Thomas & Sheila Ratliff

My first Corvair was a 1966 Monza Coupe with a 95HP automatic.  It lacked speed, but had a great look and ride.  My first month was pretty rocky as the engine had a major mechanical failure that left me stranded and very ill from carbon monoxide poisoning, but then Mike McKeel, Corvair Mechanic Extraordinaire, saved the day and potentially my life.  You can read about my adventure in the CORSA Communiqué and Valve Clatter Newsletters from a few years back.  Initial challenge aside, my passion for Corvairs was sparked.  This started a 12 year stint where Corvairs were my primary car while living in Indiana, Georgia and Oklahoma.  Over those years I owned four, all late models.  Two coupes, one was a Corsa, and two Monza convertibles filled out my ensemble. 
My last was a 1965 Monza Convertible with a 110HP / 4-speed.  We made this one special to our family as a fun project we all contributed to.  We installed a new convertible top, reupholstered and painted the interior and then detailed the engine using a textured gold paint over the black base of the air intake.  All the shrouds were then painted high gloss gold using high heat engine paint and were given three layers of clear coat.  We regularly received complements for the unique presentation it offered.  The engine also ran very well, which it proved at the CORSA Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico where I took the Stock 3 Autocross title.  Mike did a great job tuning up my engine before the race, then he took second place right on my heals!
Now we enjoy riding around in our 1966 Corsa convertible which boasts such factory options as 180HP Turbo engine, AM/FM radio, telescoping steering column, wood grain plastic steering wheel, safety hazard flashers, tinted windows, power convertible top, Positraction and bumper guards all around. It’s a lot of fun taking a late afternoon drive and regularly making new friends with people wanting to check out the car.
Thomas Ratliff
Marion, IN
Autocross at the CORSA Convention 2013