Needs an Engine: 1964 Chevy Corvair Monza Spyder

This 1964 Chevy Corvair Monza Spyder has belonged to the seller’s father since new, but it’s now for sale as a restoration project that never got started. The Corvair is a desirable turbocharged example that unfortunately will be sold sans engine due to the mill belong lost in a building fire. The seller notes there are no areas of rust-through and that it retains most of its original parts and switchgear. Turbocharged Corvairs have long been a performance bargain worthy of a closer look, and if you can track down an engine, this one looks like a worthy project. Find it here on Facebook Marketplace for $2,500.

The Corvair is located in Tennessee, which is usually a safe geography for vintage tin. The fact that the vulnerable convertible top still appears to be in good condition could indicate it was stored somewhat carefully, or at least somewhere that it was protected from the elements. The Corvair wears its original hubcaps and the remains of redline tires, a great look for a performance car of this era. The paint sports a heavy dose of genuine patina, and you could justify leaving it as-is or repainting it in its original teal color. Chrome bumpers are in fair shape and the open door reveals original door panels that haven’t been hacked up.

The interior is in remarkably nice condition for a barn find car that’s been awaiting restoration. Paint the floors and install a carpet kit from one of the many Corvair parts specialists and you have a cabin that looks like it hasn’t aged much since it rolled out of the showroom. The Corvair had to have been loved prior to coming off the road and having its engine pulled, as the interior seating surfaces simply look too good and original for it to have been sorely neglected. The dash does have cracks, shown in other photos in the listing, and the back window on the soft top will need some work or total replacement.

Like Buick’s iconic logo for its turbocharged model, boosted Corvairs had their own unique badges as well. The seller doesn’t explain whether the engine lost in the fire was the numbers-matching mill, but fortunately, Corvairs haven’t gotten so valuable that a non-matching engine is a deal-breaker. As long as it’s a factory turbocharged engine assembly, it should remain a desirable specimen for years to come, especially if rust repair isn’t necessary. While not widely advertised, many enthusiasts in the 60s knew the turbocharged Corvair was a performance steal, and this one looks like a great foundation for enjoying some vintage top-down speed.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Boy, isn’t this the hard luck story of the day( so far) Dad’s car from new, engine lost, father/son project that fizzled. I’m no Corvair expert, even though I do like them, but I’d have to think this was THE most desirable Corvair you could buy in ’64. I hate stories like this, but,,,someone will get a sweetheart. Plenty of Corvair nuts around, should be no problem sourcing a motor. While it’s no 914/6, it was about as close as America got with this car. Great find.

    Like 14
    • jerry hw brentnell

      years ago wasn’t there a conversion kit made by empi manufacturing to install a 327 chev v8 in corvairs? I remember seeing one with a done to the nuts 302 z28 v8 in where the back seat would be, it was done right no mickey mouse back yard job!

      Like 1
      • ACZ

        That was for the late body style. Kits were available from Crown and Kelmark (Mid-Engineering). Some stuff still available from Clark’s. There some early V8 swaps but most were one-offs.

        Like 1
      • Chris M.

        You’re damn right!! Ain’t nothin like a 302 Chevy done to the nuts!! Don’t git me started on those Mickey mouse jobs neither! Candy azz mofos!!

  2. Marcus

    What motor would this Monza have had ?

  3. Tony Primo
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Huh. Pretty radical, for sure, but the turbo setup is for dune-buggy use. So many parts missing….. you know, like Crank, Cam, Rods, Pistons……

  4. Theodoric of York

    As a longtime Corvair owner (more than 40 years and more than a half-dozen) this offering us over priced. First, the EM(Early Models 1960-1964) are generally less desirable (and we’re produced in far greater numbers) than the sleeker LMs (Late Models 1965-1969). Of the 1.7 million Corvairs produced, for example, more than 1 million were 1964 or earlier (less than 20,000 made in 1969). So the rarity is over played here (IMHO). Second, if one does want a 1964 turbo convertible, one need spend only $5-$6k more to get one in better condition, running, and with an engine.

    Like 8
  5. DRV

    I believe it’s a ’63 with ’64 wheel covers. My dad’s was this configuration in brown over tan with a white top. I was 10 and it was fun to hang out in it in the driveway with the top down. He blew the Motor in a rally and GM replaced it as the oil baffles were missing in the oil pan!

    Like 5
    • Danny

      This IS a 1963 model—-definitely.

      Like 3
    • Little_Cars

      It’s a 63 with 1965 (!) wheelcovers. Which means the guy that had it for so long was a Vair scavenger like the rest of us when parts were not so easy to find. Does this mean there is no title and the seller is GUESSING at the year?

      Like 2
  6. TimM

    It is a great find as Howard said and a sad story!! The car itself seems solid with just a lot of surface rust!!! Seems like a desirable car!!!

    Like 3
  7. CCFisher

    How hard is it to find a turbo Corvair engine? What could you swap in instead? I thought maybe a Subaru H6, but that’s complicated by the cooling system and the fact that the engine would be rotating backwards.

    Like 1
  8. 409 Jim

    This Corvair is a ’63, not nearly as valuable as a ’64.

    Like 3
  9. JC

    Hmmm yup
    Not spyder hubcaps and seats are possibly from different model….
    mine is stored for the wimter or i would check…. sure looks beat but worth it to restore …
    Craigslist enginrs are cheap …. Turbo 150hp engines are not!
    Worth some serious $$ when restored but doesnt look like concourse -non matching # will Make a dent in restoration costs …. i agree …. better “ matching donors “ and spyders are out there approx 4700 total made but a few more left unrestored- and Driveable Running examples are to be had …. so far…. poor mans porsche .. and yes very impressive driver!
    😎👍

    Like 2
  10. Engelbert

    Yes Jerry. Those are usually Crown conversions. Mine has a 383 Stroker SBC (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzqsEsWkIC0 ). There is an entire subset of Corvair owners with V8 (and some other) conversions here: https://www.v8registry.com/members-vehicles.html .

    Like 1
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Awesome car!
      You are running the Crown + 4-spider diff setup then?
      With that kind of torque, no issues with breaking parts behind the clutch?

      Like 1
      • Engelbert

        Thanks very much DayDreamBeliever! Yes, I am running the stock Corvair 4 speed transaxle setup. No, no breaking parts – yet. But I have a spare transaxle just in case!

        P.S. Thanks for sparking the memory of the Monkees!

        Like 1
  11. firemedic2714

    I wonder if a WRX engine/transmission would fit here. Of course, you’d have to plumb a radiator and coolant lines, but you had to do that with the V8 conversion from years ago so that engineering should already be done. 🤔

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      The WRX setup needs to have the engine in front of the axle, as in a mid-engine setup for a RWD car.

      There is someone who has that project not yet finished, I recall, but in a late model Corvair, not an early like this.

      If you look around a while, you’ll find all kinds of ingenious conversions to put other engines in Corvairs though, the limitations are pretty much only defined by what people can imagine and bring to fruition.

      Like 2
      • alphasud Member

        I have a 65 Corsa I purchased from a guy who tried to install a Subaru boxer mid-engine style. I sold the ej25 and found a engine with harness and out of a SVX. Still have plans but it’s gonna be a lot of work. That will compliment my 71 Beetle with a SOHC ej25. Should scoot pretty good!

        Like 1
      • DayDreamBeliever Member

        alphasud,
        The SVX 6 cylinder cars were all automatic transmissions, IIRC. Have you retained the manual gearbox from the prior owner’s attempt? Sounds like a real project, should be a blast when you get to drive it!

  12. alphasud Member

    Yes, I have a 5-speed transaxle that will bolt up. Need to make a custom rear suspension as the Corvair suspension hinges off the transaxle and the axles are a stressed member.

    Like 1
  13. Bill T

    What the others said, it’s a 63. Big difference from the extra leaf spring on the trans-axle to the wheel well trim.

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