As Told by Mike Terry

Photos by Steve Temple and courtesy of Mike Terry

How do you build a body based on a car that no longer exists? We’ve seen a number methods employed over the years, such as careful scaling of photos, using known dimensions of, say, a wheel diameter, to determine various measurements. Another way is to scale up a model, which is partly what was done on this Corvair. Models of the concept of rather rare, but apparently Johnny Lightning offered one at some point, and Mike Terry owns three of them (not surprising, considering his fascination with the car).

Anyway, Terry says that Henderson bought a model and took measurements and multiplied them out to what it took to make the size needed for a life-size scale car. From there, a pattern maker in northern Indiana made the mock up. Bob Mangold and Henderson splashed molds from it over a 30-day period. (According to Terry, Bob Mangold is the guy who pioneered the fiberglass bodies for the funny car racers. Before then, funny car racers used steel-body cars to race, but he starting making them out of fiberglass bodies which took away a lot of weight.)

Then Terry and Henderson modified it about four or five times before making the final mold to make the final part for the car.