Poor Man’s 356: 1963 Corvair Monza Spyder

Few American cars have received as much bad press as the Corvair, most of it due to Ralph Nader’s attack of the car in his book Unsafe at Any Speed. While much of what Nader said about the car was later proven to be false, it still impacts people’s perception of the car today. These cars set many firsts for American manufactures and are actually fun cars to drive. This 1963 Corvair Convertible has the Spyder turbo option and after long term storage is now being offered here on eBay with a current bid of $2,025.

The Corvair set several firsts for mass produced American cars. Not only was it the first American production car to feature a rear mounted motor, but it was also the first to offer a factory turbo option. With the turbo strapped to the air-cooled 2.4 liter flat six, power increased to 150 hp and 210 lbs of torque. The seller claims this car’s engine still runs, but that the car won’t go into gear. Given that the car has a 4-speed manual we would guess that it’s an issue with the clutch and not the transmission.

The interior of this Corvair is rough and is missing some pieces. The seats have some major tears and the floor coverings are completely missing. It looks like the floors are solid, but are in need of some attention to keep them from rusting any further. It appears that the white top is still in good working condition and just needs a good cleaning.

This Corvair is in need of some work, but is very solid and the Turbo is a huge plus. Hopefully this car won’t take too much work to get it back on the road and given that the car is being offered without a reserve, it could be a great deal for a project Turbo Corvair. These cars are greatly underrated and this car would make for an affordable Porsche 356 alternative, let’s just hope it can be had for the right price.

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Comments

  1. Dan

    The turbo is great if it still works which is doubtful. I owned a 63 and it was great fun to drive up to the limit at which time the half shaft will jack and scare the pants off you.

  2. Tom

    Have owned several but never a turbo. The Greenbriar wagon was clever. The early mark 4-door (1961) had a gasoline heater, which was welcome if you lived where it snowed a lot. It produced heat almost instantly. The cars were fun to drive, especially our beater coupe as long as you didn’t put any faith in the floorboards. The final Monza Spyder was good looking and quick and as a Stinger race car (by Don Yenko) wasn’t bad and was still raced in SCCA competition into the 1990s.

  3. DRV

    My dad had a chocolate over saddle convertible turbo to beat the Porsches at the Rallys, but the motor blew when the oil baffles in the pan were not there! GM gave him a new one, but he sold it shortly after realizing it would not handle as well as the Porsches.

  4. J. Pickett

    Cure the handling problems with a camber compensator accessory if you can find one. Otherwise do like a Porsche or a Beetle, slow in accelerate out.
    I drove both generations of Corvairs as well as a few Beetles, you had to try to get in too much trouble, same with my Spitfire.

  5. B.Crabtree

    my sister had a ’62 Monza…..drove it HARD…. the ONLY problem she ever had was the constant oil leak….

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