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Thread: corvair? DeTomaso Pantera?

  1. #1
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    corvair? DeTomaso Pantera?

    I was just at a car show like half an hour ago. I've never seen these two cars before:

    Chevrolet Corvair and DeTomaso PanteraGT5

    The corvair was stupid. It had the distributer cap, radiator, and intake(carburator) in the TRUNK and we didn't see any engine block... wierd. I think it was a 65. and I'm pretty friggen sure it was a convertible... actually. i KNOW it was a convertible. Tell me what you know about this car. is the engine itself in the front? and they put components in the back for better balancing?

    THe Pantera was cooooool. I immediately recognized the italian body style, but when I took a peak under the hatch, w/ the huge wing, i discovered the logitudally mounted mid-engine Ford (427 maybe?) It looked cool as hell, and i'm sure it performed pretty well. Real low ground clearance. wide... the works. its posted in the archives on ultimatecarpage. take a look if you don't know it. Tell me about it if you don't. i love it.

  2. #2
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    The Chevy Corvair was a pretty lousy car to drive. The engine in the back provoked handling histrionics. The centre of gravity was placed too far back. The car could even be flipped up-side-down if you pushed it. The engine however was rather cool. It's an air-cooled flat 6. It makes an awesome noise and there was even a turbo version available. In the movie 'The Thomas Crown affair' with Steve McQueen you can see a dunebuggy with a Corvair engine.
    The De Tomaso Pantera has a 5.8l Ford engine, which was the only reliable thing about the car in the beginning. The Pantera was certainly not flawless, although that improved on later versions. Like any American V8 the sound is absolutely fantastic. Handlingwise the car is said to lift its front end at high speed.

  3. #3
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    More?

    The Corvair automatic had a push-button gear change, left of the steering wheel, a nice set of chrome buttons (electro-mechanical) running vertically. It was unstable and felt sloppy with a huge steering wheel and no road-feel, quick direction changes would have the suspension overcomming the first turn or bump, while you were into the second or third. Terrible seats attached to a flat floor pan didn't help. It was quick, when pushed, but if pushed too hard would overheat, in Australia anyway. We have a guy here with a white turbo 160BHP who competes in various tarmac rallies and closed road events, its quite a sight to behold. The car is a classic - but for all the wrong reasons.
    A pox - a pox I say -
    a pox on all those that cling to the use of the oil-burning horseless carriage and pollute the King's highways and byways.

  4. #4
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    WEll I dont know where you two get your info from but im going to educate you right now.Ok you say the corvair is a ill handleing beast il admidt that the pre 64 models were a bit twitchy but they can and will out handle 90% of what was riding around then. Il go toe toe with just about any newer alleged sport sedan or other wise with my 66 corvair.The 65 up had a indipendent rear suspension that was even better than the corvettes set up!And I really love people like you who no less rode in one no less driven one!Mine is bone stock and I can take curves that would make even the 5 series bmw back off trust me ive done it and i like embarrasing pompous asses in cars like that.That wonderful pantera aint so great just ask anyone who owned one long enough.I like guys like you you crap on a car about unfounded hearsay and never even drove one yourself.Maybe you should get one and see what fun your missing!!! dont feel bad about it!go get one and see what so many of us corvair owners know allready!!! we aint grinnin for no reason!

  5. #5
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    ccvair, they had to add a transverse leaf spring to the rear to tame the handling didnt' they. One taken from the Corvette design book ???
    They had the reputation for beign VERY nasty when they lost rear traction.
    Is that much improved with modern rubber then ?
    Keeping up with a modern 5-series ? What one ?? Did the guy have his seeing-eye-dog safely restrained in the rear ??

    How about creating your own thread and letting us know more about your car. Some pics. Specs etc. I'd love to see it and learn more.
    Last edited by Matra et Alpine; 09-13-2005 at 03:25 AM.
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  6. #6
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    I'd like to throw in a few things: I think those Corvairs are pretty cool. Most of the myths regarding their driving characteristics are just that; myths. It was a bit twitchy in the front but I think the particular one I'm talking about needed a wheel alignment. I noticed the rear wheels were way over-cambered.

    One of our salesmen has one, A Monza Spyder. It rides pretty nice. Comfortable and neat looking, too, although someone did a less-than-perfect paint job on it.
    Othix, as you've probably figured out by now, the Corvair was REAR ENGINED. The block and everything else was hidden under all the equipment you saw. It uses a flat-6.

    Although it's not perfect, the Corvair is by no means a pile of junk like most seem to think. Ralph Nader (or some such) used to compaign against it, sighting deadly handling and the like, all because it broke away from the boring, "traditional" american design of the time. That's probably why many think they're terrible cars, out of Heresy.

    That little switch-shift beside the steering wheel sure was interesting though. I still don't like Automatics Note: On this car, the gear shift was on the right of the wheel, but of course this is Canada.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radoman
    I'd like to throw in a few things: I think those Corvairs are pretty cool. Most of the myths regarding their driving characteristics are just that; myths. It was a bit twitchy in the front but I think the particular one I'm talking about needed a wheel alignment. I noticed the rear wheels were way over-cambered.
    The propensity for the early models to pull a rear wheel in under and flip was the biggest issue raised against the car.
    The rear suspension was well known to have had issues in the smaller cars it was designed in over here.
    Making it a big car exagerated the issue of wheel unloading camber change and the loss of grip then ensuing.
    AFAIK that was why they added the transverse spring as it limited the tuck-under of the rears.
    Also with a heavier car it wasn't as simple as a bag of sand in the front for serious driving ( Used to rally in a Hillman Imp and even with the Monte suspension you had to put bag of sand in the front for forest events )
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  8. #8
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    wasnt the corvair notorious for randomly exploding?
    pantera for teh win

  9. #9
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    I love the Panteras. Incredbily beautiful cars!
    The Italian Car Fest had quite a few!
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  10. #10
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    The Pantera, what a combo, italian body and an american v8, thats a winner! I love the early ones, especially when powered by a side-oiler 427/450hp Ford big block!

  11. #11
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    Oh I found this thread very interesting. It's amazing how ignorance is bliss. The Corvair is an awesome car, she corners like she is on rails and is the Porsche of Chevrolet. Any person who has the gumption to say anything remotely dismal about her is plain backwoods.

  12. #12
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    the pantera has no design. its designed in just 1 day. the day that the chef of design had a blackout.

  13. #13
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    well both my father and me have corvair mins a 63 and his is a 66 and with a month worth of work we made his a 10 second drag car their light yes but they corner like a dream if u put weights in the front and well their just really good cars

  14. #14
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    Why does it seem like every corvair owner is converging on this thread?

  15. #15
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    Not having driven one, I cannot give a fully justified verdict on the cornering of the Corvair but I assume that it can work out when driven like a 911, slow into a corner and then use the superior traction the weight distribution gives you to accelerate out of the corner fast.

    As for a modern 5 series not being able to keep up - I guess that is more to do with the willingness / skill of the driver than the capability of the car.

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