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Are You Sure It Needs A Lot Of Work? 1965 Corvair Corsa Convertible


Like the Jensen-Healey featured recently, Corvairs are another unappreciated classic to most folks. And if you know me, you know I love underdogs. While this Corsa convertible looks really nice in pictures, the seller unusually says “This vehicle needs a lot of work, I did a lot to it but it needs more!” We’ll let you be the judge of that! It can be viewed here on eBay, where the buy it now is $5,500 but lower offers are welcomed by the seller. This cheerful convertible is located in Altoona, Pennsylvania.


Clean lines, pretty wire wheel covers, shiny paint, a boot cover that actually fits–what could be wrong? By this time, the Corvair had most, if not all of the “fixes” that were performed to try to combat the reputation that Ralph Nader and his buddies gave the cars. While this isn’t the turbo version, it is the Corsa with the highest output of the three naturally aspirated flat sixes offered in 1965.


It’s amazing to me how low and small the Corvair looks compared to cars of today. Bumpers on this example appear nice for a driver at least, and I like the pale yellow. The seller states that the car has rust in the common areas for a Corvair–the base of windshield, door jambs and rocker panels. There’s a closeup of some of the bubbling at the base of the windshield and up close it doesn’t look great.


On the other hand, the interior really looks nice, the top is pretty good and the manual transmission is a huge plus in my book. Having sat down in many convertibles with black upholstery while wearing shorts and immediately regretted the burn to the backs of my legs, a white interior looks very inviting!


The seller suggests shooting them an offer due to the lot of good parts here (!) I’d rather see someone deal properly with the rust and enjoy this car. What do you think?




  1. Mopar madness


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  2. Chebby

    “Needs a lot of work” is not useful info. Other than dropped valve seats and rust, these are as solid as most Chevys of the period. Paint is not original, so a PA car may be hiding lots of Bondo. Everything else is pretty simple.

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  3. Bob S

    I am in the middle of dealing with what lies under the windshield on my 66 Coupe. It is a big job as you dig down to find that the rot goes down past the dashboard. Fortunatley I had an Arizona car chopped up for reasonable money and am receiving the whole front portion right up to the roof in the next few days. Hope I have the skill set to pull this off. Do not buy a rusty Corvair when a solid one is probably two or three grand more.

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  4. PaulieB

    In 1979 I bought a ’69 Monza 2-door with Powerglide for $927. When I went to get it inspected it needed a complete floor. Since Clark’s wasn’t offering floor panels at the time I had to settle for what the local body shop could manage.. it wasn’t pretty. I had the car for about a year and let it go.. Too many fumes in the passenger compartment even though I had a friend put in new seals in the upper portion of the engine.. I didn’t have the time then.. much more time now but no car..lol. Great cars if you can find one with manageable rust. There’s a guy in Orange MA named Dick Martin who has a bunch of these…nice guy too.

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  5. fretless58

    My only question is: Is the car pictured the one that is for sale? The ebay ad says exterior color is white, interior color is black. This is clearly a yellow Corvair with a white interior. What’s up with that?

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  6. BCG 1

    My first car was a 65 Monza. My second car was a 66 Corsa down graded to a 110. Both barely ran. Mostly because of my lack of skills. Id like to have another. With a cage. And small block in the back seat.

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  7. Roselandpete

    Would be nice to know what extra work it needs.

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  8. alabee

    What’s up with the sprayed on black over the brushed stainless?

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    • Chebby

      The rear cove on a Corsa is just Argent Silver paint, not a panel like Impalas have. But yeah it should not be black.

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  9. Bill

    My ’65 Corsa was a 180 hp turbo. Carb was from the 6 cylinder Corvettes. Ragtop 4 on da floor, traded a ’69 triumph Bonneville engine for it. Lots of fun to drive. Ahhh, the early ’70s.

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  10. racer99

    If you look at the windshield corner pic it plainly shows the whole corner is built out of bondo and it also hints at the quality of the respray. Probably OK as a cheap driver but (as Bob S said) it makes you wonder how far down the rust damage goes. Can’t fault the seller here as his comments are purposely cautionary although somewhat vague. Underneath pics would have helped.

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  11. jaygryph

    The 140 is a great engine. Don’t ever overheat one though, they will drop valves. The issue comes from the valves being massive in a tiny head. Not much wiggle room in there when heat starts to cause problems. Very common for the 140’s to drop valve seats. That does not always wreck the entire engine, but does require a new head and cylinder jug, piston, etc. sometimes they do completely wipe the engine. It happened to the one in my RV while the previous owner had it.

    Lot of time what happens is the cars sit and rats build nests on top of the engine but beneath the tin shroud on top so it will look fine but air won’t be getting through the engine’s cooling fins. Also a good way to start a fire, and with as greasy as most of these cars are that can be quite a situation on your hands.

    Still, quirks aside, they’re such a neat engine. Some day perhaps they’ll get the credit they’re due. With the prices of other stuff going up so much the corvairs are even starting to pick up some value. The late model body is sure a sharp looking car. Honestly I like it better than that era camaro and firebird. I like the front and rear clip treatment better.

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