Huge Corvair Barn Find! 1965 Corsa Turbo And More

Check out this huge stash of Corvairs! Apparently they are part of a large collection that is going to be sold off in the coming months. The first one to hit the market is a 1965 Corsa Turbo that’s listed here on eBay. It sounds like the seller is responsible for the liquidation of the estate so it’ll be interesting to see what else surfaces…

This air-cooled Chevrolet is available in Lombard, Illinois with a clean title. The seller purchased the vehicle from the estate of a Corvair enthusiast who collected them during the ‘60s and ‘70s, and they believe that this example was a stalled restoration project.

The exterior on this Corvair was white when it left the factory, but it now wears a coat of grey epoxy primer. Supposedly, the body is in good shape, and the power top functions well but its condition warrants attention.

Meanwhile, the interior is in fantastic shape with very little wear. Though it could use a cleaning, it seems complete and all original.

There’s an air-cooled and turbocharged 6-cylinder engine in this Corvair, which pairs to a 4-speed manual transmission. The drivetrain supposedly only has 40,403 miles on it, and with a new battery and some fresh fuel, the seller was able to fire the engine up.

Bidding is at $4,100 for at the time of publication, and the reserve is not met. Would you fix up this turbocharged Corvair and add it to your collection?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Still one of my favorites. Bought a ’65 Monza hard top fit out like this car. Only thing that it didn’t have was air conditioning. Got transferred to Florida and traded it for an air conditioner with a Buick Skylark attached.

    Like 15
  2. 71FXSuperGlide

    The Nickey badge on the back is interesting. Were they modifying these before Camaros?

    Like 7
    • Dave

      Yep. They were competing with Don Yenko and his Stingers.

      Like 9
      • JOHN Member

        I grew up living within 30 minutes of Nickey Chevrolet, there were thousands of Chevrolets running around with the famous Nickey “With The Backwards K”, it was just a typical dealer sticker. I am very familiar with their performance cars, and I was driving a 1966 Corvair in 69-70, most of my friends had Mustangs, Chevelles, Fairlanes, Camaros, etc. I graduated at the zenith of the factory high compression muscle car performance, 1970. I have always been into Corvairs, still am, I have a mid-engine Corvair with a Chevy 350 now, and about to purchase a 66 Corsa 140 convert. I put a reproduction Nickey sticker on my mid-engine car since I came from the Chicago area, just for fun. I am not aware of any Nickey modified Corvairs at all, let alone any to compete with the Yenko stingers. I cannot say with any authority that Nickey DIDN’T modify any, but I have not heard about any, and I have been following the Corvairs for over 50 years, but I would love to hear more about them. John Fitch, who was a race car driver and engineer made modifications to Corvairs and sold them through some Chevy dealers, but the mods were more of a European sports car type of modifications, improved shocks, quick turn steering, quick shifter, lighting, badges, a rear roof section with sail panels etc. They were modified more as a European Grand Touring sports car, they were not competition to the Yenko cars. One of John Fitch’s inventions was the Fitch Barrier, yellow sand filled crash barriers found on roads.

        Like 17
    • Bob S

      I love the Nickey sticker on the car. It brought a smile to my face and a lot of memories.
      In the early 70s, even though I was stationed in Texas at the time, I bought all my big block performance parts from Nickey, so the first thing I wondered when I saw it was if they modified Corvairs.
      I still have a couple of the Nickey catalogues, and tears come to my eyes when I see the prices of the engines and performance parts.

      Like 6
    • Monza

      Probably a dealer badge. However, there where modified yenko corvairs made.

      • JOHN Member

        It is a dealer sticker, or “badge” I added one to my V8 Crown car since I grew up there, and yes, Don Yenko did indeed modify Corvairs beginning in 1966 to create the Yenko Stinger. It was available in 4 stages of tune, Stage l, ll,lll were street cars, Stage lV was built for SCCA racing. Stingers were also built until the end of Corvair production in 1969, and a surprising number are still being raced today. There are many people totally unaware of the Stinger, only the more famous Yenko 69 Camaro’s. There were also Yenko Nova’s, Chevelle, and even a Vega. I have had people flat out tell me there were no Yenko Corvairs! Cool cars.

        Like 1
  3. Dave Suton

    eBay link not working

  4. Tiberius1701

    Crown V-8 conversion time (for the hardtops anyway!)

    Like 2
    • Scooter

      You put in the v8, I’ll take the original running gear, flip third member and cut bellhousing to fit flip, put running gear on a chopper trike like in the 70s

      • JOHN Member

        Scooter, most V8 Corvairs are based on the Crown conversion, which uses the stock Corvair (66 and later) transaxle. The transmission is modified with a longer main shaft and uses a modified bell housing mounted on trans. There were other conversions, Kelmark was one, with a slightly different approach using the Corvair transaxles. One popular conversion is the C5 Corvette differential, and a variety of transmissions. You can check out a wide variety on Front, mid, and rear engine setups.

        Like 5
  5. jerry z

    I thought only Spyders came with the turbo engine. You learn something new everyday.

    Like 1
    • 68custom

      Corsa was the sporty model for 65 and later and turbo motor was an option,

      Like 1
    • Ralph

      The Corsa replaced the Spyder in 1965, I think some early brochures might call it a “Spyder Corsa” in some versions.

      Like 2
  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    John… ask me if I wouldn’t love to have a mid engine ’65 plus Corvair right now….

    • JOHN Member

      Bob, they are out there!

  7. Buck Neccid

    Either Convertible Corvairs had an astonishing survival rate, or they made more of them than hard tops. It seems every time I find one I’d like to have, it’s a convertible. Nothing wrong with them it’s just not for me.

    Jerry Z, the Spyder was up until 64, then in 65 the Corsa came out.

    Like 2
  8. On and On On and On Member

    I just bought this 1965 Monza 110/powerglide. I sold off most of my motorcycle collection an picked this up for $6000 near Madison, Wi. When I bought it it ran ok but hadn’t been driven much in 5 years, sadly the owner had died and I bought it from his wife. Drove it home 25mi, actually started running a bit better. Over the next couple weeks I rebuilt the carbs it had mismatched and screw driver chewed up main jets and was leaking vacuum etc. I put in slightly larger main jets on recommendation from Clarks Corvair (parts guru) and did a total rebuild, with new accelerator pumps, now with ethanol proof material. I put on a new coil, plugs and pointless ignition. Wow, I balanced the carbs and it really runs strong now, starts right up and has good power. Next I’ll do a compression test to routinely check it and if good I’ll replace the pushrod O-rings and seal up the engine with modern Viton o-rings and proper gaskets. It has a brand new power top and new radial tires. With a little luck I should be good to go soon. My car was originally a color called Glacier Gray, a blue/gray metallic color. The yellow on it now was a repaint in a non-original color. In time I’ll return it to the original color. It’s really a fun car to drive, and they handle really well. I was lucky enough to drive and work on one in high school, my buddies dad actually worked at the Willow Run, Michigan plant where many were built. Any advice, comments or help from BFers would be appreciated. Also ant parts sources, I’m looking for an Original AM/FM radio………This is getting too long, sorry guys but this post got me going. Later today I’ll decipher the trim-tag codes and post the original equipment list on the car in Lombard. …………Later

    Like 11
    • local_sheriff

      WOW, that looks like a great find! Luckily, Corvairs don’t seem to have gained those hysterical prices in the market (yet). The way I see it a 2nd gen Corvair like yours only with a 4spd would be a great alternative for pleasing my 911 urges while not going bankrupt AND staying loyal to the bowtie brand.

      As I’m abit autistic(!) when it comes to GM colors the Glacier Gray you’re referring to is a beautiful, calm and very subtle color. That hue together with the PG could possibly hint to your example being sold new to adults rather than some rip’n’tear teenager

      Like 3
      • Mark Dustan

        Just painted my 65 Corsa Convertible Glacier Gray. It is beautiful

        Like 4
      • On and On On and On Member

        Mark, any pictures of yours?

      • Mark Dustan

        Not sure how to post a photo.

      • Mark Dustan

        Not sure how to post a photo on this site

  9. On and On On and On Member

    Trim tag Decoded………..Built Body# 7348 in 4th week of July. Style: 1965 Corsa Turbo convertible. Interior trim: Black vinyl/Black paint. Exterior: Ermine white/Black top. Options: Tinted windows, Power top, 4 speed, Rear antenna, Padded dash, Comfort group (2 speed wipers with washer, day-night interior mirror, Outside drivers rear-view mirror, Glove-box light), Spare tire lock, Seat belt delete……..that’s it!……………BTW, author Kevin do you have a list of the other cars or how many?

    Like 3
  10. Cobra Steve

    Write-up says the car has a “power-top”…did Corvairs have this “back in the day”? I have always been a VW guy but truth-be-known, I remember the healthy “growl” of my friend’s mom’s Monza…about 110 hp? It was cool to watch her drive the car and row through the gears. How she loved that car! I, too, am beginning to appreciate them more these days.

    Like 3
    • On and On On and On Member

      I was an option and this one has it. Take a look at the decoded trim-tag I put in a previous post and it shows this car had quite a few options. The comment about the rust is true, They had a few spots to check, one is the bottom of the windshield. Difficult and expensive to repair. “Have Magnet, Will Travel”

      Like 2
  11. Duaney

    NOT mentioned in any of the comments is the RUST! Look at the rust in the engine compartment, then look at the DIRT floor where the car’s were stored. I wouldn’t want any of these Corvairs, seized engines, rusted undercarriage, there will be much damage from the poor storage in soaking wet Illinois. It’s a miracle that the car featured actually runs.

    Like 1
    • xrotaryguy

      I thought the engine rust looked a bit worrisome as well. Wonder what the fenders, rockers, floors, and window areas look like.

      … Especially the floors since it’s a convertible.

      Like 1
  12. Little_Cars

    @On and On, your comment about buying yours in Madison, WI got me to thinking…there used to be a wildly fanatical guy in Madison in the 1970s that set aside Corvairs en masse. My father, with his touring band, was invited to this person’s property to take a look and drool. The collection might have been housed in an old dealership or industrial warehouse. I don’t recall his name. Anybody on Barn Finds know who I might be talking about?

    • On and On On and On Member

      Cool story, I have never heard of such a person, but anything goes. Madison area is a great place. I grew up in Chicago so to me this is like the sticks, but a big enough town to hide lots of stuff.

  13. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Half a day left, and at $6900. It wasn’t all that long ago when similar money would buy at least a decent condition car that was ready to drive. The market for Corvairs is on the upswing, it seems.

    Like 1
    • On and On On and On Member

      DDB that’s true, Being a Corsa convertible Turbo it’s at the top of the heap, but I and many others consider these cars a real automotive bargain. The “Unsafe at ant Speed” stigma is still there. When I tell folks I bought a Corvair many still gasp and say “aren’t they dangerous to drive”. Funny how some thinks stick. I only have room for 1 car to collect, I’m glad I chose one of these.

      Like 2
  14. Little_Cars

    For the time being, real automotive bargains.

    As recent as the 2015 I’ve been at a Cars and Coffee where someone has mentioned Ernie Kovacs dying in one….we’re talking like 60 years ago! And mentioning Corvair to my gearhead cousin was verboten because some distant relative died in one. The stigma may never go away from being attached to Nader so more power to us that love them!

    Like 2
  15. JOHN Member

    The Corvair was officially exonerated: “On Friday, July 21, 1972, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – a branch of the federal government – issued a report on its two year investigation of the 1960-1963 Corvair. The report concludes: “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 believe at that time, it was the ONLY vehicle ever officially exonerated by NHTSA after extensive testing. This is an example of what lengths people will go to make a claim to boost their credibility against a major corporation. Remember when NBC rigged test of the Chevrolet pickup trucks with the side saddle fuel tanks that were prone to explode on impact? NBC eventually used and admitted to using small rocket motors to ignite the fuel after numerous test crashes would not ignite.

    Like 2
    • On and On On and On Member

      All so true JOHN, let me know when you get your Corsa convertible, I make it down to Chicagoland all the time and would love to hook up and see it. My car should be ready for the trip by next summer, I’ll drive us to Superdog. Any hints or experience on sealing up the oil seepage?, wish I had a lift, I’d do the job myself, it doesn’t look too bad.

      • JOHN Member

        On and On, I lived in Glenview until I was drafted in 1972, literally in the last group of lucky guys to be drafted. That led to a career as a DoD civilian. I ended up working at Redstone Arsenal after working in Washington DC, and live in Huntsville AL. Still trying to line up the Corsa Convert, I have a V8 car, a 65 GTO Convert, 67 Cutlass Supreme convert with an LS conversion, and a 70 El Camino SS 396. As far as oil leaks, the oil pan gasket is always suspect, valve cover gaskets, and if they have not been done, the pushrod drain tube O-rings need to be replaced with Viton O-ring replacements. Clean everywhere and look for new drips, but those are the easy ones! and yes, Superdog!!!

        Like 1
    • xrotaryguy

      I’m impressed it took 3 days for Nader to come up. He usually rears his head quicker.

      Progress! 😎

      Like 2
      • On and On On and On Member

        I thank him every day for the bargain prices on these cars. Now just think for a second, how much would these be worth without that false but believed at the time press. Hmmmm……what’s the closest car to it in an engineering parameter.

        Like 2
      • xrotaryguy

        For sure! Though being a Corvair owner, I wouldn’t mind having an extra laying around when the prices go over $50k ;)

        Like 1
  16. On and On On and On Member

    Yes, thanks for the hints, we had corresponded awhile back, I can’t remember the post. I went to N.D. graduated in 1969………Knew lots of folks from Glenview, I’m sure we had friends in common.

    • JOHN Member

      Went to ND Freshman year, then Maine East, 1970. I believe we did talk a while back.

  17. Little_Cars

    Listen to what JOHN says, and even if the car had the Viton O-rings replaced in the past do ’em again. I had a friend and local Corvair guru suggest there is a weep hole at the end of the dizzy or fuel pump ‘tower” that sometimes does ooze but can be sealed. He claimed to have created the only Corvair engine that never leaked oil. Long since departed this earth.

    Like 2
    • On and On On and On Member

      Thank you sir, when I do the work I will check that out.

    • xrotaryguy

      It is certainly possible. Mine stopped leaking for about a year. My oil cooler has finally started a small drip. I do autocross it once or twice a month though. It lives a hard life so I’d call these very good results!

      Like 2
  18. chrlsful

    1st thought it might B Clark’s here almost nxt door. He’s a big vendor, glad it’s not him.
    The turbos nice, sorry it’s gone.

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