Friday, March 29, 2013

Crazy Ray’s Three ‘Vairs

The gentleman that came by to look at Lucy last Wednesday mentioned he was just at the Fort Smallwood Rd Crazy Ray’s junkyard and saw they had some EMs out for the picking. It just so happened I needed to make a junkyard run to get a part for the lovely Loriann’s daily-driver, so today was the day to take an extended lunch. After procuring the PT Cruiser part, I wandered over toward's the GM area of the yard. I was, however, waylaid by a really cool ’55 Plymouth Savoy. This car has some unique features foremost of which, in my mind, is a dash-mounted transmission shifter. A precursor to the Corvair’s Powerglide shifter perhaps? I couldn't help but snap some photos that I've posted on Flickr.

Finally prying my eyes from the fifty's awesomeness, I moved on and found three ‘63 Corvairs sitting nearly side-by-side in various states of dismemberment. The first one I inspected was a Spyder with much of its drivetrain displaced and dispersed on the ground. It's worth mentioning that the engine block was stamped with an RB. This letter combination is from the very desirable 140 HP engines found in the LM Corsas. Interesting. And strange that whoever did the swap did not include the required harmonic balancer, but rather just swapped the solid pulley wheel from the car's original turbocharged engine. Looking for one of ‘vairdom’s holy grails, the engine thermostat, I located the two bottom shrouds and found one good thermostat and claimed it. Sadly, I forgot to check for the even more valuable holy grail, the temperature sensor. Before moving on to ‘vair number two, another coupe, I snagged three unused brake shoes. The fourth one was missing its liner.

This one still had its engine in place and both thermostats were in good shape. A few minutes Iater, I had liberated both of them. While prone with both hands under the car, I noticed the muffler was in really good shape – no rust or holes. I’m sure TwoTone needs a good muffler. Extricating the exhaust pipe/muffler assembly was only slightly more difficult than getting the thermostats with two of the four manifold bolts doing their normal thing of snapping under significant torque. The other two unscrewed nicely, and after cutting the rubber hanger, the ungainly assembly was lying on the ground.

The last Corvair was a 4-door with a really solid body. While its drivetrain appeared basically intact only missing its air cleaners and carburetors from the top side, the underside was missing both shrouds so no thermostats. The interior had been mostly stripped away, but lying loose on the floor was a brand new 4” heater hose. Hmm. I’m sure they don’t want much for one of these. Snagged.

Remembering Crazy Ray’s only takes cash, I pulled out my wallet to check how much I had - $45. I toted my treasures over to the payment window, where I was told it would cost me $42.95. This isn't the first time they've taken nearly all my money. It’s like they know exactly how much money I have. I guess I need to take less with me next time. It's really a moot point since they've finally joined the twenty-first century and accept plastic payment.

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