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Cold AC & Ready To Drive! 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Survivor

Every once in a while, we at Barn Finds come across a survivor car that needs nothing to be enjoyed by someone interested in classic motoring — this 1965 Chevrolet Corvair is one of those cars. It’s located in Rochester, New York (although it’s been stored in winters, so no salt rust) and is very reasonably priced at $7,500. If you’re interested in this cool Corvair, check it out here in our own Barn Finds Classifieds.

The odometer is reading 55,067 miles on this great little Corvair and looking at the condition of the car I can believe that it’s only traveled that far. I realize some of you will immediately discount this car because it has four doors, not two, but hear me out as I make the case for bringing this one home. And yes, at least one of those doors looks like it may have been repainted, but it’s at least a decent match if not perfect.

First off, just look at this clean original interior!  The seller tells us that the factory AC system that has been converted to R134A has just been recharged and blows cold. And while an automatic transmission may not be the favorite of the sportier readers we have, since you aren’t tearing up the roads with a ’65 Monza anyway does it really matter? I’m more interested in the fact that everything works except the radio! The three gauges confirm that this car is the upscale Monza rather than the Corsa or 500 model.

Just look at that terrific period upholstery!

Recent work on the car has included installing new tires, brakes, brake lines, and a battery. The seller also informs us that all of the engine seals were redone last summer and that the car has no oil leaks whatsoever. That might be a first for a Corvair!

Having a car’s history available (like when the R134A conversion was made) just makes this sweet Corvair even more attractive to me.

Are we agreed that this is probably the miles covered by this survivor?

It looks like some of these AC lines were replaced recently, and for the compressor to look that nice it may have been refurbished/replaced as well. I hope one of you decides that this reasonably-priced survivor is worth picking up; if you do, be sure and let us know!


  1. alphasud Member

    To us Corvair guys the 4-door models are cool and without the typical B-pillar you get the same open air experience. Factory A/C is a real plus. The Monza was the highest trim level with a 4-door. The Corsa was the sport version and available only in the 2-door coupe and convertible and could be had with either the 4-carb 140 engine or the turbo 180 engine. The 4-door could be still optioned with the 140 engine with a 3 or 4 speed manual or 2 speed powerglide. The base model Corvair was the 500 model. $7500 represents a fair price for this car.

    Like 25
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Alphasud, thanks for the clarification on trim levels, I’ll correct the post 😀

      Like 4
  2. Craig M Bower

    The car is very nice but to me everything from the right rear door forward matches. The quarter looks like a respray.

  3. doone

    Both rear doors look suspicious and the paint doesn’t match. The rear deck lid is not well aligned. The drivers seat looks like 165000 miles and the a/c condenser is a bit mangled. How do you not mention the trans is a Power-Slush? $7500…nah, this is a $4500 car. GLWTS

    Like 1
  4. ccrvtt

    Can’t comment on the market for these, but the styling is hands down the best ever for a small 4-door sedan.

    Like 1
  5. Howard A Member

    I think the Corvair was Americas most understood, unappreciated car. Uhp, uhp, let’s not get “Ralph” in on this, it really was a good car. Trouble was, if someone wanted a compact car from GM, the Corvair was it,( or a Chevy ll for the traditional folks) and usually, especially in the case of 4 doors, they were bought by probably the most inept car people, and the Corvair demanded proper maintenance. Things like correct tire pressure and oil changes, coolant flushes,,, ( Ha! Stuck that in there to see if you were paying attention) made or broke the car. Why no mention it has a Powerglide? Again, same thing, 4 speeds were for the 2 doors, and the sporty Corvair that had a 4 speed, appealed to like 7 people, so most had automatics. Naturally, the A/C was an unheard of option up north, fact is, the 1st time I saw one, I couldn’t believe they would equip an air cooled car with one. It restricted the cooling, something air cooled cars desperately need. They ran hot, oil thinned out, and air cooled motors have to spin, and low rpms and stop and go traffic, which these were designed for, was the kiss of death for Corvairs.
    This is a great find, and since most, if not all went to the junkyard, here’s one you can thumb your nose at “Ralph”, AND, you can drive one of the most controversial vehicles in history.
    Great find and remember, please, in the case of BF’s classified ads, I’ll never mention price or demean the car in any way, these folks are paying to display their vehicle here, something even I am too cheap to do, and we must be respectful of that.

    Like 21
    • chuck dickinson

      I have a good friend in Australia who imported a 65 Monza convert w/fact AC. Can’t be many of those.

      Like 4
      • Chris In Australia

        Red one? There was a red 2nd generation Corvair convertible around Brisbane about 20 years ago. RHD conversion with rack & pinion steering

  6. Hank

    The Instrument Cluster on 65-69 500’s and Monzas were the same. 500’s as the “Plain Jane” model would be more likely not have a clock as Std. in the cluster, but many Monzas came that way too.
    Well Bought at Asking .

    Like 3
  7. John A Corey Member

    Corvair condensers seem to be of two types. This square kind, flat on top of the engine where they’re in the way of everything; or long and thin and mounted to the firewall vents ahead of the engine, where the air comes in. I had a 66 Corsa with that set-up and cannot imagine why these others were ever made – maybe the supply for the narrow ones was tight and so they used the regular type usually mounted in front of radiators on water-cooled Chevvies? Wouldn’t have this one for that reason alone.

    • alphasud Member

      The 66 and later factory A/C is the way to go with the condenser mounted against the firewall. The 65 and earlier models mounted the condenser like the Monza for sale. Definitely restricts access to the fan belt and other routine maintenance. Clark’s Corvair’s sells the later style condenser. Technical tidbit with the 66 style condenser. The deck lid must seal properly and be closed. They put a Mercury switch in the deck lid that shut off the compressor if you lifted the lid. To charge the A/C techs would remove a tail lamp and feed the hoses through the opening.

      Like 2
  8. chuck dickinson

    NO, his is black, and he lives in Melbourne.

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