55k Original Miles: 1963 Chevrolet Corvair

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This is a car that can start endless conversations, both good and bad. Ralph Nadar had a huge issue with these cars. This 1963 Chevrolet Corvair has been barn stored for the last 30 years, so it has been safe at no speed. It does have a clean title and it has 55,000 miles on the odometer. The car is located in Fulton, New York with an asking price of $4,500. You can view more here on Craigslist.

1963 Chevrolet Corvair

Mechanically, this car starts, runs, and drives, needing very little to get it into tip-top shape. The listing says it has the original engine, but no photos are provided. It also has it listed as a four-cylinder, when the Corvair only came with a rear-mounted flat six-cylinder engine. This Corvair does have a four-speed manual transmission and the listing says that they have put brand new tires on the car.

1963 Chevrolet Corvair

While this listing does lack engine photos, it does have a few interior photos, although they are a little difficult to discern the overall look of it. At least there is a photo showing the shifter proving it is in fact a manual transmission car. Other than that, the interior appears to be in good shape for its age. The floors do look a little questionable. It is hard to tell if that is carpet or if that is the bare metal.

1963 Chevrolet Corvair

Overall, the exterior is not that bad either. Except for a few patches of surface rust which are visible in the photos, the listing says that the body and chrome are nearly flawless. There are always two sides to every story, especially when it comes to the Corvair’s safety. As a matter of fact, I recently watched a video of the Corvair off-roading in an old advertisement and it looked safe to me. Either way, it is safe to say this is a good price for a good car.

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  1. On and On On and OnMember

    Worked on one and drove one in H.S. Great in snow. I’m tempted. I think once you have the oil seal leaks and air shrouds sealed it could be a fun driver.

    Like 4
  2. Fred W

    90% of the “unsafe” factor was improper tire inflation- 10 psi less in the front. No “filling station” was going to bother to do that, so people drove around in unsafe ‘Vairs, unless they were card carrying Corvair club members like me (at age 17!)
    I learned the hard way, after a couple of unintended 180’s on dry asphalt.

    Like 5
    • CCFisher

      The low front tire pressure was to compensate for the lack of an anti-roll bar, which was eliminated after the accountants figured out how much the Corvair was going to cost to build. Reportedly, it was more than a full-sized Chevrolet.

      Like 0
      • Joe

        Somewhat true, but you forgot that they have something like a 40/60% weight balance. Front tire pressure greatly effects front traction and steering feel.

        Like 1
  3. Joe

    Puhleeeze…. Will there ever come a day when Corvairisti no longer see Ralph Nader’s name invoked EVERYTIME a Corvair shows up in print? Nader can be credited with starting awareness of less-than-desirable automotive engineering, but anyone who is familiar with driving any properly maintained Corvair knows they are delightful drivers. The1965-’69 models also have superior handling characteristics. I own an early and a late version and will be keeping them.

    Like 13
    • On and On On and OnMember

      Good for you, Joe. I’m thinking of joining you with a 65-69. Still reasonably priced. For the moment. Give us the details/pictures of yours.

      Like 2
      • Joe

        You can buy a ver nice ’65 – ’69 for $5 – $8K. The 4 carb Corsa is the one to have (’65 – ’66). I have a ’64 Monza convertible automatic, factory A/C and a highly modified ’69 coupe, 4 spd, -taken out 300cc to a 3 liter. It’s a real street hooligan and runs and sounds like a mid- ’70’s 911. I’m adding A/C (Florida). Can’t see how in include pics here.

        Like 3
    • Ralph

      To be technically correct, this one only mentioned Ralph Nadar, not Nader, Ralph Nadar must be a european tennis player or something…..

      Hey proofreading? editing? What are those?

      Like 1
  4. Dean Z

    You’re only telling half the story. You mentioned Nader (everyone does), but you didn’t bother to say that the NTHSA tested the Corvair in July, 1972 and concluded, “The handling and stability performance of the 1960-1963 Corvair does not result in an abnormal potential for loss of control or rollover and it is at least as good as the performance of some contemporary vehicles, both foreign and domestic.” I’ve driven one since 2013. It rides and handles very well and is an absolute joy to drive. This one looks to be in good shape. Whoever winds up with it will not be disappointed.

    Like 4
  5. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    In 63 I was a junior in high school, a student drove a black monza spider convertible, that I admired from a distance. I was not in the money crowd and had to ride the bus, so I was quite jealous of the kids that had new cars to drive to school. That car was my favorite unti 64 when Ford brought out the newly designed Falcon Futura convertible which quickly became my favorite, until the Mustang arrived. Beautiful memories.
    God bless America

    Like 2
  6. emeltzMember

    I had a 63 Monza convertible that was in storage for years. A rodent nest in one of the heat exchangers eventually ignited and the car burned in my driveway. Now that car was unsafe at any speed, even parked!

    Like 0
  7. jeff

    dich the crappy rear axle that was prone to go toe in on bends and wheels would tuck under the car Ralph Nader was right on that narrowed 12 bolt will fix that old school 327 in back seat will cure the Exxox Valdeeze sized oil leakage issiue quit whienin start grindin

    Like 1
    • Joe

      Bah Humbug. We are talking about 100% Corvairs here – and I’ve driven a wicked 350 mid-engined Corvair. Late model Corvairs have fully independant and adjustable rear suspensions. Bring whatever you have and try to stay with me in my performance upgraded ’69 through some fast road curves. Ain’t gonna happen. Oil leaks? A proper engine build with Viton O-rings will stop that.

      Like 4
  8. Ralph

    The double flags on the decklid mean that this or once was a 102hp Corvair, the highest non-turbo engine option before the 110hp engine came out.

    Nice little car, looks good, the manual is a great bonus.

    Like 2
  9. bobhess bobhessMember

    My mother owned two of the first generation cars, both automatics, and I bought a ’65 with all the goodies and all three cars went years without any problems and the ’65 was the terror of the local clubs and SCCA autocrossing for years. I was amazed at the power the automatics had verses what everyone says about them. They were quick enough to handle freeway traffic with no problems. Note.. I did get the 4 speed in my ’65. And one of these days I’m going to tell the story of the 180hp Covair engined ’69 VW panel van….

    Like 1
  10. JOHNMember

    I love reading Corvair “stories” they are among the most amusing of virtually any marque out there. Everything from flipping over at random to the engines falling out. I have owned 6, currently finishing up my mid-engine 350 conversion! And yes, the late models (65-69) had a fairly sophisticated 4 wheel fully independent suspension. Fun cars. I’m looking at a 66 convertible to add to the collection.

    Like 0
  11. Bob McK

    I would question the mileage on this car. The interior and exterior are in terrible condition. I bet it has at least 155K on it. If the top is covered with rust, what is underneath?

    Like 0
  12. TimM

    I had a chance to buy one of these in the 80’s and I didn’t pull the trigger on it!! It was a convertible I can’t remember what year it was but it was a cool looking car!!

    Like 0
  13. Doug B

    Ralph Nader had a huge issue alright. His brain.

    Like 0
  14. Del

    Ralph gets bad press. He wanted corporations to behave.

    Does not matter since GM has left for Mexico apparently.

    Like 1

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