Stored 20 Years: 1966 Chevy Corvair

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There isn’t much time left in the auction for this dusty 1966 Chevy Corvair here on eBay. It’s been locked up in storage for 20 years, when it was driven in, parked and forgotten about. There’s no reserve on the auction and bidding is up to $2,125 with just under a day left. The Corvair is originally from Colorado and is now available – with far less dust – in New Jersey. 

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That’s an impressive amount of dust. Now, you’d think being stuck inside for all that time would mean the interior was the cleanest part of the car. Unfortunately, the dash pad is blown apart and the seller simply says the interior needs work without going into much detail. From what I can see in photos, it doesn’t look awful: the bench seat upholstery is rough but livable, and the carpets are dirty. The dash is definitely trashed, but fortunately, the Corvair has an extensive network of parts suppliers and cars being parted out.

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Impressively, the motor fires right up. Paired with a manual transmission, this Corvair supposedly wears only 66,500 miles. While it’s not the desirable four carb motor, nor is it turbocharged, the seller has performed some basic maintenance to make it a driver. A new fuel sending unit, fuel pump and battery were thrown in, and the carbs were rebuilt. The ’66 was part of the Corvair’s second generation, perhaps most well known for its new independent rear suspension that replaced the infamous swing-axle rear end.

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The nose is blasted with road rash but the car is said to be solid overall. There’s no rot in the floors and both the quarters and fenders are solid as well. I’m not sure how I’d handle the paint – given it’s said to be original, I’m inclined to keeping it, but the sandblasted nose would annoy me every time I looked at it. Personally, I’d freshen up the nose, replace the dash and throw some period-correct blankets over the seats and drive the thing! What about you?

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Comments

  1. Hoos Member

    Looks like an honest car, but a Colorado car in New Jersey with an old Pennsylvania plate with a “T” (temporary) sticker.
    Hmmmm…….

  2. Dolphin Member

    From a few drives in Corvairs and owner comments I think the early ones were mainly economy cars while the later ones were more sporting and ended up being the best choice, once they got some development. I knew a few people who bought them new and liked them a lot.

    I might be forgetting some other examples, but the Corvair was so different from everything else the big 3 were making back then that it was probably going to have a hard time surviving very long—-more than about a decade.

    This one has its share of dings and all-over wear, but for a PA / NJ car it looks surprisingly complete and unrusty. Bid to a little over $2K with an hour left, this car could make a good hobby car for someone who likes cars that are ‘different’. But better not sink too much $$ into it if you ever want to get it all back.

    I think a car like this might have more value by now if it had been designed and sold in Europe. But as a ‘different’, US-designed economy car I don’t think these will ever take off in value, especially since this one looks like an entry level model.

    • jackthemailman(ret)

      Ah, kids. As an old geezer who experienced the totality of Corvair life in realtime, let me say this about that: Corvairs were good cars, if you knew what you were driving. Americans hadn’t experienced understeer before. Yikes! Rollover! By the 1965 model year, that problem had been pretty much solved, but the damage was done. “Unsafe at any Speed” killed the Corvair. Thus, Ralph Nader can take credit for not only giving the US GW Bush but also nearly driving GM into bankruptcy. What a record!

      • Alan (Michigan)

        What killed the Corvair was the Mustang, aided by Chevrolet’s own Camaro, and the popularity of “pony” cars.
        Development pretty much halted after the upgrades engineered for 1966 were in the pipeline.
        Certainly the Nader controversy, and GM’s shoddy response to his critique added a nail or two to the coffin. But there are those who also feel that Chevrolet probably continued the car for an extra year or two, just so it would appear less like Ralphie had gotten the better of them.
        Yep, quite possible that we got the ’69 cars, perhaps even the ’68’s because there was face-saving going on.

        At least 1 Corvair in the family continuously for 50+ years now.

  3. Glen

    Sold for $2125.00, not bad for a car that works. It’ll need some tlc, but it’s a good project.

  4. Pete Koehler

    Leaving a car, ANY car in a storage unit for 20+ years can’t be a good idea economically. Several years ago a fellow Corvair club member gave me a ’64 Monza coupe that he had been paying monthly storage fees on for 22 years. When the car went into storage it wasn’t in very good shape. After sitting in the unit all those years it wasn’t any better! We figured that the PO had spent nearly $20,000 in storage fees. No, the car wasn’t worth $20k when we got it out into the light of day.

  5. Kevin Clark Member

    This Corvair is a 500 model. A plain Jane version. It might be less desirable to most people hence the low bidding but in my opinion a virtually rust free, four speed Corvair with only 66+K miles for $2125 is a steal. They are FUN to drive.

  6. Alan (Michigan)

    Great basis for a competition car.
    Solid unibody, and all else is more easily replaceable.

  7. Bob S

    To the new owner, take out the windshield and treat every inch you get access to to POR 15 or similar. Stopping rust now in the dash area will save you big headaches and $$ later. Looks solid to me. Engine room looks good. Probably only needs new brake hydraulics, carb rebuild and gas tank cleaning. Corvairs are tough.

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