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Author Topic: Corvair  (Read 4428 times)
Jon Mello
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« on: June 23, 2012, 01:07:37 AM »

There were only two Corvairs that I can think of that ran in the Trans-Am series and that was during the first season, 1966.
They were run by Spurgeon May and Don Eichstaedt. Hopefully I can dig up some material on those cars. The Corvair was
at a disadvantage in Trans-Am because its engine was too large for the under 2-liter class and way too small for the over
2-liter class. In D/Production with the Yenko Stinger package, they did quite well and were the National Champion in 1967.
In other forms of racing such as slaloms and hill climbs, where rules were not quite so restrictive, you can see in the article
below that the Corvair did quite well for itself.






Jon Mello Collection
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 12:05:33 PM »

   Doug ended up with the Bill Thomas 1960  Corvair  which Bill had developed for sedan racing ( another back door Chevy project ). Bill developed the 4 carb , big valve heads which became the 140 hp Corvair engine in 1965. That car now belongs to a friend here in Indiana who restored it to the configuration that Doug last raced it.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 06:31:50 PM »

Thanks, Mark. I didn't know where that car ended up. Here's a small story on the
BTRC Corvair from the November, 1963 issue of Car and Driver magazine.
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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2012, 06:32:55 PM »

Bill Thomas ad from November, 1963.
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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 01:57:31 PM »

1966 Yenko Stingers did very well in competition and did win the National Championship in 1967.
They did not ever reach the production numbers Don Yenko was hoping for in spite of being a
very competitive car.
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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 01:58:37 PM »

Another Stinger ad.
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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2012, 04:30:30 PM »

A couple of for sale ads from 1971 below
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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 01:17:48 AM »

An ad in the Jan. 6, 1968 issue of Competition Press & Autoweek touting the accomplishment
of Jerry Thompson's Yenko Stinger winning the 1967 National Championship for D/Production.




An ad in the Jan. 27, 1968 issue of Competition Press & Autoweek showing Jerry Thompson's Corvair is for sale.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 12:33:10 AM »

I'm still learning and need to learn a lot more about the way the SCCA classes were run but Jon, you mentioned that there was most likely only 2 corvairs ran in the Trans Am series and they were right in the beginning but I couldn't help but notice that you or someone else (wish I could remember the thread I was looking at) mentioned a later model Corvair that Tony Delorenzo owned and/or raced in Trans Am.  I'm not trying to start an argument here.  I just am wondering how many were actually raced in Trans Am classes and if there were any of the later model ones.  Also like I mentioned not being super confident in my knowledge of SCCA classes, did I hear you correctly that the Corvairs ran against the pony cars and not the imports?  Could you point me to some good info on how SCCA classes were run?  Thanks :-)
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2013, 09:41:41 AM »

While searching through the almost 1,000 pictures Dave Friedman took during the weekend of the 1966 12-hours of Sebring I found several pictures of the Four Hour Governor's Cup for Sedans which was the first Trans Am race ever held.  It took place on March 25, 1966 at Sebring Circuit, Sebring Florida.  Amongst these images I found a few pictures of two Corvairs that participated in the Trans Am race.  One of the Corvairs was the #21 of Don Eichsteadt who did not finish the race.   The other was the #22 of Spurgeon May who finished 19th, 15 laps behind the winning Alfa Romeo of Jochen Rindt.

These three pictures show the start of the race and are part of The Dave Friedman Collection at the Henry Ford. 

See a larger version of the first picture here: http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=152111&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0

See a larger version of the second picture here: http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=152110&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0

See a larger version of the third picture here: http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=152109&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2013, 09:46:41 AM »

These two pictures show the #21 car of Don Eichsteadt furing the Sebring 4-hour Trans Am race.   These are also part of The Dave Friedman Collection at The Henry Ford.

See a larger version of the first picture here: http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=152075&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0

See a larger version of the second picture here: http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=151233&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2013, 09:51:55 AM »

These first two pictures show the #22 of Spurgeon May, while the third picture shows the front of one of the Corvairs.  They are also part of The Dave Friedman Collection at The Henry Ford.  Anybody know what the strange mechanical device on the engine cover is?  Is it some type of data collection device??  It doesn't appear on the #21.

A larger version of the first picture can be seen here: http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=152186&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0

A larger version of the second picture can be seen here: http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=151235&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0   

A larger version of the third picture can be seen here: http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=151227&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0
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SMKZ28
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2013, 10:06:18 AM »

Here is a picture of the #36 Yenko Stinger Corvair that participated but did not finish the 12 hours of Sebring sports car race the day after the first Trans Am race.  The last names of the three drivers who drove it were MacGrotty, Riley, and Myers.  Another Yenko Stinger Corvair also participated but their are no pictures of it in this collection.  It was the #37 car of Donna Mae Mimms her co-driver with the last name of Luke.   The picture is also part of The Dave Friedman Collection at The Henry Ford.

See a larger version of the picture here: http://thehenryford.artehouse.com/perl/magnify_popup.pl?imageID=151586&staticImage=C&ckon=image&alt=0
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 11:31:41 AM by SMKZ28 » Logged
SMKZ28
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2013, 11:48:04 AM »

Here is a picture of the #12 Trans Am Corvair driven by Spurgeon May and Jack Clay taken by Jerry Melton.  It was posted in the thread entitled "1966 Green Valley Trans-Am photos" from this website: http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=8789.15    This race was the 6th race of the 1966 season and it took place at Green Valley Raceway, Smithfield, Texas on September 10th.

An ad from the Green Valley Polar Prix sports car race which took place in February of 1966 also appears in the thread.  The ad was for Johnson Chevrolet Co. from Dallas, Texas and it  features a picture of the Yenko Corvair Stinger.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2013, 11:35:54 PM »

Tony DeLorenzo did run a Corvair in the '65-'66 timeframe but did not run in Trans-Am with it. His car was the '65 and up bodystyle. The Corvairs were over the 2-liter limit with their engine size and had to compete against the V8 cars in Trans-Am and also in the A-Sedan class in SCCA National and Regional events. The Yenko Stingers removed the back seat and qualified themselves as a 2-seat sports car in SCCA, which classified them in D-Production where they got to run against Triumphs and the like. They did very well in D-Production, winning the National Championship in '67.
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