Corvair DiagramCorvair Photo
Corvair Center
home forum corvairs calendar links Corvair Podcast
California Corvairs
Clarks Corvair
Clarks Corvair
“CORSA"



Chevy Corvair License Plate
Chevy Corvair Chrome Wheel
Corvair Center Forum :  Corvair Center Phorum The fastest message board... ever.
Corvair Center 
The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: VairKing ()
Date: March 25, 2012 07:11PM

The Don Eichstaedt Corvair

Last fall, I added the Don Eichstaedt Corvair Racecar to my collection. This car has been owned by fellow club member Dan Konkle for the past several decades. He has done a good job of collecting some of the history on this famous Corvair Racecar. The history:

The Corviar was ordered new by Don’s brother, who worked for the Chevrolet Central Office and was delivered through Gene Hamilton Chevrolet in Warren, Michigan. It was ordered as a Corsa coupe, with 140 hp, 4 speed, and possibly quick steering.

Don was an engineer for Chevy, and had many friends in different departments, and they were able to put together a race motor for it early in ’65.

The first race Don entered the car in ws the Sebring 3 hour Sedan race. After preparing the 140 for the race and bringing the car to Florida, they were told the car needed to have the 180 HP turbocharged motor in order to compete. A call back home to GM and new cylinder heads and all the turbo fixins were on the way. The race went okay, although the turbo seized up toward the end of the race. He finished first in class and 14th overall.

The rest of 1965 was spent racing in various SCCA events, around Eastern Michigan.

In summary of 1965, he raced 20 races, had 10 1st places, 5 2nd places, and 5 DNF

In 1966 they took the car back to Sebring for the famous Trans-Am series, but DNF due to a broken input shaft.

More SCCA racing through 1966, racing 11 races; 4 1st; 2 2nd; and 1 3rd.

1967 had 5 races, and in 1968 Don sold the car.

The car wore number 8 for that first Sebring race, after that Don changed it to number 65 which it still wears today.

Dan Konkle has been successfully racing the car for a long time.

I plan on doing the same, keeping the history safe, and using the car for what it was bought new for in 1965. Going fast! I will be doing lots of autocrossing with it this summer. In the future I may return the car to its original Glacier Gray Color, and add the white horizontal stripe seen in the pictures.



Cover of Corvair Communiques, published in 1965



Pictures from that first Sebring Sedan race in 1965











I am not sure when this one was taken. Sometime between ’65 and ‘68



I just bought this slide off eBay, and do not have a slide scanner so I had to use the sample image from the ad. The slide is dated June ’66, it was maybe taken at Waterford?



Interior in 1965



And now



How the car looks today







_________________________________________
Ryan Counterman (Moderator)
1965 Corsa Kelmark V8 400 HP ///1965 Monza Sedan 110/PG /// Ultimate Corvair Hauler/// Don Eichstaedt's 1965 Corsa Racecar
West Michigan Corvair Club /// New Build! 1966 Corsa GTP Convertible Mid Engine 3.8L Supercharged!




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/2012 07:21PM by VairKing.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: irvan ()
Date: March 25, 2012 07:20PM

very cool

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: friedfish80 ()
Date: March 25, 2012 07:43PM

Love it! That engine has to sing with the carbs rotated. And gives me a few ideas about return springs for mu 4x1 motor.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: Mike Stillwell ()
Date: March 26, 2012 07:00AM

Glad you got the slide! I remember seeing it at VIR in 2002. I thought it might have been a "body in white" racecar, as it had no VIN. Dan seemed to think it never had one, but that was a long time ago.
Here's some pix from 2002. It was very fast.

Mike
YS-117

Attachments:


Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: VairKing ()
Date: March 26, 2012 11:05AM

Anyone care to decode? I think the car was ordered without backup lights, radio, or heater. And it should be a Glacier Gray Corsa with gray interior.

_________________________________________
Ryan Counterman (Moderator)
1965 Corsa Kelmark V8 400 HP ///1965 Monza Sedan 110/PG /// Ultimate Corvair Hauler/// Don Eichstaedt's 1965 Corsa Racecar
West Michigan Corvair Club /// New Build! 1966 Corsa GTP Convertible Mid Engine 3.8L Supercharged!

Attachments:

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: Spectre ()
Date: March 26, 2012 11:22AM

Looks like a timing belt tensioner on the fan shroud to keep the belt on.

David Clamp


1965 Corsa convertible - 140 4spd/3.55/AM-FM

2013 Mustang GT convertible - 5.0, 6spd auto, Procharger i-1

2003 Miata SE - 6spd manual (wife's toy)

"Victory is mine!" - SG

Oklahoma City, OK

Click for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Forecast

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: matchlessmo ()
Date: March 26, 2012 12:58PM

Sir what your plans for car ..daily driver or just for the track!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: gmorphan ()
Date: March 26, 2012 04:03PM

Very cool car! thumbs up I love stuff like this.


Spectre Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Looks like a timing belt tensioner on the fan
> shroud to keep the belt on.

I noticed that too. Thought it was neat how it's mounted using the bosses stamped into the top shrould like it was made for it.

Bob Manwaring, Kingston, TN
'69 500 Coupe #1432

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: Gary Hoffman ()
Date: March 26, 2012 07:50PM

Ryan:

You will do the car proud, and for that matter will represent the Corvair Community the way it should be done.

Congrats!

Gary

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: March 26, 2012 08:21PM

What a score!! And ready to race to boot!





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Date: March 27, 2012 03:28AM

VairKing Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anyone care to decode? I think the car was
> ordered without backup lights, radio, or heater.
> And it should be a Glacier Gray Corsa with gray
> interior.
-----------------------------------------------------------

The Fisher Body ID plate shows it to be a very early 1965 build: September 3rd week in 1964. Body #303 in Willow Run Michigan.
It is a Corsa Coupe,`which means it was built with back up lights, but the usual practice for building any race car is to take all the street extras out to "add lightness" so out goes the headliner, carpet, spare tire, b/u lights, heater, radio, seats, seat belts, etc.
Paint Code W-W is Glacier Gray which is metallic Silver paint.
Trim code 795 is Slate vinyl interior with Silver paint
Accessory codes show 2L 4 speed (because of b/u light wiring and 4P is the Comfort & Convenience group A
A very rare heater delete would have code H after the L in the ACC line.

I've wondered what happened to Don's race car, it's great to see this post letting us know it has survived and is being well cared for.
It indeed is a very important part of Corvair Competition history as it pre-dates and may have inspired Don Yenko's racers!

Four more photos of Don's Corsa at Sebring are in "Corvair by Chevrolet" from the Karl Ludvigsen library series.
They were taken by Stanley Rosenthall at the event in 1964.



Interesting notes: It's got a special gasoline race tank filler on the trunk lid and it's got a front spoiler - not a Chevrolet stock item until 1966.


Dan Davis ~ Pierce County, WA ~ CORSA Western Director + Corvairs NW + North Cascades Corvairs + Corvanatics
1966 Corsa Turbo coupe ~ ~ 1966 140 Corsa ~ ~ 1965 Monza 140/4 'Vert Sierra Tan/Fawn ~ 1964 Monza 'Vert (SOLD) ~ 1960 Monza Ermine White/Red PG ++ ~ 1965 Monza 140/4 Evening Orchid w/ ivory/black interior ~ 1962 Monza Wagon 102/4 ~ 1963 Rampside/Scamper ~ 1963 Red/Greenbrier ~ 1969 Ultra Van #468

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: Wabbitkiller ()
Date: March 27, 2012 05:22AM

Cool racer! Glad it's still in great shape!

Chris

1965 Monza 95 Convertible 4 speed

Olathe, KS (Kansas City)


Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: VairKing ()
Date: March 27, 2012 05:42AM

Makes me wonder when and how the dent got in the pass side rocker panel. All the early pictures show it clearly dented. The 1965 Sebring was the first race for the car, maybe it happened before any racing started?

_________________________________________
Ryan Counterman (Moderator)
1965 Corsa Kelmark V8 400 HP ///1965 Monza Sedan 110/PG /// Ultimate Corvair Hauler/// Don Eichstaedt's 1965 Corsa Racecar
West Michigan Corvair Club /// New Build! 1966 Corsa GTP Convertible Mid Engine 3.8L Supercharged!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: DLVRNIT ()
Date: March 27, 2012 06:13AM

Way Cool and Thank You for Sharing.....

Kevin and Bonnie Drake / aka: the Tuck-n-Roll Guy
Nor-Cal / Bay Area
1960 700 2 Door Coupe
57,000 Original Miles / In the Family 55 Years


Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: Spectre ()
Date: March 27, 2012 07:15AM

I dented a rocker once by running over a curb - I think it was on my first Corvair.

David Clamp


1965 Corsa convertible - 140 4spd/3.55/AM-FM

2013 Mustang GT convertible - 5.0, 6spd auto, Procharger i-1

2003 Miata SE - 6spd manual (wife's toy)

"Victory is mine!" - SG

Oklahoma City, OK

Click for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Forecast

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: dan giannotti ()
Date: March 27, 2012 07:56AM

We had Don Eichstaedt give a talk and display pic's of his Racing his
Corvair back in the Day..Don is one cool guy, he hasn't got the credit
he deserves from his Corvair Racing Achievements. Yes, he was the guy
out there BEFORE the other well known Corvair Racers. He laid the
groundwork for those that followed..

Hopefully the Car is returned to its original color and brought back on
Track...It sure would make Don happy.

Dan Giannotti
Stinger SS #8
Performance Workshop Originator

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: Mike Stillwell ()
Date: March 27, 2012 07:59AM

Dan - Wish I had some pix of you getting pulled over by the mall cops in the black number 3 car. That was a riot!

Mike
YS-117

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: dan giannotti ()
Date: March 27, 2012 09:51AM

Mike,

Yeah, I rather enjoyed it also, someone might have some pic's, did make for
an interesting evening...Rick Norris was there I think, he always seems to
have a Kodak Moment..

Dan

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Don Eichstaedt Corvair, One of the Most Historical Corvair Racecars Ever
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: March 27, 2012 10:13AM

HMMM, in the second set of pictures I am in the back ground. Rob Fike`s car is next to Don`s. I`ll see if I can get a hold of Don and let him know what is going on. I used to see him out at Warterford once in a while, he would stop by and see how I was doing.

The one picture could very well be early Waterford. It sort of looks like Big Bend, turn 5, there.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

Options: ReplyQuote


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.