although there are some tears in the panel adjacent the driver. Those concerned with safety might consider swapping the bench for buckets, or maybe adding a roll cage and padded steering wheel–then again, they probably wouldn’t set foot in this car to begin with.

BMW Other | eBay

The ad doesn’t note any recent mechanical work, but the car clearly runs well enough to easily lift its front tires off the ground. Weight distribution and a tiny wheelbase don’t hurt here, but with roughly 1,000% more power than standard on offer, the Corvair flat six deserves some credit as well.

BMW Other | eBay

Hats off to anyone brave enough to sit behind the wheel and drive this thing. It seems to be well built, but we’ll gladly admire the Corsetta from afar–just knowing it exists is enough.




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