When we drove to the test track, Siano's homebuilt special revealed evil streaks: quick but heavy steering, vague shift linkage, and a throttle pedal that offers yes and no but very little maybe. However, a few miles were enough to establish an amicable working relationship.
Offered the opportunity to redeem itself, the Siano Special settled into stride to post a reasonably impressive performance report: 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, the quarter mile in 13.9 seconds at 104 mph, and a top speed of 130 mph. More amazing, the handling balance is excellent, offering just under 0.90 g at the limit of adhesion and only a touch of easily controlled oversteer when the fourteen-inch BFGoodrich Radial T/As finally let go. The cobbled-together chassis held firm over bumps, and the dampers kept body motions nicely controlled throughout the testing gauntlet.
Back in the Corvair's day, GM fiddled with various mid-engine sports cars, only one of which (the Pontiac Fiero) ever made it to a production line. Leave it to a motivated Corvair enthusiast to demonstrate what can be achieved by adding a couple of cylinders and relocating the engine to a more productive location.
Engine: 4.6-liter (283 cu in) OHV V-8, 300 hp (est.)
Weight: 2600 lb
Weight distribution f/r: 44.0/56.0%