Beautifully engineered V8 Corvair. 355 cubic inch Chevy V8, Oldsmobile Toronado transaxle (you keep your back seat!), laser-straight bodywork, full interior. What an incredible sleeper!
We have a stack of receipts and invoices on this car about four inches thick, and every detail on the car just screams, “Cost no object!” I didn’t total up all the receipts, but there’s easily $80,000 in this build and it shows everywhere you look. The super straight bodywork was expertly restored and covered in a color that looks entirely appropriate—not quite Butternut Yellow but brighter than Palomino Ivory. It was specifically chosen for the low-profile look; after all, with 400 horsepower and only 2800 pounds to pull around, there’s no need to advertise with stripes and bright colors. Finish quality is very good and it shows rather well with just over 2200 miles since it was completed. Panel gaps are on par with other Corvairs and the only truly visible modifications are the grille under the front bumper and the dual exhaust pipes out back. I mean, this thing nails the sleeper part of the equation!
Unlike the Crown conversion kits of the ‘60s, which eliminated the back seat and put the engine over your shoulder, this slick Corvair has a full interior that looks almost completely stock. The low-back buckets are standard Corvair pieces, and the dashboard will feel familiar to anyone who has driven a sporty Chevy from the ‘60s. The three spoke wheel frames a full set of Auto Meter analog gauges set into the original instrument panel, a nice upgrade that doesn’t draw a lot of attention. There’s also a custom B&M shifter on the floor which is a far better tool for managing the TH425 3-speed automatic transmission in back. Again, finish quality is excellent and you can tell nobody was phoning it in here—the carpets fit well, the headliner is taut, and all the weather seals were replaced so it seals up pretty well. Obviously the forward-mounted trunk is not quite the same as it was, housing a giant aluminum radiator and beautifully fabricated aluminum duct work, as well as the gas tank and battery, which help give the Corvair decent balance.
Popping the rear deck on this Corvair is always a treat—most guys are not expecting to see that burly Chevy V8 tucked in there. A custom rear subframe mounts it securely to the tub and provides mounting points for the transmission and rear suspension, so you don’t have to worry about overwhelming stock parts. Those gorgeous long-tube headers were built just for this car, then ceramic coated and attached to a pair of stainless mufflers, which, while not exactly quiet, don’t get too boisterous on the road. Yes, people will know something’s afoot when you put your foot on the floor, but there was no need to advertise here. Up top there’s a fresh Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor, HEI ignition system, and an aluminum intake manifold, along with a set of chrome valve covers or some flash. Check out the welds and you’ll know that the guy who built this car knew exactly what he was doing.
Underneath it still looks like a Corvair, complete with ultra-clean floors and support members that have never seen snow or salt. The front suspension is stock Corvair, now augmented with disc brakes. Custom 2-inch pipes carry coolant back and forth to the engine, so no worries about ruptured hoses on the road, and it retains a fully operational parking brake. The independent rear suspension features custom trailing arms and spindles to handle the half-shafts from the TH425 transaxle, and just dig the custom oil pan that has a cut-out for one of the shafts running right through it. Nice! That transaxle also includes 2.73 gears, so the car just loafs along on the highway and quite honestly, it’s so light that it doesn’t need a lot of gear to get rolling. It’s still wickedly fast but hooks up rather well even with the modest rolling stock. Service access remains excellent and given the hardware, it should be at least as reliable as a stock Corvair, no matter how hard you run it. American Racing wheels do a great impersonation of a set of vintage Minilites, and wear 205/60/15 performance radials that ride well and keep it reasonably well plastered to the pavement.
Extras include an extensive file of build receipts and technical information, details on parts so you can buy spares, build photos, and spare parts and touch-up paint.
This handsome and well-built Corvair delivers in a big way. It’s expertly sorted, easy to drive, surprisingly polished, and yes, shockingly fast. The fact that it looks so docile and unassuming is only icing on the cake, and that’s just about the most delicious way to have fun on the road. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com
Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any car in our inventory prior to purchase.
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