Ultrawhales R cool !

Gotta have a place for the BIG ones too!
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Butcher&Vairs
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Ultrawhales R cool !

Unread post by Butcher&Vairs » Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:36 pm

Here are some pix from a past Corvair show in Sacramento, cool Ultravans !
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pixnov07 495.jpg
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Last edited by Butcher&Vairs on Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rafee Corvair, parts and service, in the heartland of the USA
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Scott Howey
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Re: Ultrawhales R cool !

Unread post by Scott Howey » Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:10 pm

I noticed they are all slightly different from each other? Bumpers, headlights, etc. Are all Ultravan's unique?
Scott

Owen
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Re: Ultrawhales R cool !

Unread post by Owen » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:41 am

Great pictures Rafman! Thanks!!

Scott, there are several different "series" of UltraVans. The most comprehensive gallery of photos is here:
http://community.webshots.com/user/orca292

The green one was one of 24 that were hand-built before the factory was established. Out of those 24 there are 5 or 6 recognizably different configurations. These were all powered by a rear-mounted Corvair drivetrain, and the final 4 were actually finished and sold by the factory. All but two have the teardrop shaped headlight bezels from a Ford Econoline van.

The factory built roughly 350 coaches in essentially two variants. Most of them look like the top picture (the white coach that says 497 at the top), and another 47 look similar except for the lower section of the front end. These latter were built with water-cooled Chevy 305 V8 engines, because GM had discontinued the Corvair.

After the factory closed, the original designer developed a new version that is shown in the third picture (the white one with the dark blue stripe). Five of these were hand built and they are each unique to some degree. All are powered by an Olds Rocket V8 mounted on the side behind the driver. There is also a one-off prototype (#559) that looks like a cross between the original UltraVans and these later ones.

The designer also built one last smaller coach powered (srsly) by a Chevette engine (#700, not shown).

The factory also built some 42 "Tiara" motorhomes powered by a front-mounted Olds Toronado drivetrain (these don't look anything like UltraVans but are considered cousins).

Finally, there were a couple of odd homebuilts created using UltraVan parts.

The UltraVan is an absolutely ideal canvas for the customizer. In the 50 years since the first UltraVan was built, there have been a huge number of modifications made to these coaches. Different headlights, taillights, bumpers, rear hatches, even windshields. Some of the most extreme changes were made to accommodate additional radiators for water-cooled engines. At least fifteen coaches were converted to rear-mounted Toronado drivetrains, and at least one front-mounted one. One coach currently has a diesel engine, and another has a Chrysler V6 minivan engine.

More than you probably wanted to know about UltraVans.

Owen

OttawaCorvairGuy
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Re: Ultrawhales R cool !

Unread post by OttawaCorvairGuy » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:50 am

Scott,

There are different series, i.e. 100, 200, 300 up to 700, but only roughly 375 in total were made.

Some small changes over time, however most of the changes are due to the owner putting there own touch to make their coach how they want it and/or different than the others.

Most were 22 feet long. Don’t quote me on this; but I think one or two where 23 and 24 feet long and at least two of the 600 series are 26 feet long. It is hard to tell but I think the one with the door open is 26 feet long.
Tony
1963 Rampside - SOLD
1962 Convertible
1961 Van
1961 SW body only
11 Parts Cars
As of July 21, 2013 we are blessed to have UV248, 256, 362, 512, 231 & 520
UV231 will be for sale once the Subaru conversion & all the mechanicals are finished

Owen
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Re: Ultrawhales R cool !

Unread post by Owen » Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:34 am

Ultra Vans are 22 feet long except:
#700 is 19 feet long
#559, 601, and 603 are 23 feet long
#101, 102(200), 103, 104, 105, 106, 163, 107, 109, and 412 are 24 feet long
#602, 604, and 605 are 26 feet long
#108(209) is 27 feet long

Tiaras are 23 feet long

Owen

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Scott Howey
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Re: Ultrawhales R cool !

Unread post by Scott Howey » Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:58 am

Great information guys. Thanks for posting it.

The Corvair and all of it's variations is fascinating to me. To think, I started out just simply liking the Late model body style. I am getting a real appreciation and love for the whole gamut of what is the "Revolutionary" Corvair.
Scott

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UNSAFE
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Re: Ultrawhales R cool !

Unread post by UNSAFE » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:40 am

You ain't seen nothing until you've seen 2 Ultravans Drag Racing !

There were a few of them racing at the Kentucky convention in 2004.

I was inside a gutted Whale once and I was surprised by how much it resembled an airplane fuselage.
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Kevin Willson
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OttawaCorvairGuy
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Re: Ultrawhales R cool !

Unread post by OttawaCorvairGuy » Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:37 pm

"I was inside a gutted Whale once and I was surprised by how much it resembled an airplane fuselage."

That is because Dave Peterson was an aircraft designer, at Beech and Boeing, when he came up with the idea of the Ultravan. He needed something for his personal use and we still have the Ultravan many years later.
Tony
1963 Rampside - SOLD
1962 Convertible
1961 Van
1961 SW body only
11 Parts Cars
As of July 21, 2013 we are blessed to have UV248, 256, 362, 512, 231 & 520
UV231 will be for sale once the Subaru conversion & all the mechanicals are finished

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Butcher&Vairs
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Re: Ultrawhales R cool !

Unread post by Butcher&Vairs » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:37 pm

Damn, that' s cool, seeing a pick-up and a whale racing, I wonder what was the timing, 20 mn in 1/4 ? :P
Check this out, 2 VW (NOT VV) buses drag racing, one is all VW, the other one has a Corvair engine. Peace out !
Last edited by Butcher&Vairs on Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rafee Corvair, parts and service, in the heartland of the USA
http://www.rafeecorvair.com
tel: 918-753-2486, available 7 days a week, no charge for advice

Owen
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Re: Ultrawhales R cool !

Unread post by Owen » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:56 pm

That particular Ultra was highly modified by stripping out most of the interior and appliances etc. I think it actually weighed less than the pickup. The owner memorialized the results on the underside of the coach:
WaltsSpeed.jpg
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Owen

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