Curbside Capsule: 1963 Chevrolet Corvair 900 Monza Convertible – Winter Beater

It may be a Corvair summer over there in CC’s home states, but here in Melbourne it is freezing right now. However climate alone is not enough to inhibit the CC effect and case in point is the first Corvair I’ve ever seen on the road. Caught last week.

This shape is much fabled, due in no small part to one of the seminal articles that convinced me of the true eminence of Curbside Classic. I’ve seen an F-85 vert the from the same era on the roads here, and personally I prefer its approach to the basic shell – particularly at the front. But to repeat what has been expressed in many a CC piece, this is a superb example of styling brevity.

This one sits in the upper echelon of the Corvair hierarchy – that 900 tower and Monza triangle denote the top trim level. Though I am loath to shoot the interior of someone else’s car uninvited, the Standard Catalogue of American Cars lists bucket seats, cigarette lighter, back-up lights, deluxe steering wheel, glovebox light, full wheel covers, distinct badging and chromed rocker trim as standard. The lack of Spyder callouts means no turbocharging. 36,693 of these made their way out onto the roads back in model year 1963.

It proudly flaunts a Georgia plate, and whenever I see mention of that fair state my mind turns to the superb song by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell. I’ve got much cherished versions by Ray Charles and Willie Nelson, and I’m hoping some of y’all can point me to a version sung by a gal with a whole mess of ole timey flavor to it.

This is no trailer queen, and it’s probably not apt to describe it as a winter beater either. Its air-cooled engine will no doubt help starting during these colder days, but I figure that top will stay up for a few more months yet.

One thing’s for certain, driving this with the heater and radio on dreaming of sunny days ahead is a surefire way of beating the winter blues.