A Member of the Corvair Society of America
The Denvair News
March 2012 Vol. 38, Issue 5
A Member of the Corvair Society of America
An Alternate Approach
Chance Parker’s V8
RMC enjoys an interesting variety of V8
Corvairs. There are two self-propelled
mid-engine Chevy V8 Corvairs in active
service today: Gary Hoffman has his
V1 and V2 Crown projects, with the
operational V2 now precariously near
being vintage race-worthy. Garrie Fox’s
very clean 327 Crown conversion is
remarkably true to Ted Trevor‘s (the man
behind Crown Engineering) original effort, and is driven regularly to events.
George Evans chose the more civilized
“rear-mount” path to V8-dom with his
late Corvair coupe. His conversion uses
the time-honored aluminum Buick-OldsThe casual Corvair observer would see this as a clean, updated 1965 Corsa convertible. Deep
Rover engine hardware in it’s late
spoiler and 17” alloy wheels are nice touches, and high headrests give away the interior upgrades.
Rover iteration with EFI. It’s also been
Below, Porsche transaxle detail shows adapter flanges for Corvair half-shafts yokes, fabricated
brackets to mount rear suspension control arms. This was not a simple bolt-in!
prepped, polished, and detailed to an
amazing level. He’s been seen tooling
through the Golden Supercruise, the Convention, and hangCrown kits and 215 Buick conversions have been staples of
ing out with the mortal Corvairs, and the absence of a snarlCorvairdom for many years, but where do you turn if you
ing small-block in the back seat makes it a sweet street ride.
want to tap newer technology for your Corvair?
Chance Parker has answered that question. Chance (who admits he received more than a little assist from a mechanically
inclined dad) chose a 1965 Corsa convertible as a base for
his V8 project. They measured the latest GM small block family of engines and calculated that one could be shoehorned
into the rear compartment of a Corvair.
Introduced in the new 1997 C5 Corvette, the Gen III small
block is a highly-refined, compact alloy
V8 package that has won acclaim in
engineering circles. Chance selected a
320 BHP 5.3 liter version from a GM
truck. For vertical clearance the tall truck
intake manifold and deep oil pan were
Continued on Page 5
Rocky Mountain Corsa (RMC) has been a chartered
chapter of the Corvair Society of America (CORSA) since
October 1974, and is dedicated to the preservation and
enjoyment of Corvair automobiles.
Membership & Dues
Rocky Mountain Corsa annual dues are $24.00, Corvair
Society of America (CORSA) annual dues are $45.00,
which includes a subscription to the Corsa Communique,
an award-winning monthly magazine. Combined dues are
The Denvair News is a monthly publication for members
$69.00 annually. Checks should be payable to RMC, mailed
and affiliates of Rocky Mountain Corsa. The Denvair News is to: RMC, c/o John Dinsdale, 3240 Billings St., Aurora, CO
now available as a PDF by request to the Editor.
We encourage your participation! Please forward stories,
RMC holds meetings the 1st Friday of each month at our
ideas, jokes, recipes, and/or photos to the Editor. Content
host dealership, Elway Chevrolet, 5200 South Broadway in
must be received by the 15th of the month prior to the deEnglewood. Join us at 7:00 PM in the upstairs meeting room.
sired publication month. Electronic files are mucho preferred.
President: John Dawson
Individual RMC member ads are free. Classified ads are [email protected]
ited to 25 words, and may include a photo. All ads will run
for three issues. Non-members may advertise for $10.00.
Vice President: Larry Yoder
Please submit ads to the Editor, with payment due in [email protected]
vance to the Treasurer. Please make checks out to RMC.
Commercial advertisers are welcome. The following per-issue
Treasurer: John Dinsdale
Business card size – $2.50
¼ page – $5.00 Historian: Steve Goodman
½ page – $10.00
Full page – $20.00
Newsletter Editor: RMC Merchandise
Past event t-shirts, RMC name badges and other merchandise
are available. Please contact Earl Nelson for a current list of Auditor/Trustee: John Drage
RMC Mailing Address
Correspondence, ads, & articles may be snail-mailed to:
PO Box 27058
Lakewood, CO 80227-0058
Web Site: www.rockymountaincorsa.com
Activities Director: Earl Nelson
Auditor/Trustee: Rob Brereton
Membership Chair: Paul Seyforth
Clark's Corvair Parts
Clark's has been your supplier for quality repros
for the past 37 years.
This year, we expect to reproduce even more parts
for your Corvair.
See the Supplement for the following:
VARIOUS NEW FC ITEMS
STAINLESS GAS TANK SENDERS
LATE MODEL STEERING
from Steve Goodman
Steve Goodman asked your Editor to thank the many friends
and members of Rocky Mountain Corsa who came together
on Sunday, February 19 at the Westwood Inn to honor the life
of Ruth Goodman.
With standing room only for much of the afternoon, the turnout, which included an impressive number of Corvairs in the
parking lot, gave evidence to the many lives Ruth touched.
650 Page 2007-2012 Catalog
USA - $6 CANADA - $9.95 Most Other Countries - $12.95
Clark’s Corvair Parts®
400 Mohawk Trail, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
email: [email protected]
Denvair News - March 2012 - Page 2
RMVR Driving Schools
If you’ve dreamed of running your Corvair (or other street/
race vehicle capable of passing a safety inspection) on a
genuine race track, Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing may
have the deal you’ve been waiting for!
April 21-22; Pike’s Peak International Raceway
★ Competitive Driving School
★ Precision Driving School
If your goal is to get a Competition License, the Competitive
School is a good choice – it’s valid for RMVR races, and is
generally recognized by other vintage race organizations
across North America. You must be a member of RMVR to
participate in the Competitive School.
On the other hand, if you just want to sample high-speed
track driving with skilled instructors providing input and feedback, the Precision Driving School is a superb opportunity
at a very reasonable cost. And this year, through the efforts
of 3R Racing, RMVR will have pro drivers Randy Pobst and
Michael Pettiford as guest instructors.
“Gran Turisimo Omologato” seats in Chance’s Corsa convertible. The
original Pontiac GTO copied the Ferrari GTO nomenclature, few know it’s
an obscure reference to homologation for GT racing. How’s that for trivia?
Bottom photo, the Gen III engine is a very tight fit in the Corvair engine
compartment. Fortunately, the serpentine belts tend to be more reliable
than the traditional Corvair cooling fan drive configuration!
At $250 for a Friday evening classroom session and Saturday and Sunday at the track, the Precision Driving School is
an incredible value whether you’re a veteran track hound or
someone who simply wants to polish driving skills. The only
safety equipment requirements are a helmet and functional
driver seat belt system. Membership in RMVR is not required.
For complete information or to register, please go to RMVR’s
web site: www.rmvr.com
RMC Corvair Happeningvros!
ord-bumping snow can
let on Broadway, 7:00pm (no rec
C Meeting at Elway Che
• Friday, March 2, 2012 — RM
stop a Cor vair twice in a row,
on Broadway, 7:00pm
C Meeting at Elway Chevrolet
• Friday, April 6, 2012 — RM
ools at Pikes Peak International
tage Racing Spring Driving Sch
Check out www.rmvr.com for
• Sunday, April 21-22,
Precision Class will be offered.
(helmet required) with profesRaceway. Both Compet
to get on-track in your street car
sign-up instruction. The
eed driving skills. Price is ver y
sional instructors teaching high-sp
l Cor vair Ranch. Stay tuned!
Tri-State Tune-Up at the Schake
for reservations, 719 539-2895.
Salida, CO, call Gateway Inn
• May 18-
Denvair News - March 2012 - Page 3
RMC Meeting Minutes — January 6, 2012
Happy New Year! The meeting was called to order at
7:04 by, President John Dawson with 23 in attendance. Tim
Shortle made the trek all the way from Durango for the first
meeting of 2012. He did not, however, drive a Corvair...
Meeting Intro Stuff
4 Minutes were accepted at written.
4 Treasurer Dinsdale reported $3,405.70 in RMC’s bank
4 August – picnic
4 Remainder of 2012 – open
Some thoughts on potential events were discussed: Event at
Forney Museum (possible potluck); Touring breweries in Boulder; Tour of Celestial Seasonings; Cherokee Ranch (north of
Castle Rock) for tour and picnic; Track event opportunities
alone and in conjunction with RMVR.
4 Next meeting will be on February 3, 2012 at John Elway
Chevrolet. [SNOW DAY! Next meeting from this edition will
be March 2]
Earl Nelson brought a short video about the production and
use of ethanol as a gasoline supplement. The video was
taken from an episode of “60 Minutes”.
New Business & Discussions
For Sale or Trade
4 The Christmas dinner was deemed a success but the
number in attendance was disputed.
4 For Sale: Larry Schubert has a ‘61/2/3 engine complete, 102 HP, sealed, painted, clean, running when taken
out of car for sale. [since sold - Ed.]
4 New Year’s Day brunch in Estes Park had 33 in attendance.
A discussion ensued as to trying a different venue for next
year’s Christmas party and perhaps finding a new place for
the New Year’s Day brunch. We are looking for suggestions
– a little variety might be a good thing.
4 We would like to have a place for our summer picnic
reserved in March to ensure a good location. Tentative date
is Sunday, August 19. The suggestion was made to possibly have our picnic at one of the track days at High Plains
4 Both sympathy and get well cards were sent to Steve
Goodman from RMC. Also, another card was sent around
for all in attendance to sign for Steve.
4 Tri-State Tune-Up, Sunday, April 29 at the Schakel Corvair Compound in suburban Sedalia. See flyer next month.
4 The Tri-State will be held May 18-20 in Salida, Colorado. Host hotel is the Gateway Inn and Suites, call (719)
539-2895 to make your reservations.
4 June – Auto Rally
Refreshments: The Yoder family provided copious snacks
and refreshments for the meeting; Thanks!
Door Prizes: “Lucky Lynn” Yoder scored the first prize,
followed by Tyler Zurla and Kory Levin.
50/50: $63.00 was collected, and Larry Schubert managed to snare $31.00 to cover his gasoline.
Meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.
Respectfully submitted by Linae Schakel, RMC Secretary
Re-lettered late GTO
gauges fit in Corvair
Corsa panel like GM
intended this to be a
These gauges all
accept input from the
Gen III engine management computer.
4 July – Open – possible autocross; we will check school
lots and PPIR
Denvair News - March 2012 - Page 4
Containing Your Gas...
Left, steel fuel line separated completely during a race, saturating the
engine compartment with two gallons
of fuel in less than 60 seconds. This
car receives regular maintenance and
fuel system leak checks. Driver was
extremely fortunate the car didn’t erupt
in flames. Do you check your steel
lines? You should - don’t take anything
Below, cracking of outer rubber jacket
is a very clear sign of failure. Cracks
deep enough to show textile fiber
reinforcement mean fuel is seeping
through. Solvent action of ethanol
reduces life of all flexible hose.
There’s nothing worse than being in
a crowd when you suddenly catch a
whiff of errant gas. That’s gasoline, of
course, and our Corvairs are blessed
with more places for gas to escape
than almost any other car built in the
last six decades. Fuel systems on our
old Corvairs have three strikes against
First, they were designed long before
the EPA began requiring E-10 or E-15
blends, never mind E-85. The multiple
hoses and connections get a doublewhammy from modern ethanol fuel
blends. This government-mandated additive oxygenates the combustion process, giving slightly improved emissions
from the “quick burn”, and helps keep
the fuel system clean as long as the fuel
is kept fresh. On the downside, ethanol
is a hygroscopic solvent. That means
it absorbs water while it eats away at
the plasticizers that make rubber hoses
and seals flexible. That’s a corrosive
combination, particular in cars not
designed for to resist the effects.
Second, even the newest Corvairs are
old, and maintenance is often a very
iffy thing. The fuel system is only as
good as the weakest hose. Have you
gone through all of the hoses and
tightened the steel line fittings? Are
they rubbing or worn due to misalignment or “modification”?
Third, Corvairs sit a lot. The ancient
hoses get stiff and brittle, making
them prime candidates for cracking
when exposed to the rare vibration of driving. Give ethanol a bit
of working time, and it will gnaw
away at hose interiors and flexible
seals (like fuel pump valves and
accelerator pump cups). Where outside
moisture is present, it can form watery
jelly in fuel filters, pumps, or carburetor fuel bowls. Corvairs don’t run well
with water trapped in the systems, and
corrosion is almost inevitable.
To keep your Corvair reliable and safe,
check your fuel system hoses and connections carefully before you embark on
a long cruise. The car, injury, or life you
save might be yours...
An Alternate Approach
(Continued From Cover)
swapped for a low polymer LS1 intake
and Corvette “batwing” oil pan (they’re
Sticking with the “update” theme, a lost
1982 Porsche 911 gave up a 915-series 5-speed transaxle with electric
speedometer output for the project.
Seems the folks at Kennedy Engineering
produce adapters that allow the Gen III
V8s to be bolted to anything from Austin
Healey to Zagato, with Cessna and
John Deere included in the middle...
You may recall that the Corvair transaxle is a stressed unit, serving as both
front drivetrain and suspension mount.
This is where the fun starts: The Porsche
box has no load-bearing duties as built,
so mounts and adapters had to be
designed and fabricated from scratch.
And as you would expect, a complete
front-radiator cooling system had to
be designed, built and plumbed for
the package. Chance has elected to
go with low air inlets to preserve the
Corvair’s stylish nose, using the deep
spoiler to direct air to the radiator.
Fifty-year-old Corsa instruments don’t
communicate well with the V8’s engine
management computer, so Chance
grabbed a dash assembly from a late
salvage-yard Pontiac GTO. While he
was at it, he also grabbed the plush
GTO seating package, and adapted the
whole shebang to the Corsa convertible.
Denvair News - March 2012 - Page 5
The narrow GTO coupe’s rear seats are
particularly noteworthy for fit in the narrow rear seat space, and the function of
the top is just like GM planned all those
The end result is a car that looks like
something Pontiac might have put it together as a concept mule in the days before GM pulled the plug: Imagine taking
one of the best GM chassis packages
and combining it with new powertrain
hardware. Somehow, it’s fitting that
Chance has combined these two GM
orphans into such an interesting mix!
On Sunday, April 29, 2012, we
invite you to drive or drag your
Corvair to rural Sedalia for a day
of general goofing off. The date
manages to miss Mother’s Day,
and we’re optimistic that February snow will have melted away.
Starting around 11:00am and hanging out through 4:00pm, RMC will feature:
* Fast Parts Sale/Swap - if you have Corvair racy parts to sell, trade or display, drag
them along. No spinner hub caps, please!
* Free diagnosis and “laying on of hands” by Steve Goodman
* New! “Car Nut Music Mix” to be aired
* With any luck, we can talk Chuck Riblett into bringing his corner scales - there might
be a rear-mount Gen III V8 car to check!
* Parts consultation with vairious experts (and experts-in-training)
* Turbo 140 project Corvair engine in (slow) progress!
* Visit the Schakel race barn, now with expanded upstairs storage (and heat)
* Yenko Stinger with really effective 4-wheel disk brakes blocking floor space!
* Sit or stand around and BS with fellow Corvairistas (plenty of parking)
* Enjoy free hot dogs and refreshments (donations for RMC accepted)
Bring some chairs, bring a dessert/appetizer/side dish, and have a lazy RMC Sunday.
Google this address:
- 7082 W. Piute Drive, Sedalia, 80135
Or, call 303 660-0914 and ask for directions.
This something-for-everyone event is designed to give club members a tech day to make
sure the ‘Vair is ready for the Tri-State, or simply ready to drive in the summer months.
As we say, Think of this as Spring Cleaning for your Corvair...
Pick up and/
or drop off
parts at either
shops - they
to make your
Denvair News - March 2012 - Page 6
Save The Blues!
Am I the only one who is at least moderately concerned about the accelerating
decline of blue hues on automobiles?
Lest you think I’m making this up, check
out the new car “design your own” web
pages and try to find blue.
The 2012 Camaro, GM’s so-called affordable sporty car, has no blue tones
available at all. Go across town to
Dodge, and you find the same omission
with their retro Challenger model. Only
Ford is true-blue to the retro heritage,
offering both Kona Blue and (moderately
wussy-looking) Grabber Blue on the new
General Motors, once the House of
Blues, even dropped the bright Jetstream
Blue from the Corvette line, now offering
only the stealthy SuperSonic Blue, which
is actually a slate gray color.
How did blue become uncool? I missed
that trend altogether, although in retrospect it’s been a long time since I’ve
seen blue paint on an award-winning
hotrod or on the cover of a car buff
magazine. And why does GM seem to
be leading the trend away?
Sure, they offer blue options for most
cars, but their only dignified hues are reserved for the daily-driver fleet cars. Go
to the Cadillac page, and check out the
CTS-V site: The only blue offered is “Opulent Blue”, a shade taken from Woody
Woodpecker with his beak caught in a
hot light socket. Are they trying to drive
us away? Two shades of white but only
one sad, cartoonish blue?
Hark back to 1960, when the economy
Corvair was introduced... Out of ten
color selections, Horizon Blue and Royal
Blue were accompanied by cousin Tasco
Turquoise to provide 30% of the spectral
exterior options. They even had blue
interiors back in those days.
Through the entire life of the Corvair,
there were always two blues in the annual exterior color palette, and even a
three-blue year (1968, with Grotto Blue,
Phantom Blue, and Teal Blue) for my
favorite spectral line.
possible, including the bright Rally Blue
WRX that stood out like a blue laser in
Carlsbad Cavern. We currently honor
the blues with the 2006 Avalanche (a
nice dark metallic blue with a hint of
red, reminds me of Corvair Danube
Blue) and the Supersonic Blue Z06 Corvette. I’m doing my part!
Blue with white, or white with blue was
the American color scheme in international racing for decades following
WWII. The most memorable cars of my
youth, like the American Racing Blue
Cobras, and my Danube Blue Corvair
looked sleek and purposeful in their metallic paint. Zora Arkus-Duntov specified
every signicant racing Corvette in blue
with white stripes, or white with bold
blue stripes. The Stingers were white
with blue stripes, true to the American
racing color scheme. Dan Gurney’s
famous Eagles were invariably blue with
white stripes, and looked absolutely
So what’s going on? Wikipedia has no
input on dwindling blues, and Wikileaks
hasn’t gotten that particular batch of
e-mails from the State Department’s Conspiracy Division yet, so I can’t answer
Above, Kevin Shipman had a blue Corvair
and was NEVER in a bad mood while
Right, check out Corsa emblem in wheel
center. 17x8 BMW wheels fit nicely on
Corvair, but the drums look pretty weenie.
Chance says disk brakes are on his list.
I’ve tried to support blue whenever
Denvair News - March 2012 - Page 7
Personally, I think cars have evolved
from emotional items into appliances for
bored Boomers and their descendants,
leaving us with Refrigerator White
BMWs and Malibus. Where’s the glory
in that? And what’s with black cars? If
you’re going to go to that kind of trouble
to keep a car clean, at least put a little
blue tint in it for patriotic effect.
The blue-free trend simply must be
stopped! It wouldn’t surprise me if some
brilliant cultural anthropologist linked the
shift away from blue automobiles to the
start of America’s economic decline - it
really is that significant.
In view of the growing magnitude of
our loss, I hereby declare 2012 as the
kickoff of my personal “Save The Blues”
campaign. I’ll have to research Stevie
Ray through Muddy Waters for a suitable theme song.
So who’s with me? I suspect this movement will lead to a blue hue on the Corvair Formerly Known As Pig, and you
can join the protest by voting with your
color chart when your Corvair needs a
new shot of exterior protection.
You too can help save America! Don’t let
them take our Blues away!
Due Dues Reminder
Gone Next Month
Jerry & Nancy Gertiesen
George & Carolyn Evans Robert & Lora Attwood Kevin & Robin Shipman
Jeffrey & Keyy Sokol
For fast turnar
make your ch
Patrick & Mary Jo Robben Laurence Johnson
payable to RM
mail it to: RM
Duane & Murva Ann Rodgers
Billings St., A
Christopher & Mary Schubert
The Defense Department recently released the
definitive Automotive Blue Book, the world’s
first comprehensive scientific review of the
benefits of blue automobiles. And you were
thinking of the NADA Blue Book? Nah...
The most revealing finding was the fact that is
is mentally impossible to be depressed while
driving a blue vehicle, in spite of the counterintuitive use of “blues” to describe a bad funk in
North American culture.
The image at left (courtesy Rustman on Flickr)
was captured on a blue morning in a blue haze
with a blue Corvair, and clearly illustrates the
ability to lift a blue mood without listening to the
- Izzy Guiffe
You have a Corvair!
If you aren’t already a member, we invite you to join Rocky Mountain Corsa (RMC), a local chapter of the national Corvair
Society of America (CORSA). RMC is dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of Corvair automobiles.
We meet the first Friday evening of every month at John Elway Chevrolet, 5200 S. Broadway, in Englewood. Meetings are
held in the upstairs training room, starting at 7:00pm.
There are a number of benefits from joining the group, including an annual show, monthly group events, a monthly local
newsletter, Denvair News, and Corvair Communique, an award-winning monthly magazine published by CORSA.
Whether you race, show, or just drive your Corvair, you’ll find others who share your interests.
Combined single/family membership to both RMC and CORSA costs just $68.00 per year. Dues can be mailed to RMC,
PO Box 27058, Lakewood, CO 80227-0058, or simply pay at the monthly meeting - we hope to hear from you soon!
City, State, Zip:
Corvairs in your life:
Referring Member (if applicable):