<VV> Corvair & Porsche (& Abarth)

Taruffi57 at aol.com Taruffi57 at aol.com
Sun Jan 10 17:32:54 EST 2016

There's more................
I have in my possession, a page from a book which I believe was written by  
Al Cosentino, concerning Corvair after market parts & modifications being  
developed by Abarth.  Al and his team are known as the most prolific  
American road race winners ever, in Abarth cars.  There is a photo in the  article 
showing an early model 4 door Corvair - probably a 1961, parked right in  
front of the Turin, Italy main Abarth works.  The following is the wording  
of the article.
"I wasn't aware of the fact that there was a car called Chevrolet Abarth  
Corvair until December 1961.  I learned about the car from Mario Cavallero  
who joined Abarth & Co. in 1961 precisely at the time Carlo Abarth was  
concentrating on testing this new prototype.  For six months, Carlo Abarth  
personally tested all the development stages done to the suspension, engine and  
drive train of the new Chevrolet Corvair.  Extensive development had been  
done to the Corvair and Carlo Abarth had spent as much time testing the car 
with  all the changes and additions his staff made as they did to any other 
Fiat  Abarth or pure Abarth cars except for the Formula 1.  The Corvair 
Abarth  was eventually perfected completely after Carlo Abarth drove it whenever 
and  wherever he could.  It was as ready as any of his best creations 
including  all the trimmings.  Abarth muffler, grille and instruments.  Carlo  
Abarth's plan was to provide the parts, development and performance in the form 
 of a kit for the General Motors Corvair cars in the United States.  He 
said  he came up on the idea after testing one of the cars rented for the 
purpose of  providing a free-flow exhaust system.  Abarth had opportunities to 
study a  large variety of cars as they developed free-flow exhaust systems for 
 them.  It wasn't the first or last time Carlo Abarth admired a General  
Motors product.  Mario Cavallero said that after about six months, all of a  
sudden the work stopped and the car disappeared."
I also read - somewhere, that it was FIAT who quashed Abarth's move into  
the Corvair performance market.  However, in 2015, I happened to have made  
contact with an old sports car racer who had some Corvair related performance 
 parts for sale - including Crown.  He said that he had also raced against  
and knew well, Don Yenko and Donna Mae Mims.  I mentioned the above info  
about Abarth to him and he said he didn't think that FIAT were the one who 
put  the stops to Abarth's Corvair thing.  He said Don Yenko told him it was  
General Motors who were the culprits.  I tend to believe that version of  
the story.
Such a shame that the small car performance genius Carlo Abarth never got  
the chance to advance the handling and power of our cars.  I'd love to have  
driven what he ended up with.
I also have a full page Fisher Products Abarth muffler ad from Car &  
Driver, June 1961 showing a beautiful Corvair black wrinkle painted - with  
chromed tips, dual exhaust system for $84.50.  It has 4 exhaust tips and  there 
is a lateral brace running from side to side - welded up under the twin  
small diameter exhaust pipes just aft of the mufflers (on both sides), and  
having mounts for bolts - I presume, in the area of the 2 rear cooling air  
outlets.  That would be some good solid mounting.
Joe Dunlap

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