V-8 Corvair with rare Chevy aluminum 283 cu. in. engine

This Corvair conversion was done by Paul Siano in 1970 and updated throughout the years. This video was done by his pal, Jeff Banet.

There is another video of a top speed run and efficiency specifications …" click on this link to see it: "

Crown conversion. Initial owner.

V-8 Corvair with rare Chevy aluminum 283 cu. in. engine

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57 Comments

  1. Thanks for your positive comments. We are having fun with the whole thing and plan to do one more video that will include a couple of maxed out 0 to 130 mph runs and some shots taken from the rear overlooking the engine and through the windshield while accelerating as hard as it will go. The youtube video will be uploaded before the article about it in the December issue of “Automobile” magazine hits the stands.

    Again thanks,

    Paul

  2. The late Corvair front end and the rear quarter panels look similar to the early Camaros. Both still look pretty good 45 years later. I wonder if anybody has done a mid-engine Camaro conversion.

  3. It’s hot, it’s loud, and and I like it. I could easily cover the engine which would address the hot/loud issues but…

    True car guys understand. I’d guess you are one of us.

    Thanks

    1. You’re EXACTLY correct, sounds like music to my ears. OUTSTANDING, what a fantastic job, that car is super clean and I agree about GM’s not doing something similar, if not the same.

    2. @Jimmy Sapien I’ve thought about it but acrylic can be hard to keep clean. Some day I may give it a try. Thanks for your interest.

    1. Isn’t that cool as hell ! Love the 283 also. High revving little power house if a guy set them up right. Much less Aluminum !

    2. Just saw this! Love the car and the history on the engine..can’t be many of those around! Glad everyone is still around!! Take Care!

  4. Jeff, a long time friend, did the video.

    I was aircrew on a Navy carrier based plane (AD5-W) in the late 50s and early 60s. A catapult shot got us airborne in about 1 1/2 seconds.
    (120 mph)

    An engine cover makes a lot of sense but I just can’t bring myself to hide the engine which in my eyes is a thing of beauty.

    Tanks for your comments.

    1. Dont hide it……….id even put clear valve covers so i could look in the rearview and see those rockers at work!!!!

  5. Nice work, Paul. First class. That said, you need to consider this, and I speak from experience. I was driving in one similarly configured when the upper hose broke. Thankfully we were not at operating temperature (although the thermostat had just started to open) so we weren’t scalded. Just soaked and slightly scorched. Generally ruined our day. My suggestion is to reconsider covering the engine.

  6. My grandfather, Frank J. Winchell, was GM’s expert witness in the defense of the Corvair. In total there were 294 cases brought against GM, totaling claims of over 100 million dollars. Of these, 10 were tried to jury convictions. Of these, 8 verdicts were in favor of GM. Of the 2 loses; “Chart v GM,” where 2 of the 5 occupants testified in court that the driver had a quarrel with his girlfriend and that after a 2 1/2 hour stop at Bronco’s Beer Bar, where the driver was chug-a-luging his beer, and later they warned the him that he was driving recklessly and at an excessive speed, that he failed to make a right hand turn, locked up his brakes and struck a telephone pole. In what is know as a comparative negligence verdict, the jury found the driver 75% responsible, the girlfriend 3%, the state highway 5%, the county highway 5% and GM 12%. The other lose was “Canthos v GM,” where the jury found in favor of the plaintiff, however, the judge set the jury’s verdict aside stating “There is not a scintilla of quotient evidence to support the claims against the handling characteristics of the 1960-63 Corvair.(paraphrasing)” He went on to describe the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert witness as “perhaps the most incomprehensible gibberish that this court has ever heard.” A Untied Sates Senate Committee spent 2 1/2 year investigating the safety of the Corvair, the DOT as well as many other institutions, even Nader’s own NHTSA came to the same conclusions as everyone else, that the Corvair was not defectively designed nor a defective product. In fact, it performed as good, or better than all cars on american roads at that time.

    1. 😍 Sounds incredible ! And it’s like a ‘ pocket Pantera ‘- a true mid- enigine V-8, made in America

    2. Nader was a fraud! The Corvair was safe if you knew how it handled. The rear engine made the rear end heavy, of course. My cousin put 100+K miles on his ’65 Monza and never had any issues. Did I mention that Ralph Nader is a fraud?

  7. One of my three Corvairs was a mid-engine 327.
    Super-fast, handled like a dream.
    But nowhere near as well-done as this outstanding piece of work
    imo
    Great car!
    imo

    1. @Rich Guess I must have overlooked your comment from a year ago…sorry. Early on I had a Crown cover which provided a firewall and sound/heat insulation…didn’t like how it looked. Bought the bucket seats from J. C Whitney thinking I’d build an engine cover and fire wall. I installed the seats, liked how they look and quit. I like to see the engine. Plexiglass is often suggested…maybe I’ll take another look at that possibility. Thanks for your interest!

    2. Charlie Newman From a 66 year old Gearhead to another, age unknown, beautiful work & the Aluminum Block 283 is as Fine as a Barn-found Model A!👍🏻👍🏻

  8. Hey, I sold the Crown kit to Paul in the early ’70s. Glad to see you still have it after all these years. Paul also introduced me to the woman to whom I’ve been married for almost 40 years now. Once you find something good, stick with it, right ? —Steve

    1. @Mark Gamble Don Sherman, a “Car and Driver” editor, tested the car at Chrysler Proving Grounds and guessed it made 300 HP. Thanks for your interest!

  9. This is a beautiful look at what could had been and I’m glad someone did it because i was thinking this should had been done

    1. Clearly it’s not a car for everybody. I’m planning to do another video describing all of the changes since this video was made. Glad you like it!

    2. @Paul Siano You should do another one, and show more of what it can do in the road!! Thanks for Keeping your Dream Alive!

  10. An amazing car. Well done. Especially love the Moon manifold and the IDAs.

    Reminds me of a car I saw in Reno at Hot August Nights; a mid-engine Corsair with an Olds aluminum V8. It might have been stroked from 215 ci to 260 ci.

  11. Outstanding! I had the 283 in two of my Chevrolets – 1957 and 1966 – and the ’57 had what Chevrolet called “Power Pack” heads. I’d heard rumors of an aluminum 283 but you’ve clarified their existence. It would have made a wonderful Vette powerplant and would have been a top notch option for TransAm cars and a lot of street rods. Thanks for sharing your beautiful Corvair.👍

  12. Can’t say enough! I love everything about this from the wheels to the color and the scoops. It’s absolutely astoundingly beautiful!! Great job. Makes the Ferraris and the such of that era look like a road. Absolutely amazing!

  13. The Corvair styling never seems to get old. I liked them back in the day and I like them now. Ralph Nader be damned!

    1. I grew up in the 50s and a 50 year old car would have looked very different then. This car is 55 years old and has aged well, IMHO.

    2. I always loved the late model Corvair, it was futuristic when it came out and it looks awesome today , I wish that they had at least made them for a couple more years !

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