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Cars > Challenges > “The Frigidaire” Vs “71Panel”

 

CorvairJim’s Profile Photo

CorvairJim

M–51
Norristown, Pennsylvania
United States

vegavairbob’s Profile Photo

vegavairbob

M–54

 

1961 Chevrolet Corvair Greenbrier Deluxe

“The Frigidaire”

1971 Chevrolet Vega Panel Express

“71Panel”

 
Photo of: 1961 Chevrolet Corvair
Photo of: 1971 Chevrolet Vega Panel Express
 

Head to Head

 

About “The Frigidaire”

(Disclaimer - The picture shown with this van and all the pictures in it's photo album were found online. NONE of them are of the actual van!)

After my now ex wife left me with our kids in the spring of 1991, I traveled from my home in the suburban Philadelphia area to where they were in Cleveland about one weekend a month to visit the kids. My ex insisted that the kids do any traveling with her and that I follow in my car because there wasn't enough room in my Beretta for me, her, the three kids, and at least one friend of hers that she insisted she have along with her at all tiomes so that I wouldn't "Kidnap" the kids... Which, technically speaking, is what SHE did when she took them across state lines! I solved the problem by showing up one weekend with this 1961 Corvair Greenbrier, a 9-passenger van! She had said she HATED my Corvairs, but the van was running, inspected, and insured, and it had enough room for not only the five of us, but FOUR friends if she wanted them along!

The weekend before Christmas, We were at a mall in the Cleveland area doing some gift shopping for the kids. When we were getting into the 'Brier to go to dinner, a man came running across the parking lot to us and knocked on my window. All out of breath, he told me: "Man, you HAVE TO sell me this van! This is the coolest thing I've seen in years!" I explained to himthat I had just bought it a few months ago and that I wasn't done having fun with it yet, and besides, I needed it myself. He said fore me to name my price, so I told him an exhorbinant number and that he'd have to drive me home. He said that he'd have to work on the money, but the ride home wouldn't be a problem... Then I told him that I lived well over 400 miles away! I pointed out the Pennsylvania inspection sticker and told him I live just outside Philly... For some reason, that soured the deal.
My ex was upset about this, since she was so down on Corvairs and had just had her nose rubbed in it in front of the kids and three of her friends!

About “71Panel”

1971 CHEVROLET VEGA PANEL EXPRESS
Mediterrian Blue - Black seat trim

1 of 7,800 Panels of 277,700 1971 Vega production.
Production date - January 1971

140 CID (2.3 L) Aluminum Block Inline-4
3-Speed Manual Transmission

I searched for a stock Vega Panel Express for many years. I found the first year model in a print classified ad in 2003. It's a southern car, from Alabama. 53k miles. The previous owner stored the car indoors since the 70s and had refinished the car in its original color shortly before I bought it. I have added many GM nos parts including most recently, engine mounts, clutch, clutch cable, radiator hoses and air cleaner.
The Vega panel was awarded "Best In Show" Nov. 17, 2013 at the Autoseum Car Show, Mineola NY.

Only 2% of total Vega production, the Panel Express is a one-passenger panel delivery based on the Kammback wagon with steel panels in place of the wagon's fixed rear side glass. Classified as a truck, the panel featured a Chevy Van low-back driver's seat, a deleted rear seat - in its place an enclosed storage area under the load floor. An auxiliary front passenger seat was optional.

 

Specs for “The Frigidaire”

Rebuilt 1964-vintage 110 h.p. 164 c.i.d. engine
Corvair car 4-speed transaxle (The "Truck" transaxle has closer ratios - good for hauling things, not so good for highway use)
3.89:1 Posi rear
Highest speed I saw on the speedo was about 80 mph.

Specs for “71Panel”

Dimensions - Capacities
Length: 169.7 in
Width: 65.4 in
Height: 52 in
Wheelbase: 97 in
Front track: 55.1 in
Rear track: 54.1 in
Ground clearance 4.8 in
Oil capacity w/filter 4 US Qt
Fuel capacity: 11.1 US Gal
Turning circle btw. curbs: 33 ft
Drag coefficient estimated by a-c: 0.47
Curb Weight - 2230 lb

Powertrain:
Aluminum Cylinder Block / Cast-Iron Cylinder Head
Engine manufacturer: Chevrolet
Engine type: spark-ignition 4-stroke
Cylinders alignment: Line 4
Displacement: 2287 cm3 / 139.6 cui
Main bearings 5
Valves per cylinder: 2
Additional features: Rochester 25MV 1-barrel; SOHC
Bore: 88.93 mm / 3.501 in
Stroke: 2.07 mm / 3.625 in
Compression ratio: 8 : 1
Power net: 80 hp / 4400
Torque: 121 ft-lb / 2400

Drivetrain
Traction: RWD (rear-wheel drive)
Gearbox: Opel - Germany
Transmission type: manual
Number of gears: 3
Gear ratios (overall):
I 3.14 (7.94)
II 1.68 (4.25)
III 1 (2.53)
Final drive ratio std: 2.53
Standard tires: A78 x 13

Performance:
Top speed: 99 mph
0-60 (s) - 13.2
0- 1/4mile (s): 19.4
speed at 1/4mile: 73 mph
Fuel consumption: extra-urban / city / highway / average combined: 27-32 / 16-19 / 27-32 / 22.8

1971 Chevrolet Vega-
Motor Trend 1971 Car of the Year
Car and Driver 1971 Readers Choice Poll - Best Economy Sedan

 

Factory Options for “The Frigidaire”

Corvair 95 Deluxe Trim group
Gas-Fired Heater
AM Radio
Second and Third Row Bench Seats
Trailer Package
"California" Mirrors
Luggage Rack

Factory Options for “71Panel”

1HV05 Vega 2300 Panel Express Truck 2141.00
A01 - Glass, Soft Ray Tinted: All Windows 37.95
A61 - Seat, Auxiliary 67.15
AS5 - Belts, Shoulder 21.20
PJ6 - A78-13/B Bias Belted Ply White Stripe 49.75
U63 - AM Radio, Pushbutton 62.55
Factory Installed Options Subtotal 238.60
Destination Charge 54.00
Total Amount 2433.50

Pricing from "Vega Options And Prices" - September 10, 1970

Accessories:
GM Right-Hand Mirror-nos
GM Door Edge Guards-nos
GM Floor Covering, Mats - Black (2 Front)-nos
Covercraft "Noah" Car Cover - Custom-Fit, Vega Wagon

Tires:
-Firestone 175/80R13 FR380 Radial, white stripe (4)
-Firestone A78x13 Deluxe Champion Bias-Belted, white stripe (1) orig equip new spare
-Firestone A78x13 Deluxe Champion Bias-Belted, white stripe (4) orig. equip.

GM parts-nos:
door weatherstrips LH/RH, front & rear bumpers, front & rear valence panels, grille, front & rear nameplates, LH mirror & bracket, taillght bezels, ignition lock cylinder, accelerator pedal, hood release cable, steering wheel & shroud, door bumpers, shift knob, shifter boot, shifter boot bezel, parking brake boot/bezel, door lock knob ferrals, door lock access plugs, shoulder belt retainers, ash tray - first design, load floor latches, cargo area plugs, master cylinder cover, radiator shroud, front shock access plugs, motor mounts, clutch, clutch cable, AC fuel pump, AC Powerbeam headlamps, AC gas cap, AC air cleaner, AC spark plugs, Delco spiral shocks - dated 1971, Delco ignition wire set, Delco dist. cap, Delco point set/condenser, fan belt, radiator hoses, Trico wiper blade refills, oil filler plug, oil dipstick, muffler & tailpipe, liftgate weatherstrip (repro), heater core (four seasons).

GM partial engine-nos:
Vega 140 CID aluminum block (fitted w/ pistons, rods, crankshaft)
purchaced Oct. 2011 (in storage).

 

Mods for “The Frigidaire”

205-70R14 Radial Tires
14" "Mag Style" Wheel Covers (From a '65 Impala - the same style I had on my '66 Monza, "Ashley" in the 13" size)
AM/FM/Cassette Stereo

Mods for “71Panel”

none

 

Photo Albums 1 – 1 of 1

Cover photo of "The Frigidaire" album
"The Frigidaire"
Photos: 10
 

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Photo Albums 1 – 2 of 2

 

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Vote This challenge has ended!

Points for The Frigidaire Total Votes Points for 71Panel
41 19 54

 

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Cars > Challenges > “The Frigidaire” Vs “71Panel”

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