Ralph Nader famously anointed the original Chevy Corvair as unsafe at any speed for its swing axles and an engine format and placement that mimicked the Porsche. I’m not going to give away what that has to do with today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 911, but when you find out, it just might swing your vote.
Hee-hee, hoo-hoo, ha-ha, oh my. Yesterday’s 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon proved to be pretty dang popular around these parts. And, with a 66% Nice Price win, so did its price. I wonder if that was because its somewhat startling original price (in Canuck Bucks) turned out to be substantially lower when viewed in their southern cousin the U.S. dollar? That made it seem like it was on clearance sale, didn’t it?
The CTS is a car that has helped imbue Cadillac—a brand better known for being what people drive right before they kick off—with a sense of youthful performance and an eschewing of the whole blue hair aesthetic. There’s another brand out there that never had the need for such a marque positioning pivot, and that brand is Porsche.
Now, there are probably very few Porsche models that you would shun, and the 911 has been the company’s reputation carrier for decades, making it perhaps their most desirable offering. However, not all 911s are created equal. In fact, we’ll just have to question how this particular 911 was created at all.
What we have here is what’s described in its all-too-brief ad as a 1972 911 that’s a ‘complete rebuild.’ That means a custom frame that’s totally tubular man, an interior that’s been gutted and rebuilt to look like a NASCAR Sportsman division ride, and updated bodywork because who doesn’t like big bumpers?
That description however, is not 100% accurate. Nope, not 100% at all. This is not a COMPLETE rebuild as there’s one element that’s missing, and that element is the Porsche’s original 2.4-litre air-cooled flat six. Oh, there’s an air-cooled flat six back there, the only thing is, this one came out of a Chevy Corvair.
I’ll let that sink in for a moment.
Now, when it was new the Corvair was promoted as the ‘poor man’s Porsche’ but this melding of marques may be taking things a little too far. Sort of like Human Centipede too far. What Corvair mill is that back there? I don’t know, it could be the later 2.7 or the earlier 2.3. It does have two carbs so it’s likely the 110-bhp high output edition. Whichever it is, it’s an unexpected sight under the whale tail of this 911.
The car comes with a Corvair gearbox too, and I’d guess that’s the Saginaw four-speed. Of course this car’s so full of surprises that it could be the three-speed for all I know.
The engine is said to run great, and honestly the angled fan belt on these things—my very first ever car was a Corvair—is a mesmerizing sight. The rest of the car, in matte black over industrial grey, seems to be in serviceable shape, albeit with some funky fit to the rear flares and instrumentation that seems to be little more than an old TomTom.® There’s a fuel cell in the nose, and turbine wheels at each corner, and overall it masks its weirdness admirably. Perhaps most surprisingly, the car is claimed to have a clean title.
The asking price for this Corvair-powered Frankenporsche is $18,000, and I’m afraid that’s not in Canadian dollars. The seller says he doesn’t know what it’s worth, but that he has it insured for more than the asking.
What’s your take on this hard to classify custom and that $18K asking price? Would that be something to consider? Or, is that just too much for this unholy melding of Chevy and Porsche?
H/T to MatthewP for the hookup!
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