Barn Find: 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Convertible

071516 Barn Finds - 1963 Chevrolet Corvair - 1

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

This great-looking car is a 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Convertible and it’s located in New Port Richey, Florida. It’s listed here on eBay with a current bid price of just under $2,300 and there is no reserve. There are still four days left on the auction so get your bids in.

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The seller says that this car was found in a barn in Alabama and they say that “all doors, truck (sic) and hood line up straight and close like they should.” It’ll need paint, or not, I like it as it looks now. I’m guessing that it’s been repainted at some point as it’s also had an engine transplant at some point so a former owner must have restored it. This is a driving project, as in, drive it while you fix things here and there. The seller says that it “will need top, but back window is in good shape. Also it will need a gas tank, and four new tires”, so there are a few things on the to-do list, but an overwhelming amount or work needed.

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I like the 1960-’61 model grilles, or, the front end treatment since there is no real grille in the front of a Corvair. As long as it’s a first-generation body style it’s a-ok by me. This car has a nice, friendly face. Yep, this one has been “restored”, this wouldn’t be a factory coating in the trunk compartment. And, you can see a lot of pin holes there that’ll need to be fixed. The seller says that although the body “has some surface rust but no rot”, the trunk “has a few quarter size holes at very bottom.” 

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Yes, this car has a 4-speed! The interior looks fantastic, really the only thing that I would do is to do a seats-out detailing of the seats and the carpet, and there is a tear in the bolster of the driver’s seat that could be repaired fairly easily.

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This is the transplanted engine. It’s now an “up graded 164cu 140hp 4-carb motor, that runs great. Car drives, shifts and stops well.” That’s a good 50%, or more, bump in horsepower, so although it isn’t original it has to make this car fly, relatively-speaking. It looks good but the engine compartment could use some detailing. I hope that isn’t a lot of rust in the upper corners, but you may want to hit those areas before they get any worse than they look now. This car looks like a great project, doesn’t it? A red Corvair convertible with a 4-speed and 140 hp! This is a car that I could see someone buying and driving it until winter and then restoring a few areas over the winter and having an even better looking car next spring. What do you think of this Corvair, is it worth fixing the few rust spots given how good the rest of the car looks?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    While I’m not a big fan of Corvair’s, it would seem to me, you couldn’t go wrong here. I had heard the 4 carb motors were a pain ( if 1 or 2 carbs are a pain, imagine 4) and I think a small 4 barrel was the common switch. I think this car has been around the block, as I remember seeing a car like this somewhere else with those wheel covers. Great chance to get a 60’s US made “sports car”. Be a fun little car ( until the weather turns, that is)

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  2. DRV

    Those wheel covers were an option and usually on the Spyders. The interior looks great and I would paint the car white with that interior.
    I remember looking straight at the cool metal parts of the dash as a 10 year old.

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  3. Mitch

    Tony Dow (Leave it to Beaver) just got his ’62 back that he bought new. The other owner for years specified in his will that when he passed the car was to go back to Tony. Some mods were done on it over the years, & Tony got a Corvair expert to come in & get running & purring again.

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  4. DrinkinGasoline

    Editorial Column : Ralph Nader. He made his mark as a “so-called” Consumer Advocate. I guess even bad publicity, is still…. publicity, and he sure took advantage of that.
    Nader took what he could get and had more than the obligatory 15 minutes of fame to say the very least. My ’66 110 was a great second family car with serious MPG’s and no issues aside the rust around the windshield (after 70,000 miles in N.E.Ohio, which I dealt with in short order).
    I am by no means a Chevy person but, the Corvair was a targeted victim of poor journalism perpetrated by a poor journalist.
    I apologize in advance if this came across as a “rant”, as I certainly do not want to violate the posting rules of BF.
    I’m DrinkinGasoline…..not affiliated with Barn Finds and I approve this message.
    (I’m so, so very tired of Political Correctness).

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  5. 64 bonneville

    Technologically, Corvair was ahead of its time. A tip of the hat to the GM Engineers who did their homework on a rear drive automobile. I had read “unsafe at any speed” by Nader, and the book as a whole was a rant about the lack of safety in automobiles up to the time it was published. If I remember correctly, he went all the way back to the 1920s’ with safety issues in automobiles. What many people didn’t realize was that he was, for the most part comparing safety of the current day standards with the majority of the vehicles that had been built up to 40+ years ago. He was really hard on General Motors products, but also bashed Ford, Chrysler, and the independent makes.

    The big thing about the early model Corvairs, pre-65, was that most drivers were not used to an independent rear suspension (swing axels) and would get themselves jammed up in turns taken at speed.

    You have probably guessed that I’m a Corvair nut, and I do prefer them to some other cars. My first restoration project was a 65 Corvair Monza Sports Sedan, back in 1975. A $75.00 car that I rebuilt for about $300.00 and sold about 6 months after finishing it to a guy for $900.00, who approached me in a parking lot at a grocery store. There have been many other cars since then, and as I very quickly approach 70, find that my body and stamina don’t match what I know or know I can do, so just enjoy reading about them, and occasionally commenting about them. As you will see by my screen name my favorite car of all time.

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  6. David

    I always liked the second version and owned a bunch of them, but early convertibles have always been tempting. This corvair just looks cool and would be a blast to drive, especially with the 140 HP engine. The 4 carbs aren’t that hard to sync, especially with any carb sync tool.

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  7. alabee

    Add an anti-sway bar and go.

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  8. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Staff

    Auction update: this Corvair sold for $3,650.

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  9. Paul

    Nice original car. Too bad someone bastardized it with a 140 engine swap. A well tuned stock 102 h.p.is still a lot of fun. You take or leave the 4 speed. Because of the long, multi-piece linkage, most are sloppy, vague, have a long throw and the gears are not well defined. No speed shifting here, unless you were John Fitch. For a summer cruiser a nice 102 with the powerglide transmission is just fine for me.

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