You’ve seen Mike Bari’s incredible Chevelle on the cover of NZV8 Issue No. 123 — a true show, street, and strip car that features a nitrous-equipped 598ci big block, immaculate presentation, and beautiful engineering throughout. Having done much of the work on the car himself, we knew Mike’s concept would be a good one, and one that he’d have no problem building, either.
“My wife and kids have been talking about doing a split-window Kombi van as a bit of a family cruiser. The more we’ve talked about it, the more I’ve started to come up with an idea that I think could work,” says Mike.
“The plan started out with the idea that the Kombi would need an LS engine out the back along with a Porsche transaxle, but, as I thought about it, the plan evolved to the stage at which it’d really need a whole Corvette driveline in it — LS engine up front and transaxle out the back. I’ve heard that Dynacorn are going to produce full replacement Kombi bodies, so ideally you’d get one of those, along with a wrecked Corvette, and essentially graft the two together.
“The engine might need to be shifted back in the front subframe slightly to sit behind the seats, and a chassis constructed to tie the front and rear ends together. The wheelbase of the van is also about 250mm shorter, so the torque tube would need to be shortened a bit — which is easily enough done. The best plan would be to chop the floor out of the van, and drop the body down as low as possible over the running gear. This does mean there’d be a tunnel running through the centre to hide the torque tube, but it would give all the benefits of the rack and pinion front along with the independent rear end.
“Colour-wise, the kids have said it’d need to be a House of Kolor style tangerine orange for the main part, and cream with just a touch of orange in it for the rest. The finishing touch would be a billet VW emblem up front.
“It’d need to have deep-dish 20-inch or 22-inch wheels on it — maybe 20s up front and 22s out the back, as long as there was still room to fit a radiator on each side back there, with ducting from the stock side vents.”
That sounds like something we’d love to see built. What are your thoughts?