CorvairJim’s Profile Photo


M –55
Norristown, Pennsylvania
United States


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RangeMan’s Profile Photo
Mar 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm
I used to love going to demo derbys. this car sure looks the part, and I bet it would have kicked some serious butt in the compact class! Corollas and Escorts beware!

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1966 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa Demolition Derby model (Nader's Nightmare)

Last updated Mar 21, 2011  

Photo of a 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa Demolition Derby model (Nader's Nightmare)


(Sinced this is a model car, I will only accept challenges from other models with it.)

I built this model just for fun for a Demolition Derby-themed "Community Build" on the "Model Cars Magazine" website. I'd been playing with the idea of something like it ever since I went to an actual Demolition Derby in the fall of 2008. However, I went beyond the theme of the build: I gave it the backstory that this is the same car that I build last year as the "Junkyard Refugee". It seems someone was looking for a cheap car to build for the Compact Division of his local Derby and just happened across the car sitting for sale in someone's front yard. The "Refugee" was based on an actual 1966 Corvair "Annual" model, but the "Nightmare" was built on a more recent reissue kit.

There's a reason it carries number 96: In "Unsafe At Any Speed" Ralph Nader expressed his unfounded belief that Corvairs roll over easily. Well, just in case this car DOES roll over during the Derby, it will still have "96" on the doors!


(All specifications are supposing this was a "Real" 1:1 scale car and not a model)

110 h.p. engine
4-sped manual transmission
0-60: 10.5 seconds
1/4 mile: 17.7 seconds
Top Speed: 110 mph
60-0 braking: 144 ft.
Handling: .81g

Factory Options

Most of the car's optional equipment has been removed, either by a past owner or the mechanic who built the car to run it in the Derby. It still has it's rare wood-rim steering wheel and telescopic steering column, but it's AM/FM radio and multi-gauge Corsa instrument panel were removed in preparation for the Derby. It's original 180 h.p. Turbocharged engine is lost to the mists of time, probably blown up by some over-enthusiastic high school kid decades ago.


Full preparation for competition for the Demolition Derby circuit. This includes:

Interior gutted with the exception of the driver's seat.

Gas tank replaced by a fuel cell inside the car.

Batery relocated to the interior.

Full 4-point "Crash Cage" installed.

All glass, including lights, removed.

All trim removed.

Doors welded shut with heavy-gauge steel reinforcement.plates.

Wheel wells radiused for tire clearance.

Two holes cut into engine lid for extinguisher access in case of fire.

Factory 13" wheels replaced by 14" wheels with truck-rated radials in front and snow tires on the back.

Exhaust manifolds replaced by open headers.

Low restriction air cleaners.

Retaining bolts to hold the trunk and engine lids closed.

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