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#1 Piquet959

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 12:24

I have some fond memories of the Frank Gardiner Chev Corvair Sports Sedan. It was an absolute weapon.
The various paint schemes over the years really added to its class.

So my question is What happened to the car.
Cheers
Peter

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#2 Hank the Deuce

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 12:44

Went to the Amaroo tip thirty-something years ago according to a previous thread here...

#3 Piquet959

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 12:58

That a real bugger. Pretty valuable tip site!!!

#4 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 22:12

According to a magazine article of the time the body was cut up and went to the tip.
Ofcourse it was banned for having the engine in a location never envisaged by the poorly written rules, eg in front of the gearbox in the back seat area. The rules were meant to move the engine back in a front engined configuration, not 6 feet forward in a Rear engine configuration
Really CAMS should never have allowed that, and other similar cars to be built. It was far from the first but the most succesfull. Though Thommo's VW Chev did ok too. That too was scrapped and subsequently burnt out in a fire. The renmants are still on Bryans former property.

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 03 September 2012 - 22:14.


#5 Librules

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 01:58

I'm more than happy that they were allowed. The VW is my alltime favourite S/Sedan and the Corvair was just plain fast (and different, just what a S/Sedan was all about)

#6 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 11:10

I'm more than happy that they were allowed. The VW is my alltime favourite S/Sedan and the Corvair was just plain fast (and different, just what a S/Sedan was all about)

Actually it was NOT what a Sports Sedan was about. The VW, The Corvair and Defoes Imp were cars that got in as the rules were poorly written.
Probably the ultimate Sports sedans have been the K&A built cars. Ricciardellos Alfa, Monterossos Escort and a few simialar cars were the ultimate Sports Sedans. The Alfa still is ofcourse. The the category is near irrelevant now with the hotrods that are around these days,, and seldom finish. Very sad.


#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 12:50

The rules were poorly written?

If the rules had been written to suit the cars that existed at the time of writing the rules there would have been even more freedoms!

Why mention this? Because this was the supposed purpose of the rules.

Where is the Laws brothers' Mini?

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 21:07

Just to add to this topic, I'm sure there was at least one other Corvair Sports Sedan project planned by other people in that era...

My recollection is that someone down around Wollongong had an earlier model Corvair body they were working on.

With regard to VWs, there was also Ken Hastings' Karmann Ghia-BDG.

#9 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 22:17

The rules were poorly written?

If the rules had been written to suit the cars that existed at the time of writing the rules there would have been even more freedoms!

Why mention this? Because this was the supposed purpose of the rules.

Where is the Laws brothers' Mini?

Having been around Sports Sedans for nearly 40 years the original intention was cheap, powerfull fun cars.Built from production cars. Which was supposed to include old touring Cars, the majority of Sports Racing Closed.
Hot up the engine, maybe move the motor back, bigger wheels and tyres and flare the guards. The rules were, and still are that the engine could be moved back so the flywheel was no further back than the centre line of the car.
This was not meant to be taken that you could move the engine forward. But that is what was written. Nobody cheated, just it was never the intention of the rules. As was clarified in the 80s and the demise of the Corvair and others.
Personally I feel that all major components should stay in their general intended position, eg motor, gearbox stay together. Diff stay s where it was mounted. No expensive [and generally fragile] transaxles. And a standard unmodified body shell [sills, doors, roof rear 1/4s A B C pillars]except for flares. Guards, bonnets, boots etc free material.
The Transams being raced now are closer to this. Until recently they were steel shells. A full carbon fibre body is expensive and dumb. That is why an Aston Martin is being raced. That has absloutely no Aston components.
Sports sedans currently are a hotch potch of classes, though it seems true Sports Sedans still win most races. The Alfa, Audis. But poor fields and rolling starts does not make a spectacle.

#10 Bondy

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 23:28

Just to add to this topic, I'm sure there was at least one other Corvair Sports Sedan project planned by other people in that era...

My recollection is that someone down around Wollongong had an earlier model Corvair body they were working on.

With regard to VWs, there was also Ken Hastings' Karmann Ghia-BDG.


Victorian Les Swallow ran a Corvair in the late 70s. It was Green and iirc, a 4 door version..


#11 E1pix

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:24

Had to see this beast for myself:
http://www.google.co...ved=0CBgQ9QEwAg

:eek:


#12 lyntonh

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:41

A rather poor shot I took at Adelaide International Raceway in 1974.

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#13 eldougo

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 06:39

It was a great car that was too good for its self. :( :well: me.

#14 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:01

Had to see this beast for myself:
http://www.google.co...ved=0CBgQ9QEwAg

:eek:

Fairly standard tube space frame with a Corvair body on it. But a 5 litre Chev [5000 engine] with a DG300 [also 5000]. The rest of it was mostly 5000 or Sports Car parts. Hence the not in the spirit of the regs.
Frank Gardner drove it [he built it] and later Gricey drove it. It was not unbeatable but won more than its share. it was replaced with a Euro sourced BMW turbo which was a hand grenade, fast on occasions. It is still around somewhere but VERY tired.

#15 seldo

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:07

Fairly standard tube space frame with a Corvair body on it. But a 5 litre Chev [5000 engine] with a DG300 [also 5000]. The rest of it was mostly 5000 or Sports Car parts. Hence the not in the spirit of the regs.
Frank Gardner drove it [he built it] and later Gricey drove it. It was not unbeatable but won more than its share. it was replaced with a Euro sourced BMW turbo which was a hand grenade, fast on occasions. It is still around somewhere but VERY tired.

The project actually began with Tom Nailard who acquired the body and began the build. He went to Frank for some guidance, who not only convinced him that he didn't have the resources to do it justice (true) but that Frank would help by taking over the project and allowing Tom to remain on the team to see his project through to fruition, and to see it built in the manner which it deserved.
The rest, as they say, is history.

Edited by seldo, 05 September 2012 - 12:20.


#16 Piquet959

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 08:05

Another strange sports sedan was the VW that Pat Crea built and was raced by Darylyn Hewitt. If a VW looks like a pregnant roller skate the her car looked like it was really well overdue. I think it had a traco olds engine hanging out the back and was very prone to exceptional weight transfer that almost lifted the front wheels off te ground under hard acceleration

#17 GMACKIE

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 08:17

When I saw it, there was a P 76 V8 tucked in the back.

#18 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 08:45

Fairly standard tube space frame with a Corvair body on it. But a 5 litre Chev [5000 engine] with a DG300 [also 5000]. The rest of it was mostly 5000 or Sports Car parts. Hence the not in the spirit of the regs.
Frank Gardner drove it [he built it] and later Gricey drove it. It was not unbeatable but won more than its share. it was replaced with a Euro sourced BMW turbo which was a hand grenade, fast on occasions. It is still around somewhere but VERY tired.



It won 41 out of 49 races if the title of Gabriel Szatmary's 1978 booklet about the car is to be believed.

#19 David Shaw

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:02

Fairly standard tube space frame with a Corvair body on it. But a 5 litre Chev [5000 engine] with a DG300 [also 5000]. The rest of it was mostly 5000 or Sports Car parts. Hence the not in the spirit of the regs.

Was the first of this breed of fibreglass-clad-serious-racing-weaponry the McCormack Charger, or is my memory deluding me?


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#20 Paul Hamilton

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:44

[quote name='Lee Nicolle' date='Sep 5 2012, 09:17' post='5898846']
Having been around Sports Sedans for nearly 40 years the original intention was cheap, powerfull fun cars.Built from production cars. Which was supposed to include old touring Cars, the majority of Sports Racing Closed.
Hot up the engine, maybe move the motor back, bigger wheels and tyres and flare the guards. The rules were, and still are that the engine could be moved back so the flywheel was no further back than the centre line of the car.
This was not meant to be taken that you could move the engine forward. But that is what was written. Nobody cheated, just it was never the intention of the rules. As was clarified in the 80s and the demise of the Corvair and others.


Through my Team Partyhouse connections I was also pretty closely involved with the birth of the sports sedan movement in the late 1960's, at least in NSW. By the time the rules were changed to eliminate the Corvair I had long since lost interest but I have never been able to follow the logic of regulations which allow the fundamental weight imbalance of a front engined car to be corrected by moving the engine back but which apparently now preclude the same corrective action in a rear engine car by moving the engine forward.

I think the Corvair was a brilliant device and no more expensive than cars like the Charger which had the engine in the front half of the car but still used the same expensive transmission components as the Corvair and similarly expensive forms of construction and suspension design.

Why was it such a crime that the Corvair had the engine at the 'wrong' end of the car? That would seem to me to be the sort of narrow based thinking normally attributed to taxi cab drivers!!


#21 Piquet959

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:44

I'll get out my program's from Calder in the '70's and check out the engine capacity. That may give a lead toward the type of engine.
If not I'll ask one of the HTCAV members that were racing in the period. I feel sure that they I'll know.

Edited by Piquet959, 05 September 2012 - 11:04.


#22 eldougo

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:50

Pole at Lakeside,it retained a lot of steel panels and weighted in at 955kg .suspension was from a LolaT332 Chev 5000 cc rated at 520hp one hell of a weapon that was built and raced by the rules.

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Edited by eldougo, 05 September 2012 - 11:03.


#23 Option1

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 12:17

Love it or hate it, and personally I loved it, that car was a helluva a draw in its time. It did help put or keep Sports Sedan on the map in Australian racing at the time.

Neil

Edited by Option1, 05 September 2012 - 12:18.


#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 20:56

My thinking on engine movement concurs with Paul's...

When written, the rules had in mind cars like Renaults with Holden engines and that sort of 'cheap' thing. As written, they allowed rear engined cars to have the engine in front of the axle rather than behind it. Very logical at the time.

As with all motor sport, someone will always build a better mousetrap. The Charger came along, the HDT Torana V8 and others, the Corvair wasn't alone in including racing car technology in the suspension, nor having Hewland gearboxes. Look, for instance, at the John Sheppard-built monster Monaro... and consider that Jane (and Phil Ward) would beat it with a live axle rear end in a similar car.

#25 GMACKIE

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 22:23

Fortunately for me, my VW Beetle Sports Sedan was only at the planning stage when the rules were changed. Mid-engine was out, so the [air-cooled VW] engine had to hang out the back. Still managed to do what I really wanted to do, though.....beat the Minis. :lol:

#26 eldougo

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 23:36

I let this thread go for awhile to see what would be said about the Corvair Chev and so far the story telling is correct.
However i have to admit that it was me that cut it up under orders from Frank Gardner and he disposed of it at the tip.
I have photos some were and will show later.

#27 GMACKIE

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 23:44

However i have to admit that it was me that cut it up under orders from Frank Gardner and he disposed of it at the tip.

BOO, HISS! :lol:


#28 Ellis French

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 23:56

I let this thread go for awhile to see what would be said about the Corvair Chev and so far the story telling is correct.
However i have to admit that it was me that cut it up under orders from Frank Gardner and he disposed of it at the tip.
I have photos some were and will show later.



This is before you weilded the axe then....lol
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Photo courtesy Perry Drury Launceston

#29 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 01:02

All of the transaxle cars made Sports sedans suddenly expensive. Though the Jane Monaro and several others were still on the pace.
Macs Charger used 2, 1 as a gearbox and one as a diff. As did I believe the Geoghan driven Monaro.
Most of those mid to late 70s cars however were fairly heavy. Most used steel panels, with glass bonnets and boots.
Macs Charger , and Clem Smiths Charger used pressed alloy ones. Handy to be sponsored by Chrysler or be a Chrysler dealer! Though eveidently a lot of alloy was destroyed making about 3 or 4 sets of panels. And the toolmakers had to clean up the dies to press steel again.
Though alloy is still heavier than kevlar, I compared the weights with Clems car after the car tested the Mallala walls.

#30 eldougo

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:51

Personal Copyright Permission not granted.
-------------------------------------------------

Posted ImageIn it,s last liveryBefore and After. :cry:

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Edited by eldougo, 15 September 2012 - 00:52.


#31 Lola5000

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 04:27

Looking at the frame and the rear engine,I now understand why it was such a weapon compared to the traditional S/S's

#32 E1pix

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:04

Fairly standard tube space frame with a Corvair body on it. But a 5 litre Chev [5000 engine] with a DG300 [also 5000].

At first thought, it just seems like such a bad idea... I hafta wonder if the idea first came up as a semi-joke over too many Foster's, then a "Why Not?" came in and the rest is one unique Mother. I gotta admit I love this thing.

There was a guy named James Reeve in the States that did really well with one for years, a Yenko Stinger, in a class called D Production. I thought it was a wicked car and especially since my childhood was surrounded by them... but in stark contrast to this monster, it ran against TR6s and 7s, Datsun 2000s (or "Fairladys," perfect to demonstrate the contrast I'm making), Jensen-Healeys, Super Sevens, Porsche 911Es...

In short, nothing with a 5000 motor! :eek: I'd bet it was a blast to drive, if one had time between the hairy moments to think about it.

Edited by E1pix, 06 September 2012 - 07:09.


#33 Lola5000

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:34

I thought the Bowdens owned it.

#34 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:45

At first thought, it just seems like such a bad idea... I hafta wonder if the idea first came up as a semi-joke over too many Foster's, then a "Why Not?" came in and the rest is one unique Mother. I gotta admit I love this thing.

There was a guy named James Reeve in the States that did really well with one for years, a Yenko Stinger, in a class called D Production. I thought it was a wicked car and especially since my childhood was surrounded by them... but in stark contrast to this monster, it ran against TR6s and 7s, Datsun 2000s (or "Fairladys," perfect to demonstrate the contrast I'm making), Jensen-Healeys, Super Sevens, Porsche 911Es...

In short, nothing with a 5000 motor! :eek: I'd bet it was a blast to drive, if one had time between the hairy moments to think about it.

The Corvair was a good car, but 'just' a spaceframe with 5000 hang ons. Like all the mechanicals. sdimple and well designed as Frank was no mug.The bigger cars were more powerfull but with a bit less suspension. The rules at that time dictated a weight per capacity with a 5 litre limit except for cars with bigger engines originally. The Geoghan Monaro fell foul of that, built as the then latest model but with a 350 Chev. Which was superseded in the previous model. So either they had to destroke the engine and lose power or do what they did and make a characture front. which was not pretty. Though they knew the rules when they built the car.
With the capacity limit there was a few cheats, entered as 5 litre but were really a 5 .7. But unless they started starring they got away with it. A 400 hp 350 is cheaper to make up the numbers than a 400hp 5 litre.
The Corvair however would never have gotten away with that!

#35 brucemoxon

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:00

BOO, HISS! :lol:


He vos only following orders.




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#36 Piquet959

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:57

Now don't take this the wrong way, but obviously Frank was a brilliant driver, chassis designer, car ostructor/builder, team manager and an all round good guy but lacked the vision to put this thing away for the future.

It is a shame that the car was destroyed but like a lot of cars when the regulations change and the cars become irrelevant and uncompetitive with nowhere to be used it is understandable.
Look what happened to the F5000 when we went to Formula Holden and Formula Mondial and all the various tin tops when we went from App J to series prod to Improved touring to Group C the to Group A.

I've a pile of Auto Action dating back to 1972 and it's interesting to look at the for sale ads to see what happened to "yesterday's fish and chip wrappers".
Cheers Peter

#37 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:27

Indeed, Peter...

John Joyce managed to rescue Leffler's Bowin P8 from Alan Nolan just as he was about to cut into the tub for some scrap aluminium sheet!

#38 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 22:24

Indeed, Peter...

John Joyce managed to rescue Leffler's Bowin P8 from Alan Nolan just as he was about to cut into the tub for some scrap aluminium sheet!

reputedly there is still a few 5000 tubs around, all the good bits ended up in Sport Sedans or one off Sports cars
Even the Ves Kanda was built using a lot of 5000 components, from what was a complete car. Though an upright failed very early, meaning some of the parts were not strong enough.

#39 Piquet959

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 23:16

Ves Kandahar: now there's a very interesting and spectacular car. I was at Sandown for theWorld Sports Car race in the late 80's and it acquitted itself really well. Pity about the small fuel tank or it would really have stuck it up the internationals.

It proved itself again some 16-20 years later when it was dusted off taken to PI Historic and was able to show a lot of the very best of the German sports cars how the down under ingenuity washable to compete and win against them.

Fabulous car and it makes all the right sounds
Peter

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#40 Piquet959

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 23:20

Ves Kanda: now there's a very interesting and spectacular car. I was at Sandown for the World Sports Car race in the late 80's and it acquitted itself really well. Pity about the small fuel tank or it would really have stuck it up the internationals.

What a shame that the track was butchered for the event though.

Although it worked out well fo me when I passed several cars under yellows as the flag point was not visible from the outside of cars on the back straight. Saved me a couple of dollars donation to CAMS. But that's another story


It proved itself again some 16-20 years later when it was dusted off taken to PI Historic and was able to show a lot of the very best of the German sports cars how the down under ingenuity washable to compete and win against them.

Fabulous car and it makes all the right sounds
Peter

#41 Librules

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:21

...and that very same car (the Veskanda) has acquitted itself quite well in Europe this year in the hands of Paul Stubber (a very skilful and entertaining driver)

#42 Piquet959

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:00

May be entertaining but he knows how to really bend the rules and also the spirit of the rules WRT eligibility issues.
Be it an EH, a Comaro, an RX7 or an A9X, I think that you will find that they have all had the west coast interpretation done to them!!

Edited by Piquet959, 07 September 2012 - 11:02.


#43 RTH

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 05:26

We had a Corvair racing in England too. Ian Richardson famous for his winning Cobra built a 7.6 litre Chevrolet/DG600 Corvair in 1974.
I saw it frequently at Silverstone it was immensely powerful thunderous on the club circuit a very fast car.

http://www.racing70s...s/camaro_01.htm



#44 eldougo

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 06:44

Were is it now RTH ????

#45 Catalina Park

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 07:01

Were is it now RTH ????

Why? Do you want to cut it up as well? :rotfl:

#46 E1pix

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 07:41

The Corvair was a good car, but 'just' a spaceframe with 5000 hang ons. Like all the mechanicals. sdimple and well designed as Frank was no mug.The bigger cars were more powerfull but with a bit less suspension. The rules at that time dictated a weight per capacity with a 5 litre limit except for cars with bigger engines originally. The Geoghan Monaro fell foul of that, built as the then latest model but with a 350 Chev. Which was superseded in the previous model. So either they had to destroke the engine and lose power or do what they did and make a characture front. which was not pretty. Though they knew the rules when they built the car.
With the capacity limit there was a few cheats, entered as 5 litre but were really a 5 .7. But unless they started starring they got away with it. A 400 hp 350 is cheaper to make up the numbers than a 400hp 5 litre.
The Corvair however would never have gotten away with that!

Great post and info.

But Yes, I presumed there was about as much "Corvair" in there as there is "food" at McDonald's. ;)

#47 2F-001

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 08:49

I thought of Ian Richardson's Corvair as soon as I saw this thread, but realized I didn't know too much about the car's details, (other than it owing a deal of its componentry to a McLaren - although I'd been thinking M12) - or whether it's chassis was more original shell, spaceframe or a monocoque from something else.

Wouldn't it have been easier to put a saloon-shape body onto the original CanAm car? Or had that perhaps been wrecked previously, thus making the engine and components free for re-use?
It's almost impossible to imagine anybody these days using a 70s CanAm car to make a clubbie saloon - even a completely wrecked one would be brought back from the dead! But maybe that McLaren is now a complete car again somewhere?

I only saw Richardson's Corvair race a handful of times - likewise, at Silverstone - the first occasion being the first time I could recall seeing Gerry Marshall lapped in a saloon race (this must have been just pre-Baby Bertha) which gave me an idea of its potential!

#48 eldougo

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 22:48

Why? Do you want to cut it up as well? :rotfl:


Let me at it......... ;) Like Ralph Nader said get them of the road.


#49 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 23:19

Great post and info.

But Yes, I presumed there was about as much "Corvair" in there as there is "food" at McDonald's.;)

A bit more. The body shell would have been standard roof, A and B pillars and doors. probably the rear 1/4s too except for the flares.
Doug will know he cut it up!!
Hey at least it could have gone to scrap and be ethically recycled!

#50 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 21:28

It was built in the days when there had to be more than just the roof...

There was a fair bit of the Corvair body there, but as you say, fibreglass for the flares and other places useful for lightening.