Wednesday, January 21, 2015

10k: Open Top Classic: 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa Convertible

A Chevrolet Corvair convertible in nice condition for a reasonable price is a particularly hard feature to pass up. With 'Vair prices headed up in the past few years, a 140/4spd/convertible with wire/spinner wheel covers in a nice color seems like a buy. Find this 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa Convertible here on eBay offered for $8,500 buy-it-now or make-offer located in Lead Hill, AR.

Selecting the Corsa version on a 1965 Chevrolet Corvair didn't just add a more powerful engine with 4 single throat carbs, it also added a 140 mph speedometer with resettable trip odometer (not a common feature in 1965), a large 6,000 rpm tachometer, beefier brakes borrowed from the Chevelle, a stronger differential, and a Delcotron alternator (replacing the standard generator).

Run the vin (107675W140634) through a vin decoder and this car appears to be a true 140 hp Corsa, the 40634th Corvair built at the Willow Run factory for that year.  The quad single throat carburetor setup wasn't as powerful as the turbocharged version, but it is probably more reliable in the long run.

The interior and exterior of this Corvair looks in decent shape for its asking price, and looks free of weather damage.  The convertible top also looks nice, but the seller's short description includes the statement "not a show quality car" -- so be sure to look closely for small defects.

See a better 60s convertible for less?


  1. I feel like Corvairs are somewhat similar to the Stag recently posted by DT in that were something a bit different and yet not so good from the factory, but were better (mostly) by subsequent owners. This convertible is gorgeous and would be a wonderful way to tool around on a warm summer evening.

    If it were my $8,500 and I wanted a 60s rear-engined 2+2 convertible from a domestic automaker, then I'd think my options would be extremely limited. In fact, I can't think of another just off the top of my head. That leaves more conventional vehicles, like this 1965 Plymouth Sport Fury or 1964 Ford Falcon.

    1. I've owned both a 1964 and a 2nd gen Corsa. The Falcon is easier to get big power out of, and the trunk's more useful, but in every other way I prefer the Corvair. Very good brakes by drum brake standards. Better (if slow) steering. One of the best handling American cars of its time. Adequate power. Great looks. 1965 to 68 Corvairs are IMO a great vintage car value. This one looks like a peach.

  2. Do note that the secondary carburetors have been removed (the seller is upfront about this), so now running as a 2-carb engine and not really developing 140 hp. However, as the seller also notes, the stated engine block number ending in "RB" is correct for a true 140 engine. Should be able to convert back to 140.

  3. Edd and Mike are in the US working on a Wheeler Dealers done completely in America and airing later this summer. I hope they will do a Corvair like this, maybe an AMC and a Falcon Ranchero instead of the usual American fare.

    1. If you're in SoCal, their shop (studio) is right up the road from Chip Foose's place in Huntington Beach. You should drop by and ask them in person. My buddy and I went down there trying to stalk them a few weeks back. Met Chip Foose but missed Mike and the tall man.

    2. Did you get any idea of what cars they are doing? That would be a fun MWM on DT: "What cars should Edd & Mike take on for the Wheeler Dealers in America series?

    3. Fun fact guys: DT was started after E-i-C Vince and I had several conversations that went something like this:

      C: "We should do our own Wheeler Dealers. But in America."
      V: "Capital idea! I can be Mike, you can be Edd"
      C: "But I don't work for free."
      V: ...
      C: "Oh, right. Yes I do. I'll go back to wrenching now."
      V: [one week later, DT mysteriously appears on the interwebz]

    4. Gianni - the address we were given looked like an ordinary industrial area off-the-beaten-path specialty shop (like an upholsterer or machine shop). Nothing on the outside. I'm not even sure we had the right place.

      We asked one of Mr Foose's "handlers" (i.e. the dude who was trying to push us out of the shop after the tour was over) if we had the right address for them and he said he didn't know, but some of the crew like to eat at an Italian place at the corner of Talbert and Beach.

    5. I was imagining a nondescript building in an industrial area with a bunch of cars under tarps behind chin link. I looks like from their BookFace page they are doing a Pacer


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