Editor’s note: As a kid, JB Granger was convinced the front wheels of his Uncle Don’s big-block Chevelle would leave the ground when the accelerator was punched. Now he says he knows better, because he’s learned first-hand how hard it is to put the power to the pavement. But with his ’66 Chevrolet Corvair, he may just stand a chance at realizing that childhood dream.
I was obsessed with cars by the time I was four years old. That passion probably took hold at the Godfrey Speedway, a local dirt track my dad would take me to on Saturday nights. Even when I wasn’t at the track, I could still listen to the roar of the late models from the open kitchen window. I would sit there and dream of one day driving those cars.
I have a 550 HP, LS3/SC, '67 Camaro with grippy 335/18 Rival S tires. But I wanted to be able to race something different. So my buddy Smokie Ingram and I conceived the idea of building a Pro Touring Corvair, mainly because we wanted to do something different from simply building another competitive 2nd Generation Camaro.
I found this Corvair on Ebay. It was a bone stock 1966 Monza. Once Smokie, my wife, and I decided to build it, I bought it. Then Smokie and I got to work.
Today, this car is clearly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The chassis is tubular, similar to a dirt track car, except it includes C5 suspension, JRI shocks, Fab-Worx bump stop technology, and more. The engine is currently LS2-powered and the transaxle is all Mendeola. It’s got a five-speed gearbox that leaves plenty of cabin space for my 6'1" frame. The body is unique by having a custom metal hood to flow air from the custom nose grille, flush-mounted glass, shaved bumpers, shaved drip rails, '68 Grand Prix door handles, and the big feature is a hatch-back. And please, let's not forget those beautiful 18" Forgeline wheels with Rival S rubber. It’s really one of a kind.
I autocross in the Corvair, my '67 Camaro, and my '65 C-10 truck. For me, it's about taking an iconic car and making it perform. It's about racing "works of art" that are admired by the masses. The competition of auto-crossing is terrific, but most importantly, my cars bring smiles to the many spectators. And it reminds me of those days when I dreamed of driving a cool car just like my Uncle Don. Perhaps one day I’ll put some super sticky BFGoodrich Tires on my Corvair or Camaro and do that wheelie I’ve always dreamed of.