All this Vega attention here at CC may be wearing out some of our GM fans, so how about something a little more palatable? Like, for instance, this sharp little Corvair convertible?
This car may look like it was shot in Eugene, but it was actually shot at a rainy cruise-in in Iowa City on May 25. Judging from the ad full of happy Chevy owners above, it is a ’63 Monza. Iowa City has a small but dedicated group of Corvair fans (Paul would be proud) and there are usually 3-4 grouped together at these cruise-ins, but today Mr. Corvair was by himself.
While the ’65 and up versions are unquestionably beautiful, I really like these early ones. And as appealing as a convertible may be, I think I would prefer one of these Monza sedans instead, mini-Impala roofline, bucket seats and all. Make mine black, like this one.
The early Corvairs were cars that I only had a fleeting acquaintance with – saw them all over the place, of course – but only drove a couple of them. One of them was a 1960 sedan with Powerglide, which had a loose enough front end to get the shakes at any speed over about 45. I didn’t blame the car for that though – this was in about 1975, and it wasn’t exactly a low-mile car. I was surprised at how relatively nimble it car was though, even with the automatic. Much earlier in my life I’d test driven a nearly new ’63 or ’64 Monza Spyder, and gotten the impression of a slightly larger, softer Volkswagen. Any Corvair is rare enough nowadays that I enjoy seeing a nice one.
As you probably know, a white ’63 Monza sedan was my first car, but I’d take a black one! Interesting color on that convertible; stock?
Yes Paul, that’s a stock colour, and a rare one at that. ’63 only, Cordovan Brown. Absolutely stunning when paired with a tan top and interior.
In 1969 I bought a friend’s ’64 black-on-black-on-black Monza with a manual convertible top for $100. It had a 4-speed and the 110 horse engine. Being just down the street from J.C. Whitney I bought a pair of glasspacks and some fast steering arms from Eelco. Even with the glasspacks the think was super quiet. I had to take it to Lower Wacker Drive in Chicago, drop down in second and take it through the gears. Great sounds.
I liked the way it handled and cornered (it was the first year for a factory camber-compensator on the rear end). My roommate had a ’65 4dr hardtop with a Powerslide. The ’65s got rid of the swing arm suspension and used double-jointed half-shafts, much like the contemporary Corvette. It handled and rode much better than my ’64. And in the Chicago snow, fantastic.
But it had the unfortunate habit of spitting out expensive parts, so I said ta-ta!
I’m solidly in the Corvair fan camp, I have a red 65 Corsa convertible, that is a little shabby but solid, they are a fun little cars, and just so pretty, they make a good entry level hobby car, pretty simple to work on once you understand them. Always carry an extra belt and tools.
Absolutely. And they have to be the most affordable collector cars around, unless you count Cimarrons as collector cars I guess. I’ve got a 1964 coupe. In typical GM fashion, the ’64 represents what GM should have brought to market initially. The ’64 has a front anti-roll bar and a rear camber compensating transverse spring, which together do a nice job of taming the swing axles.
That convertible is a beauty. I think both generations of the Corvair were really nice looking cars that still look modern today; I like the coupes, sedans, and wagons. Our neighbors in small town Midwest bought a new 1960 dark blue 700 four door sedan with Powerglide and the gasoline heater. Being a mechanically inclined family, they were able to handle the quirks of the early Corvairs and kept that much loved car running and looking good for many years. They also bought a new loaded Buick Invicta four door sedan in 1960 and the two cars were oddly complementary garage mates. My favorite Corvair by far was my friend’s new 1967 metallic blue coupe – one of the best looking American cars of the 60s. I still see a few Corvairs on the road here in SoCal, mostly on week-ends and often they are convertibles with tops down.
Is that a 65 Imperial behind the tree?
Thats pretty much a darker shade of the same color as my Cavalier Convertible was. To Me, Brown only looks Ok When it is a rather Rare or Unique color for the Make/Model as this is.
If you want to see something amazing….check out this Corvair. I have pretty low standards when it comes to project cars but this gentleman saved a true basket case.