Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Beautiful 1964 Corvair Monza Convertible

1964 was the last year of the original, "first generation", Corvair bodystyle. It's also the best. GM had the new sportier "second generation" Corvair ready to roll for 1965, but they still did some significant upgrades to the car in 1964.

The two biggest improvements were to the engine and suspension. The engine displacement was increased from 145ci to 164ci. The horsepower of the base engine increased from 80 to 95 HP and the optional "performance" engine went from 95 to 110 HP. (The Spyder turbo engine remained at 150 HP. The second generation Corvairs had a 140 HP option and the turbo Corsa engine put out an amazing 180 HP. The displacement remained at 164ci.)

The second big improvement was to the suspension. Independent rear suspension would not be available on the Corvair until 1965, but in 1964 Chevrolet improved the original swing-axle design by adding a a transverse leaf spring, which gave the car more neutral handling characteristics.

This is a pretty amazing 1964 Corvair Monza convertible. The seller states that it has just 49,000 miles on it. The seller claims to have "all receipts and documentation since day one with copies of all titles and original bill of sale" It's been repainted once (the original color), but the seller says "you will find no rust nor bondo anywhere".

This car has some Corvair "Holy Grail" options, including an original AM/FM radio (I've never seen one in person), wood steering wheel and wire-wheel style hubcaps. (You'll often see Corvairs with Chevy wire-wheel hubcaps, but more than likely they are 14" Nova rims with Nova wheel covers. The bolt pattern was the same, so it was an easy swap. The Corvair rode on 13" rims and the 13" Corvair-only wire-wheel covers are extremely rare.)

The only real downside to this car is the 2 speed Powerglide transmission. (The transmission is dashboard operated and had no "Park" feature. A working parking brake is a must in a Corvair.) The seller calls it a "rare option", which it is not.

I've owned a number of Corvairs in my life.(Including 1 first generation car, a 1962 station wagon. I had put a rebuilt 140 engine, a 4 speed and a Spyder dash in it. The week before it was scheduled to go to the bodyshop for a respray, some bastard - or bastards - stole it from behind a mall, set fire to it pushed it into a lake. That was a long time ago and I'm still pissed off!). They're fun and, contrary to Ralph Nader says, safe cars. This car, given its condition and options, would be the perfect car for anyone desiring to own one of the best of the first generation Corvairs.

Located in Lakeland, FL, click here to see the eBay listing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I owned a 1964 Corvair convertible back in 1975 which was given to me by my aunt. It was aqua colored and ran very well.It had a problem with oil leakage as I recall but was a fun ride. I did keep 2 sand bags in the "trunk" to help keep the front tires in contact with the road.By the way, how much is the maroon corvair selling for?