Barn Find Sighting: Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder

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As a tow truck driver, Reader Randall L gets to see all kind of interesting vehicles. He recently got a call to move a client’s most recent purchase. When he arrived at the pickup location, he discovered that he was hauling a barn find! This Chevrolet Corvair hadn’t moved since 1967 and was part of an estate that had just been liquidated. The new owner had him load it up on his rollback and drop it off at their house, but that’s all Randall knows about the car or its fate. Hopefully, they will be able to get it back on the road! As soon as he saw it, he knew he needed to share photos of it with the Barn Finds Community!

While it’s covered in a thick layer of dirt what can be seen looks to be in decent shape for a Corvair that’s been stashed away in Tennessee. Obviously, the interior is going to need to be restored and who knows what the underside looks like, but there are no signs of serious rust issues. Being a Monza Spyder, this was a highly optioned car with the 150 horsepower turbocharged flat-6 engine.

I wouldn’t mind finding one of the Corvairs. They are really unique cars with a surprising amount of performance potential. The engine can be turned to produce decent amounts of power, they look great and can be made to handle well. It’s been said many times, but these really are the poor man’s Porsche 911. This one probably needs everything, but you don’t find Monza Spyders every day, so it’s probably worth restoring.

Since Randall was already sending photos of the Corvair, he decided to go ahead and send photos of a few of his other recent sightings. It appears that these vehicles are at a junkyard or impound lot. They are all pretty rough, but both Vans look awesome and the Mercedes looks like it could have some good parts on it.

Our thanks to Randall for sharing his sightings with us. If you’ve come across a cool barn find or a wrecking yard full of classics, we would love to hear about it!

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  1. D

    I believe that is a ’64 or older, not a ’67

    Like 4
    • Ronnie Hunt

      It say it had not been move since 67 not that it was a 67.

      Like 0
  2. Danny

    Had 3corvairs,63hard top,66 convertale and a 67 hard top,loved them all, wish I had them today⁹

    Like 4
  3. Kevin Harper

    Ok somebody explain this to me. I thought spyder (or spider if you are Italian) was always a term for a car where the top went down, aka a convertible. This car appears to be a hardtop, why is it called a Spyder?

    Like 2
    • Gary McDaniel

      Spyder designated turbo for this car.

      Like 6
  4. bobk

    ’cause the “suits” at Chevrolet thought that it sounded really cool.

    Sorry. Leave an opening like that and I’m going to drive a truck through it. What you are asking is the difference between tradition (Europe) and a venal marketing department.

    Like 2
    • Cary Dice

      Like GTO.

      Like 1
  5. Gary McDaniel

    It says has not moved since ’67. It does not mention year model.

    Like 7
  6. TimM

    Turbo air cooled is a little different be fun to work on!!

    Like 2
  7. Dickie F

    Would it have killed them to roll up the windows?
    When you get around to working on it TimM, stay clear of the air cooled fan belt with the engine running…..

    Like 4
  8. misterlouMember

    Spyders were 62-64. Body changes were pretty subtle. The ’64 had more displacement 2.4l to 2.7l and rear suspension tweaks for less Nader’ing.

    Like 4
  9. Steven Dunn

    My 1962 Spyder was the 1st new car I had ever bought. I loved it! previously I owned a 1954 A-H ; before the Navy. When my enlistment was up, I knew that I wanted something small & responsive without the shivers that come with a true roadster. The Spyder gave me power, a 4 speed, with windows and a heater. True, the Spyder once swapped ends on a dark and rainy AM on the I-10. I recovered quickly and motored on. The end of the relationship began when the car became my wife’s work car and she had to pull over one afternoon too many on the Hollywood freeway at 4PM to fix the belt while wearing high heels, nylons and nice clothes. The Spyder had its failings and so did my old Healey 100. Still, those two top my list of cars I wish I still owned.

    Like 6
    • TimM

      If she took her nylons off and tied them where the belt was she could have drove the car somewhere to get it fixed!! Happens to me on my wedding day and I used my wife’s nylons to fix it!! Truely saved my ass!!

      Like 8
      • john c

        We painters can and do use nylons as a paint strainer…inexpensive and does a super job !! However this is BarnFinds, so never mind. (-;

        Like 3
  10. Little_Cars Little Cars

    I think this car is part of a larger collection of field Corvairs in Tennessee that was liquidated as a whole group to one buyer. This must be one of the last they pulled out…sure looks the part with all that dirt on it and dried up rubber for tires. Funny, I thought the Spyders had a distinctive steering wheel/horn button but this one appears to have just the Corvair (or maybe Monza) badge in the center. Nice find!

    By the way, nylons are great for securing tomato vines to the stake.

    Like 1
  11. arizman2

    Looks like the ’63 spyder I bought used in 1964. The only problem I had with it is it would toss the fan belt at high rpm.

    Like 1
  12. Wayne

    I thought that the spring loaded belt tensioners solved the belt tossing tendency. No?

    Like 2
    • arizman2

      Actually it was not all that bad. When the belt would toss it was like the car gained 25 horsepower and would go like a bat out of hell

      Like 2
  13. MikeR in De

    My first car was a ’64 Corvair Spider convertible. Yes, I wish I still had it. Factory belts stayed on when properly adjusted. Gates and Goodyear came off at 5.5k rpms like clockwork. This car taught me the value of light weight, using the turbo boost curve, and NO weight of having a hard top. Have fun when it’s done.

    Like 3
  14. Mark Evans

    Wasn’t there a year that the turbo put out 180 hp from the factory. Which was that?

    Like 1
    • Douglas Hayton

      1965 and 1966 Corsa turbos were rated at 180 hp.

      Like 0
      • Little_Cars Alexander

        About four days late with that comment. Technically, it wasn’t termed a “corsa turbo” by the General. 180 hp option could not be ordered outside of the Corsa though, and the lower-rated, but much less fussy four-carb motor with the cool crossover aircleaner tubes could be ordered in any ‘Vair other than forward control trucks.

        Like 0
  15. Little_Cars Alexander

    The turbo in the late model Corvairs was rated at the higher 180 hp. I believe this was as high as the factory went with the ‘vair. Available 1965-66 in the factory Corsa or tick a box on the option list when ordering from 65-68 for all other passenger car trim levels.

    Like 0
  16. xrotaryguy

    The article says “can be made to handle well.” The turbo models had the front sway bar and generally handled well out of the box.

    Regarding the fan belt, if everything is working well, the belt is fine. They wear more rapidly than other belts but that’s livable. However, if anything is wrong with the belt train, you’ll throw it. Oil on the belt, worn pulley, too lose, etc. It’ll come off or break pretty easily in scenarios like that.

    Like 0

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