Ex-Harrah’s Collection: 1968 Centaur Prototype

Details are scarce for this custom prototype that the seller says is not a kit car. The 1968 Centaur, as it is named, was purchased from the famous Harrah’s Automobile Collection in Reno, Nevada, which gives it some mild credibility of being something special despite the fact that very little information exists about its history. Find this custom, Corvair-powered creation here on craigslist for $4,600.

While the name Centaur has been used on multiple other one-off vehicles (most of those being actual kit cars), you won’t find this model in too many Google entries. The body isn’t that different in overall concept from the Kelmark GT – you know, swoopy profile, sports car looks, tacked-on details like the taillight lenses, and other home-brew qualities. Still, if you believe the seller, this Centaur underwent a rigorous construction process that should not be confused with a kit car.

This process is described as a sculpted body over contoured ribs, and then layered in fiberglass over a “…reinforced Corvair subframe.” The interior certainly looks far higher grade than a tradition kit car, with a nicely presented set of gauges and downright fancy bucket seats. The center console is a bit ungainly but at least was designed to not leave any gaps. The shift boot and steering wheel also present well.

Now, the drivetrain is actually pretty interesting, as it’s a Corvair six-cylinder paired to a four-speed manual with Corvair suspension and front disc brakes. That’s a way more sophisticated than most kit cars (I’m sorry, seller, I know this is a prototype but there’s nothing else to compare it to), and given this likely weighs next to nothing, I’m sure it goes alright as well. The big question is: how do you assign value to this, and is $4,600 a fair price for an obscure oddball?

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Comments

  1. Rick

    Looks like a modified Avenger GT to me… it’s a kit, no matter what.

    16
  2. Martin

    Is that my missing vented furnace door?

    19
  3. KevinLee

    I was thinking the back window cover came from an old evaporative cooler, or as my parents called it, a swamp cooler.

    6
  4. Robert H Edwards

    That is a Fiberfab 1972 Avenger GT-15 on a Corvair pan. Back window deleted for the engine grill. Nothing special and tons around yet including ones using the Corvair setup.

    8
  5. Mike R

    Not a kit car? Fiberglass body, mounted on another car’s subframe with an amature interior treatment. Yep, not a kit car.

    7
  6. SubGothius

    Sure is trying hard to look like a Ford GT40, but not really succeeding.

    4
    • Ike Onick

      Yes- right after it hit a guardrail at speed.

  7. Don H

    The engine may be worth the price of the car.

    6
    • PairsNPaint

      Not really. It’s just a common variety 110hp, 2 carb version with a chrome fan shroud (which hurts cooling ability), not the much more desirable 140 hp, 4 carb iteration. Then again it could have been a 150 hp (145 cu in) or 180 hp turbocharged (164 cu in) lower compression version with the troublesome turbo removed/replaced with 2 carbs which would bring it down to about 95 hp.

      And I agree, it’s likely a modified Avenger GT-15.

      2
      • JOHN

        Sorry Mate, you have just insulted the 110 HP Corvair world (all 263 of them). This one is one of the very old 90 hp units. It just wishes it was a 110. (BYW, the 90’s used the same low compression pistons used in the 180s).

      • PairsNPaint

        Sorry, John, but as I see it it’s a 110. I see a magnesium fan rather than the earlier heavy steel version. Of course it could have been changed out. It’s been 40 years since I was a Corvair fanatic (Original member of CORSA) so sure, I could be wrong, but I still think that what I said is accurate.

        1
  8. Michael

    Would be a neat car , if it weren’t so fugly. I still feel like throwing up typing this.

    3
  9. PairsNPaint

    After Googling pics of actual Avengers, I’ve revised my opinion of it being a modified GT-15. The body cuts for the front and rear pieces, and the door frames, look significantly different on this car. It may well have been a “prototype”, but it’s still a kit car.

    My only question is, with the Avenger on the market, why re-invent the wheel with a much uglier version?

    2
  10. Unobtanium Matt

    So. Ugly.

    1
    • Ike Onick

      I was thinking it kind of looked like a clapped out 356, only a little easier on the eyes.

  11. Comet

    All the looks of a poorly executed kit car coupled with 110 anemic horses to slowly push it along. Death, where hath thy sting? Hard pass.

    2
  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Still at what 4 grand with a running engine….hell buy it and put GT-40 emblems on it….your neighbors won’t know the difference.

  13. John

    I’m just trying to figure out which Corvair has a sub-frame. The body was a stressed member of all of them that I remember. The convertible had some stiffening rails but I don’t remember anything that looked even close to being a sub-frame.

    1
  14. Michael Ridley

    that’s from Bubba Harrah ‘s collection in south Georgia. Not to be confused with real car collectors. This car may have been in Nevada Harrah’s parking lot at some time but never in their collection

    2
  15. John

    I know Bubba. He has better taste than that.

    3
  16. PL

    I brought home stray dogs before, But i’m passing on this one.

    1
  17. Danh

    If it had plexi Light covers and better fitting wheels, it probably wouldn’t look so bad. Maybe change the front bonnet (especially the license plate) and loose the hvac panel in the back…..Then move on to the interior. Never mind, this things a basket case.

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