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1966 Turbo Corsa Coupe
In 2003, I was looking for a 1966 Corvair Turbo Corsa all over the Internet. I wanted this model because it was the last year of the turbo engine and it had the new, for 1966, Saginaw 4-speed transmission. It was also similar to my beloved Turbo Corsa that I bought way back in 1965.
I found this car in a CORSA classified ad in August 2003. The owner, Roy Lambrecht, was very enthusiastic about the car and helpful in every way. I soon owned the car and arranged with Passport Transport to move the car from Wisconsin to its new home in California. The Passport driver called me in route and raved about the car. The Corvair Corsa arrived in California on October 6, 2003, and that is where it is today.
The car was originally purchased through Milad Chevrolet of Amherst, Ohio by Grenville Woods of Lorain, Ohio on June 6, 1966. The second owner, Joe Leto of Huron, Ohio, bought the car in 1967. In 1969-70, Joe restored the car to perfect condition. He only used brand new GM parts in this restoration.
In 1971, CORSA held its first convention in Chicago. This car took first place in the concours judging in the Late Stock Hardtop class. The event dash plaque is still in place. Joe garaged the car and used it in shows until 1985 when he sold it to Ron Seibnick. Like Joe, Ron only used the car in shows. Both Joe and Ron had great success with this car in concours competitions.
Roy Lambrecht bought the car in March, 2002. Roy put in a new gas tank, rebuilt the carburetor, and overhauled the brakes (linings, cylinders, master cylinder). He also lubed and tuned the car and gave it TLC.
I keep the Corvair Corsa garaged most of the time. However, I do take it out on short trips when the sky is blue and the air is cool. This Marina Blue coupe is a major crowd pleaser in California. I have had many “Corvair encounters” with this car. While I am ready for the occasional Ralph Nader remark, usually the beauty of the car brings out only the best of comments. It makes people smile.
One of my favorite encounters was at the local Starbuck’s. I had just parked the Corsa when a woman and daughter pulled up next to me in a new Jaguar. The woman had a major nostalgia event when she saw the Corsa. She learned to drive in a Monza and had great memories to share. Afterwards, I wondered if the daughter caught a glimpse of her mom as a 16-year old. I hope so.