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Sleeper Project...


NicholasSatterlee

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NicholasSatterlee

So I've recently got an idea to make my '88 Reatta into a sleeper. Fabricate a RWD drivetrain. Now I'm fully aware there are other Reatta owners completely against what I want to do, but that's okay with me. It'll be quite the project, a lot of time money and critical thinking. Just need some ideas, engine to use, transmission, ect...

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Welcome to the forum! I don't think you will find anyone against what you want to do here. Most of us believe in making a Reatta your own. If RWD is  your thing go for it. Please feel free to document your work here by posting photos and details of what you are doing. You are probably going to have a hard time getting ideas on how to do it. I've heard of a lot of people talk about doing it but never heard of anyone who has actually done it. Good luck.

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You wouldn't be the first to try as I know of at least 4 guys who have started and never finished. Good luck.

 Maybe go the way of a Fiero [mid engine]. Might find more support there [Fiero Forum].

Edited by DAVES89
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X2 on this being thought about before, and the factory did a rwd prototype back in the late '80's along with a couple of fwd turbo, high and low boost. Pretty sure the rwd used a GN drivetrain and a Corvette style rear end. Personally I have toyed with the idea of locating the fwd drivetrain to the rear, but have never pursued it. Over the decades there have been variations of fwd GM cars that people had located a second fwd drive at the rear so it was twin engine. All that aside, the most practical way to do a rwd conversion is to find an existing rwd vehicle with a reasonably close wheelbase, or one that could be modified, and imbed that into the underside of a Reatta body. Along the same lines, one of my all time favorite cars I have seen several times at the GS Nationals in Bowling Green KY, is a bright yellow later model Corvair with a 455 Buick engine up front. It runs consistent 10.x 1/4 miles, is quiet and extremely stealthy. So well done you would swear it was factory. It was done by putting a different chassis under the Corvair body. Just my $0.02

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I happened to have a couple pics on this computer. Underhood shot of the Corvair and another staging for the dragstrip. The Fiero to the left, is Ryan, aka GM Tuners or Sinister Performance, a very good source for all things related to engine swaps and tuning. Photos are 13 years old.

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Edited by 2seater
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I saw a Corvair with a V8 in it at the dragstrip once but they didn't do a very good job. The way the body sat on the frame made it look like a 4 wheel drive truck with a body lift. The Corvair in your  photo looks good.

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9 hours ago, Ronnie said:

I saw a Corvair with a V8 in it at the dragstrip once but they didn't do a very good job. The way the body sat on the frame made it look like a 4 wheel drive truck with a body lift. The Corvair in your  photo looks good.

I was thinking about the chassis he used and it was something unexpected like that, an S10 of maybe a small Blazer? I know it was because the wheelbase and width were a good match to the Corvair.

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Don't mean to hijack this thread but am curious about your last name, Satterlee.  Turns out my dad, career Navy, served on the USS Satterlee DD-626, a tin can destroyer, during WWII...1943 convoy duty in the Atlantic along with Henry Fonda on board...dad being a Chief Gunners Mate and Henry being a LT JG.

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2 hours ago, 2seater said:

I was thinking about the chassis he used and it was something unexpected like that, an S10 of maybe a small Blazer? I know it was because the wheelbase and width were a good match to the Corvair.

I was thinking S10 blazer on the one I saw. The 2WD Blazer I had would be about the right size frame and it is already setup to accept a V8. The one I saw with the V8 had the radiator mounted in the trunk horizontally with electric fans sitting on the top for cooling.

 

Who won the race between the Fiero and the Corvair?

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39 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

I was thinking S10 blazer on the one I saw. The 2WD Blazer I had would be about the right size frame and it is already setup to accept a V8. The one I saw with the V8 had the radiator mounted in the trunk horizontally with electric fans sitting on the top for cooling.

 

Who won the race between the Fiero and the Corvair?

That sounds about right on the chassis. What I marveled about was the smooth integration of the whole thing. The twin 3" exhaust were sort of a giveaway that it was a little unusual. 

The racing they were doing was a handicap type deal. The Corvair was substantially faster, maybe up to 2 seconds so they didn't race heads up and I honestly don't remember the winner. I think this photo may have been a time trial for dial in? I have seen the Corvair many times over many years, and he slowly made it better and faster. While it was fully streetable, it was trailered from wherever he lived. I only saw Ryan's car on that one race weekend, and he and his wife drove to the event from home in Indiana. He had done several chips for me by that point and it was nice to put a face to the name. His online name, DarthFiero, sort of says it all? The long block in the Fiero was a supercharged Buick 3800, but the supercharger was either gutted or removed and it was turbocharged instead. It ran high twelves at the time.

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I'll be darned, I found my photos of under the hood of the Fiero. Details are listed on the car show placard. I was sorta close?

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  • 1 month later...
NicholasSatterlee
On 12/3/2020 at 11:02 AM, ship said:

Don't mean to hijack this thread but am curious about your last name, Satterlee.  Turns out my dad, career Navy, served on the USS Satterlee DD-626, a tin can destroyer, during WWII...1943 convoy duty in the Atlantic along with Henry Fonda on board...dad being a Chief Gunners Mate and Henry being a LT JG.

How interesting! Thanks for sharing!

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12 hours ago, NicholasSatterlee said:

How interesting! Thanks for sharing!

A little history of the USS Satterlee:  DD-626 is the second destroyer given that name in honor of US Coast Guard Captain Charles Satterlee.  DD-626 was commissioned on 1 July 1943 at the Seattle WA shipyard.  It was sponsored (christened) by Rebecca E Satterlee, niece of Captain Charles.  The ship supported convoy missions throughout the North Atlantic to Casablanca and Northern Ireland.  She also supported the Normandy landings, Omaha Beach.

 

You might want to find out if you are a relative of Captain Charles or his niece Rebecca. 

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