Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen a two-door Chevrolet Corvair wagon.
If your hand is raised, then you’re among the rare few. You see, Chevrolet never made a two-door wagon variant, only a four-door. However, Ohioan Mike Gibson did, and he did it by cleverly fusing together both a coupe and a wagon, turning his creation into a street/strip machine unlike any other.
Gibson used the front half of a coupe, along with the coupe door (which he says is 11 inches longer than a standard door), and cut it at the B-pillar. He then added 11 inches to the roof and the floor pan and left the door jams the same, then paneled in the windows. “We gained 11 inches in the roof, 11 on the floor, and just moved everything back and cut it right across the middle, and put it all back together,” he explains. “It came out real nice. It was fairly easy to do, because the roof line has, almost like a seam, that goes back along the top, so we could center it up on the seam, overlap it, cut it off, and then weld it together. I have a buddy that’s a fabricator that helped me a lot on it.”
The car sports a full Chris Alston’s Chassisworks box frame, roll cage, front end, wishbone, and 4-link. Gibson built up a brand new 415 cubic-inch small-block with a roller camshaft and a 200 horsepower nitrous oxide system (also never sprayed) for the car, but has never run it with said configuration. A Powerglide transmission and 5,500 rpm stall converter runs out to a fabricated 9-inch rearend fitted with Wilwood disc brakes at all four corners. Gibson drives the alcohol-burning wagon regularly on the street — in fact, he was headed out to enjoy the nice midwest weather as soon as we got off the phone. It’s got full exhaust, Mickey Thompson ET Street tires, and a rear-mounted radiator setup that draws air in from small fans fabricated into the rear of the body. With a slightly smaller 406 in the frame rails last year, Gibson went 6.40s to the 1/8-mile on motor alone. With its mild steel chassis, it weights in at 2,800 pounds.
“I set it up to bracket race and do a little street racing around here,” he shares. “The only thing it doesn’t have is an anti-roll bar, but it doesn’t roll or anything, it just hunkers down and goes nice and straight. And the car is slammed down on the ground…I’m 5’8 and when I stand beside it, the roof is between my belly button and my chest.”
Gibson said he’s got the itch to go fast again — he has a 540-inch big-block that won’t fit in the Corvair without switching it to struts, and rather than invest more time and money in the car, says he’s ready to find it a new home and buy something he can slip the bigger motor in and go. And so, for $25,000, the sport’s most unique Corvair can be yours. “It’s been a lot of fun. I hate to get rid of it, but I want to go fast again, and 6.20s, 6.40s isn’t fast to me.”