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Customs Corvair Customs

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mitchell de Moor, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. I moved into a new neighborhood not long ago and I was wrenching on my '56 Ford in the driveway when I hear this awesome weed wacker sound coming from a few houses down. It was an old hopped up Corvair. I have never really been into these and was always into '40's or '50's traditional kustoms and traditional hot rods. The thought of a what I used to call "gay" Corvair never really did anything for me.

    I am starting to dig them now and have been searching for them. Found a really nice '65 not far from me in really really nice condition for $3,500. I usually look at pre-'55 cars for sale, but I keep looking at Corvairs. I am going to come out of the closet now and say I kind of dig them.

    What I want to know though is would they make a cool custom? I'm thinking kustom tube grill with the headlights behind it, shaved door handles, lowered right down, Cragers, pinner whites, Larry Watson inspired paint job.

    What do you guys think? Has this been done? I want to see pictures. I know there is that one Suade Black one in Japan that Local Hero took some pictures of. But were there any actually done back in the day?

    And I'm talking custom so no you're stock Corvair with mag wheels doesn't qualify. I can only think of one I have even seen. What about you guys? Post pics of kustom 'Vairs...

    Cars only NO VANS!!!
     
  2. Haven't seen any customs I can recall but here are a few factory concepts
     

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  3. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,706

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    That 3rd pic is the '63 Bertone designed Testudo.

    They somehow managed to crash it into another Bertone designed prototype, the '64 Alfa Romeo Canguro, with was totalled.

    High speed crash during the filming of some promo movie.

    07ChevroletCorvairTestudo1963QuelleBertone_1935606_1_sps_Pxgen_r_Ax541.jpg

    Alfa_Romeo_Canguro_Concept_04pop.jpg

    cangurocolour.jpg
     
  4. FunnyCar65
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,075

    FunnyCar65
    Member
    from Colorado

    The orange one is actually pretty damn cool!
     

  5. Don't forget the John Fitch Phoenix based on a Corvair running gear designed and built in his garage in Lime Rock.

    John put the Hot Rod in the early corvairs and built several bodys using the covair chassis,,,,His best know projects were the John Fitch "sprints" along with a couple of other cars.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  6. BOWTIE BROWN
    Joined: Mar 30, 2010
    Posts: 3,253

    BOWTIE BROWN
    Member

    Never heard of a high speed crash in a corvair. I do have a '68 with 4 carbs.Not custom yet.
    B.B.
     
  7. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,706

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    This is my favorite Corvair Custom.

    The Cushenberry Silhouette II.

    BubbletopSketch-vi.jpg

    CUSHENBERYBUBBLETOP.jpg

    fame015.jpg

    Pix014.jpg
     
  8. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,706

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    The Alfa was based on a TZ racecar.

    It was capable of plenty of speed, and I believe it was a head on collision.

    Whenever I've seen the crash discribed, they told it as the Corvair crashing into the Alfa.

    I guess that could be because the Corvair wasnt where it was supposed to be on the track, possibly the driver hamming it up for the camera...
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  9. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,514

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ever hear of Ralph Nader? The Corvair was accelerated into infamy after some crashes attributed to extreme oversteer.
    Its epitaph was bound into a best seller: "Unsafe at Any Speed"...by Attorney Ralph Nader.

    Years later, an associate of his mentioned Mr. Nader's collection of the 'inferior vehicles'.
     
  10. cfish50chevy
    Joined: Aug 31, 2005
    Posts: 579

    cfish50chevy
    Member

    Damn iPad won't let me post pics but yes there are tons done Watson style...some by Watson himself. Will someone post the Gold one Watson painted!
     
  11. cfish50chevy
    Joined: Aug 31, 2005
    Posts: 579

    cfish50chevy
    Member

    i believe thats Larry right there!
     

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  12. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,706

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    Man... Not this guy again..

    From what I've read, he doesnt even have a drivers licence.

    Listening to his views on cars is like asking a vegetarian for a good stakehouse.

    He has no credibillity, in my personal opinion, and I dont think he would have had the kind of succes he had if GM woulnt have overreacted and tried to discredit him.

    ( appearently in ways that were not within the law, and they got caught.
    IMO, this is more of a story of GM screwing themselfs than a story of Nader's accomplishments...)
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
    RRanchero Rick likes this.
  13. cfish50chevy
    Joined: Aug 31, 2005
    Posts: 579

    cfish50chevy
    Member

    another
     

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  14. cfish50chevy
    Joined: Aug 31, 2005
    Posts: 579

    cfish50chevy
    Member

    love this simple look
     

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  15. cfish50chevy
    Joined: Aug 31, 2005
    Posts: 579

    cfish50chevy
    Member

    clean vert
     

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  16. That is EXACTLY what I wanted to see! I think I am in love with the first one:eek: Who would have ever thought these can be so damned rad:confused:
     
  17. cfish50chevy
    Joined: Aug 31, 2005
    Posts: 579

    cfish50chevy
    Member

    Glad I could help.
     
  18. P.S. you're Chevy kicks ass:cool:
     
  19. cfish50chevy
    Joined: Aug 31, 2005
    Posts: 579

    cfish50chevy
    Member

    Thanks, wish I still had it, it's in Germany!
     
  20. That sucks! I think I like you're '46 Ford more though! Do you still have that?
     
  21. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,492

    bonez
    Member
    from Slow lane

    All you had to do was askin.....now hang on.

    First ever article about lowriding from 1970, or so ive been told by a rather reputable source, and it has a damned cool Corvair throwin sparks in it.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Simyon Ginyard well kustom Corvair. late 70s. Unfortunatley i have seen the front of this car not long ago from a 79 or 80 event poster, and it sorta ruined the mythical image i had of it. Glad for you im not postin it. Didnt even save it to be honest.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Walt Prey doin his thing around 69/72
    [​IMG]

    More on the Drag'n'Shop project. I pm'd Kustom Mike couple years ago to know what happened to this car and at the time it was sittin in the corner of the shop waitin its turn. If i remember right its D.A. Garcia personal project but althou im oung my memory is fukd up, so dont quote me on it.
    I love this car to bits. And its the one that made me love Corvairs. My next project IS goin to be one.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    No details on this one. I know it was a late 70s show car and that it changed a few hands. I hope to see it restored sometime soon.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And althu you mentioned it heres the one from Japan. With a detail shot of the really cool wire buckets it sports. i know, i said cool and wire buckets in the same sentence. i kno its weird, but they work perfect.
    This car is gettin painted now i seem to understand. Cant wait to see what they pull out their hat.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I got a few more but dunno where. i hope more kool-vairs will pop up on this thread.
     
  22. customcory
    Joined: Apr 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,832

    customcory
    Member

    This may have been he first chopped one by Creighton Muller.

    217946_497978523561143_1514919205_n.jpg 399372_497979923561003_643460113_n.jpg
     
  23. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,492

    bonez
    Member
    from Slow lane

    Thanx Cory.
    Never seen that one. I find it fugly, but the mild chop is win.
    I know that Lucas headlights conversion was sorta popular in that time frame, but i never managed to like it. Still, really nice pictures to keep in an archive.

    Edit: the tail lights are intresting for sure. They seem like 59 cadi units on Corvette housings. They probably custom housings tho
     
  24. touchdowntodd
    Joined: Jan 15, 2005
    Posts: 4,068

    touchdowntodd
    Member

    mitchell man .. they take hydraulics WELL ... just sayin :)

    i too have a weak spot for em
     
  25. NotStockPhoto
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,322

    NotStockPhoto
    Member

    what kind of idiot would customize a corvair?
     
  26. Big_John
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 333

    Big_John
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    An old "Corvair guy" friend of mine (now departed) had an opportunity to talk to Nader about why he picked on the Corvair. His answer was that GM had a lot of testing data available on the Corvair, much more than any other car. It made the research easier. Otherwise they would have selected some other car.
     
  27. [​IMG]

    I know you didn't want to see it, but why customize it when it looks great already.
     
  28. big-daddy-george
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 180

    big-daddy-george
    Member
    from New York

    Nader's pointing out the problems with Corvairs was 100% justified. The rear suspension on the 60 to 64 Corvairs was a horror. I spun mine out on hard cornering several times in the sixties. They spun without any warning when the inside tire to the turn tucked under. I drove Corvairs for years. I still have my 61 Lakewood model 500 4 speed wagon that I passed my road test in and hauled my go-karts in when I was racing karts. There's a twin McCulloch kart in it right now for old times sake. . The 65 models had the double u-joints on both rear axles like a Corvette but the bad publicity damage had been done. The other big problem with them was leaky exhaust systems and the carbon monoxide fumes got pumped directly into the passenger compartment and the driver passed out at the wheel. I used to get certified mail from GM years ago to take my car to the dealer to check the exhaust system. They leaked oil in the showroom when they were brand new. I spent as much time under them as behind the wheel.
     
  29. Holy crap this looks like a Daytona Coupe!
     
  30. Oh sh*t here we go again...now I'm an idiot. Last week it was, we are jerks to be putting dummy spotlights and sidepipes on our cars. Now were idiots for customizing Corvairs. I had a new 1963 Corvair and customized it lightly in '63 and '64. It won several trophies at the RamRods Rod & Custom shows in Washington DC back then and a couple others in '65. I remember there were several '62-'65 Corvairs in the Mild Custom class back then and they usually managed to win a trophy or two.
    I guess I kind of took a liking to them after I saw one drawn up customized in an old issue of Rod & Custom (little mag) that resembeled a shoebox Ford.
    I also managed to snag a few trophies at the local drag strips with the '63. It had 4 single carbs, twin exhaust & a four speed and could outrun the 283 Chevy's, then in I think '64 or '65 the Spider Supercharged version came out and they could tear us all up, those little suckers were damn fast.
    One thing I could never figure out was how the hell did you lower one, with their independent suspension?
    Oh, and yes I even had dummy spots on my Corvair back then :eek:
     

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