Alright, you’re almost ready to start wrenching but first, click below get to page 4 four to see the turbocharged Spyder and see what earthly (or is that heavenly?) delights await within that one to finish your project off. Of course it’s the Palomar Red one, always the fastest.
Curbside Recycling: Corvair Summer Quartet – Could You Frankenstein One Runner From These Parts?
– Posted on July 1, 2021
I’ve always had a soft spot for Corvairs. The last one (the Monza Spyder) is just like the one my Grandma had…except hers was a convertible.
I think that if one were sufficiently motivated – and not concerned about hantavirus (the amount of rodent damage/debris on those cars is remarkable!) – at least one car could be made out of those 4. I’d probably use the aqua one as the base. But, you’d still need a lot of interior parts that simply don’t exist in any of those 4. Fortunately, there’s always Clark’s out here in MA.
Also, what’s up with all of the mud in all 4 of those cars? It looks like they were stored underground.
Easy. Buy all 4 of them. Use the best body as a base and pull all the “best” parts and make a car similar to the VW Golf Harlequin edition.
Most wrecking yards, and especially this one, will not sell any car to the public. Once they’re in the yard, they can only be parted out then crushed.
True. But still an interesting idea. And the CC effect hits againish. Just saw this on my way home from work Hope it loads
So if I go to the wrecking yard and there is just a shell left, can I buy the shell? If not can I cut the shell apart and take the roof, then take the front half and the back half? It’s metaphysical thing – when is a car still a car.
All that is missing is one midwestern or northeastern car that is a rusted mess but still sporting a well-preserved interior. Let that one make your interior and exterior color choice for you and maybe provide an occasional mechanical part, then have at it with the others.
The alternative: “For trade: 4 mostly-complete, mostly rust-free Corvairs (1 Spyder) in exchange for 1 running, presentable, and mostly rust-free anything else.”
I just noticed the way the instrument cluster is off-center to the left from the steering column – that would have driven me nuts.
What is with GM and off-center steering wheels? The Cavalier was notorious for this (maybe the Citation, too), and I read not long ago that one of the most recent Silverados was off-center, as well!
I can’t recall any other domestic vehicles having the same malady. Truly, if a car-maker can’t even engineer the steering wheel/column to be centered in front of the driver, how could you trust them to engineer the rest of the vehicle properly?
It’s obvious that this bunch went through a flood.
I was thinking that too, but not entirely underwater. Well, there’s enough work to do here such that I doubt that flood damage would be all that consequential of the issues (unlike on a modern car).
While we certainly have had floods out here, it’s probably/possibly more likely a combination of the dirt roads that we still have in many places and were even more plentiful years ago and perhaps snow, which in various winters could have easily covered the cars in their entirety and even inside if something was open. The wind on the plains drives it in fascinating ways. Dust from the dirt roads covers everything, then add a little moisture and you get mud. I’m still cleaning our Jeep from last week’s trip out west but won’t be able to get it all, there’s just too much and it’s too fine.
Even on a very modern car at the junkyard, if it regularly traversed dirt, you’d be surprised at the amount of dirt and dust that’s trapped in every nook and cranny. The actual flood cars tend to have deposits of sand and silt on every horizontal surface such as the top edges of that Monza door logo at the bottom of the above page.
Did you get the manufacturer’s name from that old television? One thing you will need to find elsewhere is a shift knob.
This is a remarkable find but a sad one too.
Really would need to see the floors. I’d say the silver one as a base and have a hazmat suit and dumpster near by. These are such great cars. Still miss my 65 Monza convertible.
It’s a little sad that Corvairs’ relative worthlessness, and that’s a financial term and not a judgment of the car’s intrinsic value, will always make fixing up a long dormant specimen a losing proposition. I’ve learned this the hard way, but a nice Corvair is a bargain. Projects are not.
With that being said, I think you have to go with the Spyder here. That’s the number one question I get about my ’65 – is it a Spyder? Nobody remembers or cares that the Spyder name was last used in ’64 – they only remember that the turbo cars were pretty quick. Good grab on the glovebox, Jim…I’d have grabbed that, too. It looks like somebody already got the gauge cluster, which was Spyder specific. Unfortunately, it looks like somebody replaced the turbo with a standard dual-carb setup (or a whole different engine – not uncommon with Corvairs).
Yeah I was wondering about the engine in the Spyder, Paul mentioned it to me as well. Stir deep through all the mouse droppings inside these and there may well be one laying around in there…:-) It does have the X on the build tag that denotes the Spyder option on the Oakland built cars. It’d be easy enough to fake it with badging I suppose to the casual onlooker.
The upside is that there’s one extra engine to use parts from to make a complete car. And the red one is of course still the fastest. Even if the engine and badges are gone.
I found it odd that there wasn’t a copper or gold colored one, with four 1960’s cars there always at least one in a batch of four…
Sad to see the cars like this, but there appear to be some salvageable trim and interior parts. They do look as though they were submerged during a flood.
Interesting to see “Body by Fisher” on the tags. That brings back memories of my parents’ GM cars.
Someone knew what they wanted in a Corvair: all are coupes with stick shifts. I’d bet that they’re likely all four speeds too. Some hoarders like diversity; others like multiples of the same thing.
Fascinating to see how the air cleaners and their associated plumbing is a bit different in almost each one. That might be a story in itself…
Never fails ti intrigue me if these cars were owned by a hoarder. When they look at the cars rotting in their yard they obviously see something very different from what many of us actually see. Truly beauty is in the eye of the beholder and generally such a beholder would not give up their treasures until…
Before my folks downsized and moved to the desert, Dad had a 1966 convertible and a 1964 Monza Spyder. After about 30 years in his care the Spyder had developed a lifter knock that made the sound only someone willing to invest the time and effort was going to sort out. He’s tinker and futz with them in his retirement but absolutely knew he wasn’t going to pull any engines. The convertible had quite a few trophies but there was not going to be an easy storage answer in their new digs. Occasionally when the Vegas evenings aren’t too hot he yearns for it.
The Spyder was a standard but was always off-limits to me. He stored it in my garage for a while but when he had finally sold it, he let me bring it over. Those 4 gears were all in different zip codes compared to what I was used to.
Those 4 gears were all in different zip codes compared to what I was used to.
Bingo. The reality is that the Corvair as it came from the factory had several deficits that kept it from being a true “American Porsche” as it was all-too often called. The shift linkage was too vague and the throws too long, the steering was too slow, and the suspension too soft, unless the optional one was chosen (not often). And of course the lack of a rear camber compensator spring (I’m referring mainly to the gen1 versions).
Of course there were aftermarket kits to address all of these, which really did help considerably. There was a healthy aftermarket industry for Corvairs for a while (Scat, Fitch, etc.)
These are toast. You can get a decent running Corvair for $10,000 without looking too far. These are just too far gone to consider restoring. The numbers just don’t add up.
These are toast.
Burned toast, at that.
You can get quite a nice Corvair for $10,000.
That is true. There are lots of people that don’t have a spare $10k to spend at one time (or don’t want to) and relish the idea of a project to get on the road over a period of time (years?), with the total cost not being of the primary importance. Not that all of those projects actually make it to completion…
That is absolutely my mindset about everything I buy. Unfortunately (?), it’s hard to break old habits, even now that I can afford a better car upfront. Either way, it’s fun to bring something back from limbo.
Better get your tetanus shots updated before you start this project!
The first (Ermine White…1964?) car has an oil bath pre-air cleaner. If it’s factory my guess is that car was originally sold on the Western Slope or in Arizona.
Theres enough parts for a whole car but unless you do the entire thing yourself including paint and interior it wouldn’t be worth it financially.
And when is it ever worth it financially? Almost never. So make sure that you are finding joy or pleasure or whatever in them as you go.
Do high schools offer autoshop any more? One of these, after thorough decontamination, would be great to tear apart or transform into something while providing educational value.
Does seem a waste to send them all off together at the same time and place instead of spreading this rust bounty to the needy and deserving.
Speaking of rodents, I am cleaning up a car that I had stored outside for 10 years. I expected to find evidence of rats under the hood, but was pissed off to find they had managed to get into the interior. As I was cleaning that up I heard noises from the trunk! I opened it to find it packed with sticks leaves acorn hulls, ruined carpet unravelings and turds! I filled 6 13 gallon trash bags, about 80 lbs. As I was cleaning I looked at the glove box door. No way. No fucking way! Yes! The bastards climbed up the heater and gnawed through the bottom of the glove box to fill it with the usual assortment of trash. I’m not done. I am sure that the under dash is full of trash too.
However, I may be getting some help here. Last week my next door neighbor found a good sized western Diamondback sunning itself in his driveway. I happened to looking in his direction when he nearly stepped on it coiled, rattles buzzing and ready to strike. (6 buttons on the rattle) We decided that the snake could stay if he would take care of the rats. The snake finally got annoyed at the 2 idiots trying to take his picture and he crawled off into shade of a tree between our yards. I am now exercising much caution as to where I am placing my hands and feet while working outside.
Should be a photo of the snake. Will it load?
In the rust belt three of these are ‘builders’, that red one is a seriously hot mess rust wise .
Sadly as mentioned before, even four speed Corvairs are not worth fixing up .
Many good hard parts will be lost here .
It’s too bad (but not surprising) the Spyder engine is long-gone. The spare 1960-only central air cleaner sitting in the engine bay is odd to see!
A 61, 62, 63, and 64, two of which were Spyders. Clearly someone’s “collection.” If my experience in the Corvair community is any indication, your average Corvair owner is as likely to own a dozen as just one, and the more Corvairs an owner has, the more likely none of them are driveable. Also as is common in the Corvair community, I’d be surprised if any of these cars have their original engines: neither of the Spyrders do (the 63 Spyder even has the air cleaner from a 60). Halfway rare desert air cleaner on the 64.