Spider, Spider: 1962 Corvair Spyder

'62 Corvair right side

In 1962 Chevrolet produced just 6,894 Corvair Spyders. To boast the power output of the 6 cylinder air-cooled pancake engine, a turbocharger was added. Listed here on craigslist Phoenix, Arizona is this 1962 Corvair Spyder priced at $5,000.

'62 Corvair engine

The owner calls this car a “barnyard” find and the turbo is “still good”. The fan-belt, battery, and spare tire aren’t present in the engine bay. We don’t know if the engine runs or if it is even free, but we assume for the seller to know the turbo is good that it has to at least start up. Adding the turbo brought power output up to 150 horses, which might not sound like a lot, but given the Corvair’s low curb weight it should be plenty of grunt for a daily driver.

'62 Corvair int.

The Spyder’s dash includes factory extras, over the other Corvair models, including a tachometer and a boost gauge. We see a few switches that don’t look factory and we are a bit curious as to what they operate. In the middle, on the floor, you get the 4 speed gearshift. The seats clearly need new covers, but the rest of the interior doesn’t look too bad.

'62 Corvair

It appears there are two other Corvairs that maybe owned by the same owner, are there more Spyders here? Al, the owner, says that the interior is in “fair” condition and the “gauge is good.” Maybe we can infer that the gauges are in working order, please clarify this with the owner if you are interested. He claims there is no rust or dents on this ’62. There is a phone number provided if you are looking to purchase this Spyder and have some questions.

Motor-on,
Robert

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. randy

    I passed on a black one of these in great shape back in ’78 for $500.00!

  2. Vince Habel

    Missing pieces.

  3. Dolphin Member

    I don’t mean to be overly nit-picking, but if GM was going to use the word ‘Spyder’ all of them should have been convertibles IMHO. That’s what the word meant in Europe where they borrowed the term from. But, yes, I know it was just marketing, so no big deal. If the car is a long time Phoenix car maybe there is really no rust and it’s an OK deal.

    I knew a guy who had a convertible Spyder with 4-speed back when these were new, which he liked quite a lot. Good car while he owned it, but IIRC the fan belts didn’t last the expected life of a belt because of the many flexings they had to go thru because the fan and crank planes were 90 degrees relative to each other.

  4. Chuck F.

    I bought one of these in 1970 for $110. It was my second car, the first being a ’57 Chevy Bel Air that had set be back $10. I wrecked the ’57 (not my fault). The other guy’s insurance gave me $100 and let me keep it. I took it to the junkyard and got $10 for it. Thus, funding my Spyder purchase.

  5. grant

    Go to the Craigslist ad and at the top right hand of the page choose the English option under language tab.

    • Keith Matheny

      But that writing is Chinese too!

  6. piper62j

    Not bad.. Very workable..

  7. 64 bonneville

    My first love, except for the wife. GM didn’t have a TSB on the Corvair engine until about the mid-63 model year, by adding a guide to the lower pulley to reduce/eliminate the fan belt slinging. Most all Corvair drivers with stick shift cars at that time, knew to carry an extra fan belt and a long flat tip screwdriver. The 62 Spyder came out about mid-March of 1962, and many were set up for track/street driving. In 63 GM added a gymkana suspension option (think F41on a Firebird) which included stiffer springs and shocks and front anti sway bar and bigger rear anti sway bar. The pancake 6 is a fairly simple engine to hop up and bring it up to 150hp without a turbo. All the Turbo models had to run on premium gas due to 10:1 compression, unlike the F-85 Jetfire which only had an 8.5:1 compression ratio, on the 215 cubic inch aluminum V-8 (range rover) with a 4 barrel carb.

    This particular car does have some pieces of engine shrouding missing, which can be obtained from Clarks, or an air cooled vendor in Oregon, whose name I can’t remember at this time. Both vendors have the necessary pieces to make the car whole. At $5K it is out of my price range, but it is one I would like to have. BTW CORSA, the Corvair club, is not sticklers about restoration on the cars.

    • Gordon

      The basic 215 cubic inch engine Olds used in the F-85 Cutlass had a 2 barrel, 8.8:1 compression ratio, and made 155 hp. With the Power Pack, 185 hp was achieved by using a 4 barrel with 10.25:1 compression. The Jetfire, with the Garret T05 turbo and a single barrel Rochester carb, was rated at 215 hp. Because of the high compression, Turbo-Rocket water, a water and methanol mix, was injected to keep it from “knocking” when you put your foot into it. Corvair delayed the timing on the Spyders to avoid this dreaded “knock.”

  8. Bobsmyuncle

    This is a bit high of an ask. But it’s a good starting place. I’ve been watching the market for quite a while so I’m quite up on the current trends.

    Love the early models especially the hard tops. And white shows the lines especially well!

  9. DRV

    I would like the ’63 next to it in the he pic….looks like a the dark brown my dad had on his ‘vert. I am sure he had the suspension package as he was a rally guy. My mom has told us after delivering my youngest sister, that on the way to the hospital someone was going the wrong way on the highway and my dad of course was speeding but was able to avoid a headon collision and went sideways for a while. The tight suspension probably saved their lives with the propensity of the car to fold under.

    • Ed Williams

      Ha! So much for Ralph Nader, The ” Corvair killer”.

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