Chuck Rust - Los Angeles, California
June, 2020 Update
C5 Corvette Suspension and Differential Goes Into Place!
September, 2017 Update
In Chuck's car, the engine is a 283 (4.6 L), slightly over-bored, with fuel injection heads from an early-sixties Corvette engine, a short-duration, high-lift cam, and a 650 CFM Holley carburetor on a lightweight Offenhauser aluminum manifold. It takes cool air from what used to be the Corvair's stock engine cover vents, and it has an external oil cooler with its own fan. Thus equipped, the 283 is a durable, high-revving engine with lots of power (Chuck says around 325 horsepower (186 kW) at 7,500 rpm), but not so much low-end torque as to burst the differential. We didn't discuss performance numbers, but based on its power-to-weight ratio, reaching 60 mph (97 kph) probably takes around five seconds, with the quarter somewhere in the 12s. How fast does it go? Well, Chuck said he added the tail spoiler because he found the rear end would get awfully light at 160 mph (258 kph)...
Chuck's car, which was once a 1965 Corvair Corsa, is a little bit different than the standard Crown in a number of respects. A Plexiglas divider window and insulated firewall is installed behind the front seats, in place of the standard engine cover. One problem with the Crown conversion is that putting the engine in the rear seat area also restricts front seat travel -- long-legged drivers need not apply. The rear window is aircraft grade polycarbonate, hinged for engine access, retained by Dzeus fasteners and vented to relieve internal air pressure. This is a trick that improves top speed (Shelby offered something similar as a dealer option for racing-spec GT-350 Mustangs), as well as venting heat and fumes from the engine compartment. To improve the effectiveness of the window vent, Chuck has added a small spoiler at the rear edge of the roof, which breaks up the slow-moving air (the boundary layer) that clings to the roof surface. Chuck reports that the divider window and vented engine compartment make the cabin temperature entirely livable with good flow-through ventilation on even hot days. The interior is braced with a full roll cage, which not only offers crash protection, but also helps to stiffen the body. The suspension is extensively modified, with relocated control arms for better camber control and front and rear anti-roll bars. Front brakes are discs borrowed from a Corvette, with finned aluminum drums in back. He has wider tires in the rear than in the front, to help limit the car's propensity to get sideways.
Chuck's New Project - Improved Cooling
Del Mar, Ca - Good Guys Autocross, April, 2015
Chuck got faster every run - eventually down to a 61.79 second run on an extremely tight course. The fastest time I saw the"Pro's" run were in the high 57 second range in $50,000 + extremely modified vehicles. Chuck was nearly as fast - running a 283 cu in engine!