Chevrolet Corvair Corsa : 1966

Produced from 1965-1966 only.
Filed under:  Classic
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n/a n/a n/a 1965 - 1966
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The Corsa series accounted for less than 2.5 percent of Corvair's 10 year total production figures, and for approximately 10 percent of the late model's five year run. When you consider the Corsa was produced only in 1965 and 1966, these numbers are significant. While not as popular on the sales floor as the Monza, the Corsa is, in the Corvair of choice for the serious collector of late model, pure stock Corvairs.

(source: Corvair Corsa).

corsa c emblem

Corvair Corsa emblem, located on the lower portion of the rear quarter panel, just in front of the rear wheel well.

corvair emblem 1

Corvair emblem, located on the glove compartment door.

corvair corsa emblem 1

Corvair Corsa emblem.

turbo emblem

Turbochargers were rare in the Sixties. In fact, the Corvair was one of two North American production cars to use one in the 1962 model year, with GM's Oldsmobile F-85 Jetfire being the other. The turbocharged '65 Corsa engine developed 30 horsepower more than its turbocharged 1962 Monza Spyder sibling.


Ultra simple typography on the 1965 and 1966 Corvair Corsa shift-knob.


The Crown Corv-8 conversion kit for the late model Corvair enables the installation of a small-block Chevy engine in a mid-engine configuration. The original kit was produced in the late Sixties and included an adapter and most of the components needed.

Crown was the brainchild of owner, builder, driver, and engineer Ted Trevor who began building high quality castings in his California shop around 1957. They were into the off road scene way before it became what it is today, building bullet proof accessories for the popular Volkswagen dune buggies.

yenko stinger decal

The Yenko Stinger Emble. The Corsa series was modified for higher performance by both Don Yenko (The Stinger) and John Fitch. Based on the Corvair Corsa or Monza, and very popular in SCCA racing circles, the Yenko Stinger was available in four stages of tune with 160, 190, 220 and 240 horsepower engines built up from Corvair's 164 cubic inch, flat-six.

Don Yenko, who had been racing Corvettes, could not compete successfully against the Carroll Shelby Mustangs after they arrived on the scene; he therefore decided to race modified Corvairs, beginning with the 1966 model. As the stock Corvair did not fit into any of the SCCA categories, Yenko had to modify four-carburetor Corsas into "sports cars" by removing the back seat; in the process he would introduce various performance improvements.

As the SCCA required 100 cars to be manufactured to homologate the model for production racing, Yenko completed 100 Stingers in one month in 1965. Although all were white, as the SCCA required for American cars at the time, there was a great deal of variety between individual cars; some had exterior modifications including fiberglass engine covers with spoilers, some did not; some received engine upgrades developing 160, 190, 220, or 240 hp (119, 142, 164, or 179 kW). All were equipped by the Chevrolet factory with heavy duty suspension, four speed transmission, quicker steering ratio, positraction differentials (50 with 3.89 gears, and 50 with 3.55 when Chevrolet dropped the 3.89) and dual brake master cylinders (the first application of this by Chevrolet, to become stock equipment the next year). The Stingers competed in Class D Production, which was dominated by the Triumph TR4, which was very quick in racing trim; however in its first race in January 1966, the Stinger was able to come in second by only one second. By the end of the 1966 season, Jerry Thompson had won the Central Division Championship and placed fifth in the 1966 Nationals, Dick Thompson, a highly successful Corvette race driver, had won the Northeast Division Championship, and Jim Spencer had won the Central Division Championship, with Dino Milani taking second place.

The next year, however, Chevrolet dropped the Corsa line, and the Monza line was not initially available stock with the four carburetor engine; the engine was eventually offered as a special performance option, however, along with the 3.89 differential. The Monza instrumentation, however, did not have a tachometer or head temperature gauges, which had to be separately installed. The SCCA, on the other hand, had relaxed its ruling regarding color, and the cars were available in red or blue. It is believed that only fourteen 1967 Stingers were built, but Dana Chevrolet, who distributed Stingers on the US West Coast, ordered an additional three similar cars to be built to Stinger specifications, but with the AIR injection system to meet California emissions laws, with Yenko's permission. A total of 185 Stingers are believed to have been built, the last being YS-9700 built for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company as a tire test vehicle in 1969.

yenko logo1

Yenko logo. During the Sixties, Don Yenko, the noted road racer associated with Yenko Sportscars, Inc. in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, produced the Yenko Stinger Corvair and a number of other high performance vehicles like the COPO (Central Office Production Order) big block Camaro of the late sixties.

ad 1966

Full page ad for a 1966 Corvair. (source: Vexnet Guru).

catalog 11

Cover of the 1966 Corvair brochure. (source: Vexnet Guru).

catalog 1

Page 3 of the 1966 Corvair sales brochure. (source: Vexnet Guru).

corvair shop manual 65

1965 Chevrolet Corvair Shop Manual.

production chart1

chevrolet 5

Chevrolet   Named after Louis Chevrolet.
Chevrolet SS   The 1961 Impala was the first production SS vehicle.
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Chevrolet commercials   
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Chevrolet brochures   
Chevrolet Nomad : 2004   Makes station wagons look cool.
Chevrolet Volt : 2007   New hot concept: GM''s Concept Electric Vehicle
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Fellows : 2007   Only 399 will be built. First white Z06.
Chevrolet Camaro by Yenko   Canonsburg, PA
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 : 1969   Only 69 made.
Chevrolet Corvette LT4 Gran Sport : 1996   GM built 1,000 limited edition Grand Sports for the 1996 model run.
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Chevrolet T2X : 2005   Combining SUV and Sport Coupe.
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 : 2009   The Fastest, Most Powerfull Production Corvette Ever Built.
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Chevrolet Impala : 1959   
Chevrolet Camaro RS convertible : 1967   
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Chevrolet Impala : 1964   
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Chevrolet Chevelle Z16 : 1965   201 produced.
Chevrolet Camaro : 2010   
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Chevrolet C7 on hold   
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray : 2009   Revealed at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show.
Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport : 2010   Envisioned by legendary Corvette engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov.
Chevrolet   Official site.
Corvair Corsa   A plentiful source of Corvair history.
Corvair Society of America   CORSA is a world-wide organization.
Corvair Houston   Club.
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THE "1900's" BOOK.
Each decade seems to have its own stylistic language, and this issue showcases logos, ads, cars, companies and products (and their typographical sensibilities) from the early 1900s.

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