AUCTION: A Corvette-Powered 1965 Corvair

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A Corvette-Powered 1965 Corvair Heads to the Auction Block

While it may be hard to imagine today, the Chevy Corvair and the Chevy Corvette share some common lineage.  The Corvair evolved under the watchful eye of Chevrolet General Manager Ed Cole as an early entrant in the world of American-built rear/mid-engine automobiles.  Its early success spawned the creation of the Corvair Monza GT and SS models, the former of which is recognized as the first in a series of Corvette concept which evolved into the third-generation Stingray.  Additionally, the technologies introduced in the Corvair paved the way for GM’s engineering division to advance powertrain technologies for an eventual mid-engine Corvette platform, starting with the 1970 XP-882 Corvette Concept and culminating with the 2020 Mid-Engine C8 Stingray!

This 1965 Corvair Stinger features an LS6 Corvette engine out of a 2001 Z06.
This 1965 Corvair Stinger features an LS6 Corvette engine out of a 2001 Z06.

It is for these reasons that we thought this story, and most especially the car at the center of this story, was a worthy entrant on a Corvette-centric website.

Brett Hatfield broke this story on July 15th in an article he published at GM Authority.com.  In his article, he introduced Jeff Moore of “The Automotive Archeologists Ltd.” and his custom-built Corvair powered by a Corvette small-block engine.  Moore successfully shoehorned a 385-horsepower LS6 engine from his 2001 Corvette Z06 SCCA T1 race car into his 1965 Chevy Corvair.  After a significant amount of structural fabrication, he installed the V8 engine ahead of the car’s firewall instead of behind it (which was where the original Corvair’s engine was placed).  This was done to help the car achieve a balanced 50/50 weight distribution.  A new, custom firewall was installed just behind the car’s front seats which has a hinged Plexi-Glas cover to showcase the engine and allow topside access.

The installation of the LS6 in a mid-engine format required the relocation of the car's firewall to just behind the front seats.
The installation of the LS6 in a mid-engine format required the relocation of the car’s firewall to just behind the front seats.

Given the massive difference in horsepower between the factory Corvair engine and the beastly LS6, Moore also installed a five-speed Porsche transaxle from a 911SC to handle the transfer of power from the engine to the rear wheels.  The Corvair also received a full cage (to reduce chassis flex), and a custom-built suspension to reduce body roll and lift during hard acceleration.  Disc brakes were installed at all four wheels as well.

The installation of the LS6 in a mid-engine format required the relocation of the car's firewall to just behind the front seats.
The installation of the LS6 in a mid-engine format required the relocation of the car’s firewall to just behind the front seats.

Needless to say, this purpose-built Corvair was a significant departure from where it started when it rolled off GM’s assembly line in 1965.  Even so, the car is not devoid of creature comforts.  It features two black leather-wrapped racing seats with high side bolsters to keep the driver and passenger firmly in place.  Both seats are also equipped with a five-point harness (this IS a race car afterall).  However, unlike many sparsely-finished racers, this car also includes full carpet, air conditioning and heat from Vintage Air, full set of gauges by AutoMeter and a Bluetooth-equipped stereo system!

For a purpose-built racer, this 1965 Corvair's interior is well appointed, even if the majority of its drivetime will be on a 1/4 mile track.
For a purpose-built racer, this 1965 Corvair’s interior is well appointed, even if the majority of its drivetime will be on a 1/4 mile track.

The exterior of this Corvair Super Stinger is finished in a beautiful blue metallic paint similar to the Nassau Blue paint used on the 2000 MY fifth-generation Corvette.  It also includes lighter-blue racing stripes along the hood, roof, and rear decklid assemblies.  The car rolls on US Mags Rambler wheels shod in high-performance rubber.  The car’s disc brakes are visible thru the wheel gaps – you can clearly see the beefy rotors and calipers.

This Corvette-Powered 1965 Corvair Heads to the Auction Block the last weekend in July!
This Corvette-Powered 1965 Corvair Heads to the Auction Block the last weekend in July!

Moore’s 1965 Chevy Corvair Super Stinger coupe is headed to Mecum Auctions in Orlando, Florida where it will cross the auction block between July 28th and the 31st.  With over $100,000 invested in this car, we expect to see this car cross the block with a hefty reserve.  At the same time, it could be the ideal opportunity to snag one of the coolest Corvairs on the road today.