Cheap Classic: 1960 Chevrolet Corvair Barn Find

Originally an eastern Oregon barn find, this 1960 Chevrolet Corvair has patina out the ying-yang and has already had some work done to start its journey back to the road. It’s listed for sale here on craigslist near Portland, Oregon and the asking price is an incredibly reasonable $1,200. Thanks to reader Michael for sending us this (air) cool (ed) find!

Considering that this car is straight, some welded floor repairs have already been completed and the fuel tank has already been removed and coated, I really can’t see the drawbacks to this car. We’re also told that the 58-year-old body is solid with “no rust holes.”

The odometer is showing 60,322 miles. What say you, readers? 160k, 60k, or broken speedo cable and somewhere in between? Normally I like the second generation body style better, but there’s something about this car in particular that has me thinking it would be nice to have. I love the blackwall/center cap look!

Some similarly-styled fabric inserts carefully replacing what’s there and I’d be good to go with the interior save a good clean. Do you believe the odometer has been around?

Although there’s certainly a bit of corrosion around the battery box, it’s nowhere near the worst I’ve seen! The seller tells us the engine is free and has good compression, although we don’t know if anyone has tried to start it or not. Would the Powerglide two-speed automatic keep you from being interested? If one of you chooses to go buy this car, please let us know!

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  1. DJS

    I had a 64 as my first car fondly remembered my first car 🚗

    • Steve in Charlotte

      Our ’64 Monza named “Betsy” is my wife Michelle’s parents (Bob & Louise in North Carolina) first new car. Bob drag raced it in ’65 at Piedmont Dragway with one of his buddies, Ronnie Sox, until Louise put a stop to it! He did win a small trophy. In 1977 Bob had planned to restore it. He removed all the chrome, covered it and parked it in the backyard under a pecan tree but never did get around to the restoration. Sadly he passed away 14 years ago. After Michelle and I got married we had it done using many of the original parts and pieces and now she’s back on the road with just over 51k miles. Louise still drives it occasionally.

  2. Craig

    If I wasn’t in Massachusetts that thing would be in my garage today. Just for some fun.

  3. Fred W.

    The famous Corvair gasoline heater is still in the “trunk” and worth $300 on Ebay!

  4. Sanity Factor

    Plastic battery tray from a Vega fits

  5. Beatnik Bedouin

    I must be getting old, as I’d now give a ‘Vair coupe with a Powerglide a second look AND – it looks like a pretty good deal.

  6. everett lanier Member

    My uncle Carroll had 2dr like that and same color! My aunt Helen had a 4dr same color! Good times! I was 6 in 60!

  7. BarnfindyCollins

    Jamie, I think that mileage is believable looking at the car in the pictures. Price seems fair to me. Thank goodness it’s not a Porsche or a regular guy couldn’t buy it!

  8. Dick Johnson

    Why don’t you go away? I can’t seem to get rid of the haunts of my past. $35.00 was paid to my best buddy’s dad so I could have some transportation. All of my schoolmates had GTXs, Chevelles, 442s, and I had this turd of a car.

    I spent most of the summer underneath this fine machine. Money for dates went for transmissions. Oh well, they didn’t want to be seen in it either.

    This car is the same color as the one I had. Bad memories of an ill handling beast in the wet.

    • ACZ

      Where’s the “Thumbs down” button when you need it.

  9. Todd F

    Add a crown kit and let the fun begin…

  10. Johnmloghry Member

    I seem to be out of touch. Those cars were selling for $1800 forty years ago. It’s a bit to far for me to drive out there from Houston and trailer it back otherwise I’d go get it.

  11. Dick Johnson

    It is my old car!! I left that hamburger on the floor board in 1969! Or maybe that was my date’s hamburger she threw at me when the trans input shaft failed. All of her sorority sisters thought it was funny. So much for cruisin’ that night. Or ever again in that town.

  12. Sean Dillon

    I like it would buy in a minute if it was closer. Under 2 Grand a owning a classic dream come true.

  13. jw454

    Now this is my kind of car. No because it’s a Corvair but because it’s a nice looking car a a very fair price. This would be my summertime daily driver if I was closer. If properly maintained, this would be a nice little DD.

    • Jason

      Welll if you know any history about these cars or what the majority of not starry eyed owners would tell you, YOU wouldnt have a daily driver as these were some of the worst cars made. Corvairs have a very, very poor reliability record!!

      • Alan (Michigan) Member

        And…. You speak from personal experience?
        My family had two, a ’64 and a ’66. I still own the second one. Both came into the family as primary transportation for my mother, a Registered Nurse. Summer weekends, my dad and older brother could be found running a Corvair in road rally events, or gymkahna competitions, with a significant record of success. Reliability was not an issue at all, until past 100K miles, when some materials problems showed (notably, o-ring seals on the pushrod tubes). I did manage to lunch the spider gears at about 120K, but what I did would have broken many cars. I was young and not too careful with equipment, maybe.
        I’ll probably never be a fan of the automatic transmission Corvairs, but YMMV. To me, this looks like a decent deal at $1200.

      • jw454

        It’s a shame you don’t possess the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully keep a car on the road consistently. Fortunately, having grown up in the era when this car was new, I do. I don’t think I’d have any trouble using this as a daily driver. Thanks for your concern though.

  14. Peter

    Go for it guys…

    • Fred W.

      I do speak from personal experience- owned two 62 coupes, a ‘Vair powered dune buggy and a 66 air conditioned 4 door HT in the mid 70’s. Was a card carrying member of the Corvair club. Can honestly say that Corvairs left me on the side of the road more often than any other car, and I owned over 75 cars before age 30. Also did a 180 in the coupe and a 360 in the dune buggy (slick drag tires in wet weather). All that said, still like them to this day!

  15. Mike

    I think patina connoisseurs would get a boner over that perfectly faded paint.

  16. Rube Goldberg

    Hooray,,,we made it this far on a Corvair without one Ralph Nader comment. I think we finally got over that. Corvair was a good car. Required special care I don’t think American’s were used to. Just about everybody I knew that had one, liked it. You know, in old photos, you see the “oil strip” on highways, that was from these cars. Many times, the back tail light panel was black( wagons, even worse) Today, with modern gaskets, they can be made not to leak. I think this is a great find.

    • Mike M

      Please edit your comments and delete and mention of the name. I was enjoying all the comments, remember Nancy Reagan said just say no , I say don’t even mention his name .

      • Rube Goldberg

        Too late, besides, tell me one red blooded American ( over 50) that doesn’t think of that person when a car like this is featured. It’s history, man.

  17. Dovi65

    If only that little jewel were closer … I’ve got $1200 burning a hole in my wallet searching for a inexpensive classic. My Pops had a 63 coupe that he bought for a few dollars back in the late 70s. It was sidelined due to the oil consumption issue. I had hoped ‘Ole Blue’ would stick around until I got my license. Alas, Mom had it hauled away. Shameful waste.

  18. Canadian Mark S. Eh! Member

    Wasn’t it later proven threw crash testing that old Ralph was blowing smoke out of his ass. I’ve never owned one but I have herd all to often that owners generally liked these cars and drove them regularly.

    • xrotaryguy

      Correct, Nader was proven wrong by the NHTSA and by an independent panel of engineers. Even Chaparral Racing got in on the testing. Nader personally admitted he was wrong in the early 70s.

  19. diehardchevy

    My dad sold Chevys and Olds back in the day. When these first came out, my dad and a couple others as the dealership got these for a year. My dad got a yellow,2dr, 4sp.
    I remember us going to kahoka, a drag strip and…..yeah my dad raced the damn thing! He ended up breaking the linkage and we had to drive home in 3rd gear. My mother wasn’t ammused!

  20. hank

    In 32 years of owning and restoring Corvairs, every time I find a 60 Coupe, it’s 3000 miles away. This is a good resto candidate. Sorry I can’t get it from OR to NC without breaking the bank.

  21. Comet

    Great car, great price. Eastern Oregon is dry as a bone.

  22. Johnmloghry Member

    Back in 74 I turned wrenches at Eastern Oregon Ford in Pendleton, Oregon. That is part of the Majave dessert, very dry and Sandy. Wind blew sand everywhere. Only stayed there about a year. Lots of potato farmers.

  23. charlie

    My mother had a ’60, same color, great in snow, kept the tires properly inflated and it never spun around, I drove it a lot. Powerglide. Car mag tested the 3 speed manual vs. the Powerglide in 1960 and the Powerglide was faster 0-60 and got better gas mileage by a fraction. Now the Gertag 7, 8, and 9 speed transmissions they are putting in everything expensive now can out accelerate a manual in hands and feet like mine, and get better gas mileage as well, but that was really rare back then. Other than the gas heater under the front hood which put fumes in the passenger compartment, it was a great little car for its day.

  24. Bill T

    Um if this wasn’t on the west coast I would have already bought it. This is going to make a great project for someone. I almost can’t believe it’s not been sold already?

  25. Cool Hand Luke

    Great find.. I’d buy it if it were closer..

  26. Pete Phillips

    66,000 not 166,000 miles. Not enough driver’s seat wear for 166,000. That’s just dry rot on the cloth. 166,000 and half of the foam would be gone. Engine compartment is too clean and grease-free to be 166,000 also.

  27. jeff lundy

    Best snow car I every had we had it 7years then family grew 3 kids wish I had the money love to have it

  28. Dickie F

    Ok I like it. But (yes but) I have read all your comments about how far away it is –

    I am waiting for the next commenting friend who will write:

    It is a few miles away, I will Uber over there to get it in a few minutes…

  29. Wayne

    Not too far for me. But too many projects already.
    I like it! I would like it better if manual transmission.
    Great price !

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