So gather around, kids, and let me tell you a tale of those glory days of the 1960’s. You’ve all heard about how a Mr. Shelby crammed a big motor into a little car, and changed the world. Well, he’s not the only one.
Also in the 1960’s there was another man, another visionary, another genius, named Ted Trevor, who started a little company in California called Crown Manufacturing, who specialized in making kits to put big engines in little cars. Specifically, VW’s and Corvairs.
The first kit let you bolt-up a Corvair engine to your VW bug. Or bus. Or Karmann Ghia. Or Meyers Manx. Etc. You’d just drop out your 36, 40, 50, or 53 horsepower VW mill, add Crown’s cast aluminum adapter plate, and bolt up* a Corvair engine of up to 180 stock horsepower.
Think about that. Imagine quadrupling the power in your car.
Trevor’s second project was even more audacious, bodacious, and well, just fucking awesome. Called the CORV-8, the kit let you put a Chevy V-8 in a Corvair where the back seat used to be. And it was good. Period tests called the car a Group 7 or Can-Am car for the street. This example is developed for track use, with a 460 horsepower SBC and upgraded brakes, tranny and suspension. At Car of the Day, we’d de-decal it, muffle it, and go scare ourselves silly. In a good way.
Find this Mid-engine Corvair CORV-8 in Georgia here on eBay.
*Well, since the Corvair engine turns the opposite direction from virtually any other car- due to its having to share a transaxle with early Pontiac Tempests– you also have to either reverse the Corvair’s direction with a special cam, or flip the ring gear in the VW tranny, which was conveniently designed to operate in either direction depending on whether it was going in a bug or bus.