10 March 2020

Thoughts on home repairs continue, with future car projects orbiting in the background. The good thing about this stage of such car projects is that they cost nothing, mistakes don’t matter, and all sorts of different approaches can be tried in one’s imagination without concern.

I asked for input on another car forum about what to put on the Corvette drivetrain, and they’re as out there as I am, ranging from Corvairs, El Caminos, vans, early mini vans, trucks, rat rods, used NASCAR chassis, Teslas, and even a Pontiac Aztek (lime green of course to match the one in Breaking Bad). Anything more recent though from 1975 is an automatic disqualification.

I keep going around between a rat rod truck to a van-ish sort of thing, because I want storage for stuff ( track tires, jack, cooler, chair, etc) during trips so I don’t have to trailer the car. So there’s that, and wanting working doors, rain seals, air, and heat. There are a fair number of fiberglass hot rod shells available, but by the time doors and glass are added, they’re up around $8K shipped just for the truck cab. Moneywise, it seems to make more sense to start with a mid-1960’s truck, and then I’m right back to something like what that guy bought to the Del Mar hot rod show, a “farm truck” on a corvette chassis.

I guess it’s pretty obvious that I’m not trying to be unique, but instead want something usable, something that makes me smile to look at (I appreciate sleepers) and is fun to drive. The only downside with the truck approach is that after a lot of work, it could end up weighing as much as a complete Corvette, but with twice the aero drag. Can’t have that. There are complete fiberglass truck bodies, but they’re set up for drag racing and have non-working doors. They certainly are not trivial to add, what with weather stripping, rain channels, glass guides, etc, but who knows.

Oh, regarding using a Corvair donor, a number of people have put V8s in them mid-engine, ahead of a transaxle. That’s fine for them because they can apparently afford the $12-18K for a proper transaxle that won’t break. Also, these builders claim that their cars have a 50/50 weight distribution. I can’t see how that is because a Corvette, with its front engine and rear transmission, is also 50/50, so someone’s incorrect. I still want to stick with pretty much a dead-stock Corvette driveline (engine, tranny, suspension, and brakes.

BTW, I read that late model Corvettes use the latest generation of LT1 engine, which is direct injection. You know what DI engines work really well with, right? Turbochargers, but there I go again 🙂