To explore the possibilities of Corvair-based sports cars, a gorgeous pair of concepts, the Corvair Monza GT and the Corvair Monza SS Roadster, named for Italy's famed Monza racing circuit, was created. First presented to the public at the 1963 New York Auto Show. It was an important part of GM Design history.
Developed under the leadership of GM Design chief Bill Mitchell, both concepts were the works of Larry Shinoda and Tony Lapine. Shinoda's accomplishment as designer of the Sting Ray Corvette are well documented.
The engine used in the GT Concept was a standard Corvair 145 cu in (2,380 cc) 102 hp (76 kW), flat six with two carburetors. The SS had four Carburetors. Riding on a wheelbase 16-inches shorter than a standard Corvair, the GT Concept's rear-engine was rotated 180-degrees from its standard position to create a true mid-engine car. The SS had the standard Corvair's rear engine layout. Both were rear wheel drive.
With inspiration drawn from the Bertone designed Testudo, doors of the GT Concept were actually a front hinged canopy that extended into the B-style. Also the rear engine cover hinged at the rear. The low 42-inch silver concept also featured rectangular concealed headlamps and magnesium-alloy wheels, 4-wheel disc brakes, and fixed seats with adjustable pedals. These features would eventually turn up in production cars, years later.
Although the SS came very close to series production, both cars ended up as concepts only, not unlikely also because of the tainted reputation of the Corvair. (conceptcarz.com, ultimatecarpage.com & wikipedia)
Above (L) Monza GT Concept (R) Monza SS Concept
(Above) Bill Mitchell & the Corvair Monza GT Concept
(Photos from conceptcarz.com, ultimatecarpage.com & carstyling.ru)