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Cars > Challenges > “"Ashley"” Vs “**Ava”

 

CorvairJim’s Profile Photo

CorvairJim

M–52
Norristown, Pennsylvania
United States

sykestudio’s Profile Photo

sykestudio

M
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
United Kingdom

 

1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza

“"Ashley"”

2002 Renault Avantime Privilege

“**Ava”

 
Photo of: 1966 Chevrolet Corvair
Photo of: 2002 Renault Avantime

No longer owned

 

Head to Head

 

About “"Ashley"”

Back in 2000, I had the misfortune to have to take a prescription that meant I couldn't drive. I sold the daily car I had at that point (one plain-Jane black 5-speed Cavalier coupe - a transportation appliance at best). A couple of years went by, and I changed doctors. The new guy prescribed something different for my condition, so I needed wheels once again. I could: A) spend $4,500 on a cheap used car that would just blend into the woodwork or, B) Find a really decent Corvair set up the way I like it. Now THAT car doesn't blend in. I found this '66 Corvair in Denver, CO, on eBay. The engine had been rebuilt by a nationally-known Corvair specialist shortly before the previous owner put it into storage for about ten years. It came out of the rebuild capable of putting 220 horsepower down to the pavement. Not bad for 164 unblown, carbureted cubic inches! It also had new tires all around. I won the auction, and flew out with my wife to drive it home. A fantastic road trip, and it cost half as much as shipping it would have. It became my daily driver for the next three years, until, in late '05, I had it in for state inspection at a friends Corvair restoration shop. While it was up on the lift, I got to see just how little rust the car had underneath. I decided at that point that it had seen its last winter of Pennsylvania road salt! It is now my nice spring day car, and a pleasure to drive. It still draws attention wherever I go with it.

UPDATE: I had to sell my beloved Ashley in August of 2009 due to the nation's lousy economy. My overtime had gone away and and my wife lost her job due to a work-related disability that they refused to accept responsibility for, so we just couldn't justify the expense of nearly $100/month to insure the third car in a two-driver household. Our mortgage was a couple of months behind, so sadly I took a friend up on his standing offer on her. As promised, he has given her the complete cosmetic restoration she so badly deserved. Of course, she didn't need anything mechanically - I always kept her up 100% mechanically. Furthermore, he gave me right of first refusal, so if he should ever decide to sell her, I get the first opportunity to buy her back.

About “**Ava”

Rare car built for Renault by Matra under contract with Renault which allowed Renault to take the Espace back in-house.
Designed as a very high-spec Coupe-MPV - 2-door, 4/5 seat, 2.0 Turbo or 3.0 V6. Aimed at "... parents whose kids have left home but still want an MPV-style, prestige vehicle." In fact, that market didn't materialise and production stopped after just 8,270 had been built (447 in RHD for the UK), following which Matra car production was, sadly, closed down.

Gained some extra fame from appearance in film "Children of Men".

Has now become a "future classic", mainly because of it's unusual and futuristic design. Believed to be just 4,000 left running in the world.

Now registered as M444TRA.

Sadly now sold to George in Belgium, who seems like a nice chap and will take care of Ava.

 

Specs for “"Ashley"”

1966 Corvair Monza Sport Coupe
164 C.I.D. Opposed 6-cylinder engine, air cooled.
Lemonwood Yellow paint, Black interior

Specs for “**Ava”

2-door Coupe/MPV
3.0 V6 24v
5-speed Auto with "Tiptronic" type option
230bhp

 

Factory Options for “"Ashley"”

(All options verified by build sheet)
140 horsepower, 4 carb engine
4-speed transaxle
Posi rear
Sport Suspension
"Mag-Style" full wheel covers
AM pushbutton radio

Factory Options for “**Ava”

"Privilege" spec - Fully loaded

 

Mods for “"Ashley"”

Engine rebuilt to Yenko Stinger Stage III specs - 220 net horsepower.
Suspension lowered 1 coil.
Gas shocks
Steering Dampener
Low-restriction intake and exhaust.
Full window tint.
Tail panel painted silver (like the factory did with the Corvair Corsa model).
AM/FM/CD/Stereo unit mounted under the dash - NO holes cut or drilled for the installation!
Additional gauges (Tachometer, Voltmeter, Oil Pressure, Oil Temperature)
Pennsylvania Vanity Plate "CORVA1R"

Mods for “**Ava”

Avon uni-directional tyres (replacing Michelins)
Stainless exhaust (cat-back)
Now added 18" option alloy wheels with Avon ZZ3s

 

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Points for "Ashley" Total Votes Points for **Ava
75 18 15

 

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Cars > Challenges > “"Ashley"” Vs “**Ava”

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