$2000 Challenge: Not the first time we’ve seen a V8-powered Corvair

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Feb 7, 2024 | $2000 Challenge, Chevrolet, Corvair

Photography Credit: Mark Langello

Entrants: Patrick Caherty, Jason St. John, Ray Sedman

Event Years: 2003

Budget Spent: $1991.85

For 15 years, Patrick Caherty said that he’d return to the $2000 Challenge. He finally made good on those plans/threats last year with his V8-powered, three-wheeling Chevy Corvair.

[How to tackle the most radical project of your dreams]

But that wasn’t the first time he entered such a combination. Back in 2003, Patrick and company showed up with a Corvair convertible already fitted with a V8. He bought the car for $1050 and spent the rest of his budget getting it back online. He finished 49th in the 67-car field while posting a mid-16-second run down the drag strip.

Make your own low-buck memories at the Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge Presented by Tire Rack, which returns to Gainesville, Florida, April 6-7, 2024. Watch 2000challenge.com for details.

The Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge is presented by Tire Rack, in association with CRC and Miller, with trophies from ACI Automotive and Performance and TrakkRats.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more $2000 Challenge, Chevrolet and Corvair news.

i feel the love.  That's Per Schroeder behind the wheel at the autocross in 2003.  i brought that car back the next year with improvements to engine, suspension, and appearance, and finished 16th overall, with a 13.78 at 104 in the drags.  Forum veteran alfadriver wheeled it for me in the 2004 autocross, as just days before the '04 event I got the armpit-to-fingertip cast off my left arm.

alfadriver MegaDork
2/7/24 3:29 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

I liked the picture of the car with the big Alfa Romeo umbrella....  you used it for many years.

Fun, fun, fun car to drive.

And given the upgrade to the new car, I can only imagine how fun that one is.

In reply to alfadriver :

if you look really closely at my avatar, you can see the umbrella.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/8/24 9:18 a.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

Very happy that you made the return trip. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/8/24 12:43 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

so am i, my friend.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/8/24 12:46 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

so am i, my friend.


DavyZ New Reader
2/8/24 1:43 p.m.

Love the 2004 theme--rockin' Torque Thrusts and oh, that blue paint with sponsorship decals yes Looks amazing like a Sunoco Camaro or similar back in the day.

livinon2wheels GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/8/24 7:14 p.m.

I remember when I had a 68 corvair and loved it. Sadly the rust claimed it before I could save it - would have been a great car with a v8 and decent suspension and brakes. I miss it terribly 

BimmerMaven Reader
2/16/24 2:39 p.m.

I built a Kelmark V8 Vair in the mid 70s....seems like it was faster!

1970 350 LT-1, camaro disk brakes, 2 3-Row radiators up front with a fan driven by the crank via 3 (count 'em) intermediate shafts, plus AC compressor up front.....and 14x7 rear wheels!

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