1965 Chevy Corvair Heads To SEMA 2021

Oct 20, 2021 2 min read
1965 Chevy Corvair Heads To SEMA 2021

This classic is pushing some serious performance!

When most people think of a 1965 Chevrolet Corvair, it brings to memory quirky, somewhat slow little cars Ralph Nader absolutely trashed. That kind of image is hard to overcome, but this build which is head to the 2021 SEMA Show in Las Vegas just might do the trick. Packing modern power to back up the road-race design, it promises plenty of thrills for anyone lucky enough to climb behind the wheel.

Check out a junkyard of rotting Corvairs here.

Lonnie Gilbertson, who runs Lonnie’s Place, is responsible for this creation. The man has been building hot rods for over 40 years, using that experience to make one hot Corvair. Inspiration for the look and feel of this build came to him via the Yenko Stinger.

A center stripe from nose to tail adds a little flair, as do yellow halo-style secondary headlights. In the rear fascia right in line with the taillights are the tailpipes, which are highlighted by LED halos. This Corvair also wears E-T Sebring knockoff wheels for a throwback circle track vibe.

Gilbertson knew the factory-original air-cooled flat-six engine would never provide the kind of performance to back up the flashy looks of this ride. That’s why he opted to wedge in an LS3 donated by a 2009 Corvette. Tuned for 550-horsepower, it’s a tremendous upgrade for the Corvair.

To keep that engine cool by feeding the front-mounted radiator, Gilbertson had to change the look of the front fascia, channeling fresh air. He also fashioned side scoops similar to what was used on the Ford GT40, also with the aim of maximizing fresh airflow to the engine. Mako shark-style hood louvres allow hot air to escape, further managing engine temperature as the driver really pushes the LS3.

Instead of going with a modern dash and other details, the interior is mostly classic in its appearance. Blue lighting makes the interior feel unique without being over-the-top, showing Gilbertson knows when to have restraint with his builds. Overall, this is a fantastic car we’re sure people will love. It’s part of the Battle of the Builders and will be featured at Mothers show booth.

Check out the video to learn more.

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