Photo by Ned Fielden, from the Cohort.
Related reading at CC:
“Unsafe At Any Speed” Turns 50: The Most Influential Book Ever On The American Automobile Industry
How The 1960 Corvair Started a Global Design Revolution
1960 Corvair Design Evolution
1960½ Corvair Monza Coupe: The Most Influential Car of the Sixties
What If? 1961-1964 Corvair Monza Hardtop Coupe
I love these early models .
I’d like to have a “station wagon”. They were few even in their day.
The Lakewoood station wagon was only a year or two, in 1971 I foolishly didn’t buy a really clean one that wouldn’t start for $150, shortly after they replaced the corroded battery cable and drove it for several more years…….
If memory serves me ERNIE KOVACS a well known comedian.
Was killed while driving a Corvair wagon long ago .
My Dad bought a car just like this back in the late 1970’s. It was a bronze color with buckets and four speed. I got to drive it a few times. He’d bought a Corvair Greenbriar van back in ’63, which he hadn’t been too happy with. I think that my Dad didn’t like it partially because it was too unconventional. The style is very clean and simple, and it drove pretty nicely with plenty of power. It only threw the fan belt off once. We replaced it with the proper spec belt and that solved the problem. A generic replacement didn’t work well in this application.
I thought that it was a nice car, but just a bit bland compared to the Mustangs and Camaros that I was used to. Now I kind of see it as an American BMW 2002 which were very popular when i was in college. I can appreciate it more now.
Second series Corvairs are attractive, too. Here is a photo of mine.
I doubt if Chevrolet made much money on them. They had to be expensive to manufacture for a car competing in the economy car market. That’s probably why Chevy decided to rush the Chevy II to market so soon after they introduced them. Despite all the effort put into design and manufacturing, the Falcon outsold the Corvair by a wide margin in 1960 and beyond. The Falcon was a much simpler car. Whatever youthful sporting appeal the Corvair may have had, it was blown away again by a much simpler car – the 1964 Ford Mustang.
For a six-cylinder, Corvair engines had so many pieces and parts. Two carburetors, two cylinder heads, six cylinder barrels, two crankcase halves, twelve pushrod tubes, an oil cooler, two thermostats, two fuel filters, a dozen sheet metal engine tins, and all kinds of gaskets, screws, bolts and nuts to keep it all together. Compare that to a conventional water cooled inline six. Plus independent rear suspension. All sold for a price within a few dollars of its competitors.
For example, prices for a Chevy II started at $2,003 for a stripped down 100 series two-door, four cylinder sedan. The two-door sedan version of the entry-level Nova 400 cost $2,198, while the convertible Nova commanded $2,475….
To put that in perspective, prices for the 1962 Corvair 500 coupe started at $1,992 and prices for the Monza convertible started at $2,483; virtually the same prices as the Chevy II.
It’s a wonder to me why Chevrolet decided to go ahead with the second series Corvair, the one that came out for model year 1965. But I’m glad they did. I love my Corvair.
And here’s the photo of my 1966 Corvair. Click on the photo for a photo that’s not so fuzzy!
Quite a “looker”..
They were certainly beautiful looking cars…especially this later generation. The early generation was a bit too square for me. I love all the air cooled stuff. Give me the VWs, Porsches, Corvairs and any other air coolers.
That is the prettiest second Gen. I’ve seen.
Beautiful car. Beautiful wheels. Beautiful colour.. And I like the 4 door even more.
I will forever vacillate between preferring the 2-door and the 4-door. The 4-door is the more coherent design, and obviously the first one, but the coupe really emphasizes its sporty nature.
I just cannot get onboard with the proportions on this coupe. It is worst in a full profile view like this, but the rear wheels are too far back and the roof does not go back far enough. It is not ugly, but something is off – which is unusual in a GM car of that era.
As a kid I didn’t like the roofline. Now that I have seen the ’49 Olds coupe and then ultimately the ’40 Mercury coupe I like these first gen better than the ’65’s.
Just before I got my licence in 1966, my mother got a 1966 Monza with 110 hp engine and a 4 speed. My parents wanted my brother and me to learn to drive standard. It was a pale yellow 2 door with black interior and I thought it was great. I much preferred the second generation design until later that year my cousin bought a ‘64 Monza convertible. It immediately became my favourite. It looked particularly good with the top down. It had the same power train as my mother’s. Over the years I have considered looking for one, but I have never done it. My uncle had a 65 Corsa with the turbo, but unfortunately I never had a ride in it. I suspect the 110 would have been the engine of choice.
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