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Cars > Challenges > “Toni” Vs “Lightning”

 

CorvairJim’s Profile Photo

CorvairJim

M–52
Norristown, Pennsylvania
United States

Zanting’s Profile Photo

Zanting

M–24
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada

 

1965 Chevrolet Corvair Monza

“Toni”

1995 Ford Thunderbird LX

“Lightning”

 
Photo of: 1965 Chevrolet Corvair
Photo of: 1995 Ford Thunderbird
 

Head to Head

 

About “Toni”

(DISCLAIMER - This is NOT a picture of the actual car, but it's damn close. I found it on the internet. Please ignore the 1962-63 style wire wheel covers... )

Here it is folks - The car that started it all for me. It happened like this: I was driving home from work one evening in my 1965 Chevy II 4-door ("Sonny"), when it came down with a terminal case of "Palsy Of The Linkages". First the column shifter locked up in second gear. Fortunately it could maintain an almost safe speed on the expressway I was accelerating onto at the time, since the next exit wasn't for another 8 miles. When I left the expressway and depressed the clutch, the pedal just dropped to the floor with the clutch still engaged. Fortunately, the light changed and I could keep rolling. I managed to plan ahead enough to not have to stop for several more miles until I came to an intersection with a lot of traffic. I lugged the engine down as far as it would go without stalling and managed to keep going... until I stepped back on the gas. That's when the throttle linkage decided to come unclipped. That was it. I'd had it. When I finally got home, I looked through the paper for a cheap car. Being a Chevy man I first looked at the Chevys. Well, everything was out of my price range... except for a couple of Corvairs a guy was selling about 15 miles away. I went to check them out the next day, a Saturday. Both were in decent shape for 15 year old used cars - it was the undeserved reputation of the Corvair that made the prices so low. I chose the '65 over the '66 he was also selling because 1) it had about 10,000 fewer miles, 2) had a 4-speed instead of the '66s 3-speed and 3) I liked the dark green of the '65 better than the light green of the '66.

About “Lightning”

My 1995 Ford Thunderbird LX, equipped with a 4.6L OHC "Modular" V8 engine, rear-wheel drive and a healthy dose of torque built on the MN12 platform.

I have owned "Lightning" for about 2 years now as both my main project car and previously as my daily driver.

Even with some of the issues she had due on one part to poor previous ownership and on another to the harsh climate here. I really love this car for a lot of reasons and I find it impossible to let it go.

I just recently got her off the road to begin the resurrection project after I found another daily driver (1999 Ford Escort SE). One of the biggest parts of this challenge is not working on her though, it is actually demolishing the old garage and building a proper one in it's place, so that I can actually work on the project properly and safely.

I will post the to-do list of everything I am doing to Lightning on here eventually.

To-Do List For 2011-2013:

Everything, seriously..

 

Specs for “Toni”

164 c.i.d., horizontally-opposed air-cooled 6-cylinder engine. It was rebuilt about 5 years before I bought it with an eye toward bottom-end torque. The owner used the car to tow his twin sons quarter midget race cars.
4-speed fully synchronized transaxle
3.89:1 Limited-slip differential
Because of the low rear gear and the touquey engine, the car would jump off the line! I never had it down a dragstrip, but according to my wristwatch it would do 0-60 in about 8 seconds. The quarter mile was another story, since it was wound up tight in 4th gear by about 90 MPH!

Specs for “Lightning”

- MN12 Platform
- 4.6L OHC "Modular" V8 (281ci.)
- 205 hp @ 4,500rpm, 265 lb·ft @ 3,200rpm
- 4R70W 4-Speed A/T + O/D
- 2-Door Coupe
- 200.3" - Length
- 72.7" - Width
- 52.5" - Height
- 113" - Wheelbase
- 3,725lb Curb Weight

Mileage: 132,000 km's

 

Factory Options for “Toni”

Monza trim
AM radio
Front full-width floor mat
Passenger-side sun visor vanity mirror

Factory Options for “Lightning”

- Power Everything
- Independent Rear Suspension
- TCS / ABS
- Variable Assist Power Steering
- Leather Interior
- 6-Way Power Driver Seat
- 2-Way Power Passenger Seat
- AM/FM Radio
- CD Player (Original Ford)
- Illuminated Keyless Entry
- Remote Starter
- Rear Window Defroster
- Moonroof / Sunroof
- Cup Holders
- A/C

 

Mods for “Toni”

Mechanical mods (all done by a past owner):
Stroker crankshaft
Torque cam
Original transaxle replaced with one from a '66 Corvair Corsa with 3.89:1 gears and limited slip

Comfort, convenience, and cosmetic mods:
Trailer hitch and wiring (there when I got it)
Custom striping
Rear "Cove" panel painted gold
Dual sport mirrors
AM/FM/Cassette Stereo
70-series tires (I forget the exact size) on the original steel 13" wheels
Lace-spoke full wheel covers from a Chevy Cavalier Type-10
Driving lights

Mods for “Lightning”

- N/A

 

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Points for Toni Total Votes Points for Lightning
111 43 104

 

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