Stored for 38 Years: 1962 Chevrolet Corvair Monza

081716 Barn Finds - 1962 Chevrolet Corvair - 1

Being a 1962 model myself, I’ve always like cars from that year. This is a 1962 Chevrolet Corvair Monza and it’s located in Dixon, Illinois, about two hours west of Chicago. It’s on Craigslist for $3,300. A two-door, Tuxedo Black Corvair with a red interior; I like the sound of this one already! The Monza was referred to as “the poor man’s Porsche”, what do you think?

081716 Barn Finds - 1962 Chevrolet Corvair - 2

Ok, it looks like the body needs some work, you can see a big crease in the driver’s door. The seller says that this car was stored for 38 years indoors with the windows up. I know from experience that a vehicle’s second biggest nemesis after rust – mice – can still get into a vehicle with the windows rolled up, so be prepared for the possibility of that. There were almost 152,000 Monza coupes made in 1962 making this model the most popular out of around 292,000 Corvairs made that year.

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There are only 54,911 miles on this car and hopefully it’s as solid as it looks. Although you may be able to see from this photo that the front edge of the “hood” (or, trunk, in this case) is rusted out so you will probably have an easier time replacing that with a solid one instead of trying to weld the front edge of that, unless you have more welding experience than I do, which the vast majority of you do. The seller does mention that it has a solid undercarriage and a photo of the trunk bottom shows a pretty solid-looking surface.

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As the owner mentions, this interior is like new. It’s almost impossible to beat a red interior for me, and when it’s inside of a black car that’s a winning combo in my book. One drawback for me is that this car has a Powerglide, 2-speed automatic instead of a manual, but I guess that wouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

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Here’s the poor-man’s-Porsche-powerplant: Chevrolet’s 2.4L, 145 cubic-inch, flat-six-cylinder with around 85 hp in the automatic cars. This is a 2,440 pound car so it isn’t super heavy, but a turbo would sure be nice with almost twice the hp of this car. Still, even with that, and the crease and the hood/trunk edge rust and the automatic, I still like this car! Are you a Corvair Monza fan? What do you think about this car? Is $3,300 a decent price for this one?

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Comments

  1. Paul

    I would buy it and put it back on the road just to p*&%off Ralph Nader……..

    • Wayne Thomas

      he Nader comments will never go away from those who never even read his book or understand that they Mustang killed the Corvair rather than Nader. Nader kept the Corvair alive longer than GM would have wanted to but did so out of spite.

      Like 1
  2. Pete

    I like it!

    I always liked Corvairs my brother had a few of them including a pretty rare 1968 convertible

    Like 1
  3. Bill

    This is the second one to come up in my surfing in 2 days.. I think it’s a sign…

  4. David Zornig

    Gone…

  5. Paul

    Did Nader buy it????

    Like 1
  6. Joe Howell

    That powertrain combo is slowwww. My Dad had one, I had the Turbo Spyder :)

  7. MGA

    Nice car and if the body is solid, a steal!

  8. Fred W.

    They do understeer- did a 180 in mine as a high schooler. I didn’t find it that slow- when it ran. Left me standing by the road many a time. Electric fuel pump solved the problem.

  9. Alabama Squirrel

    Post has been deleted. Must have sold.

  10. 68 custom

    to bad it has a glide, a 4 speed would be much better. hate the add on grille things.

    Like 1
    • Cody

      I agree. The fact that there is no grill because they don’t have a radiator is very unique IMO. Although, I do believe that is factory trim after looking at some other photos online. They might have added the red paint though.

  11. Eric Dashman

    The first version of the Corvairs, especially in the 2 door or convertible form were nice looking cars. The 2nd version was even better looking IMO. I’ve driven several of the 1st versions, both auto and manual. In all cases the handling sucked…very light front end and bad understeer. The automatics were dogs in terms of performance. A buddy of mine had a 1964 Monza Spyder convertible (is that redundant?) with the supercharger and the 4-speed. That had much better performance but still poor handling. Ever try driving one of them in a high cross-wind? Worse than a VW bug in the wind. I always wondered why if Porsche could create a great handling rear engined flat 6 car, Chevy and GM couldn’t figure it out in the early 60s. Just copy the 356B for a start.

    Like 1
    • 68 custom

      spyders were turbo-charged not super charged, though I suppose you could call it super charged…

    • Ed Willaims

      There were wonderful things planned for future Corvairs but Nader had to go and open his big fat mouth to further his legal carrier and that was the end of that! I for one will never forgive him.

    • Lorena Member

      I drove a 64 convertible as my daily driver from 1996-2003 and never had an issue with poor handling. Boy do I miss it!

  12. Skip

    I’ve always loved the Corvairs. I bought a ’64 Monza Spyder for $125 back in the mid-70s. It ran well and was fun to drive, but it kept throwing the generator belt. Sold it for what I had in it; but now I wish I’d kept it. A longtime friend of mine who lived in Lubbock collected Corvairs and had a sizeable collection. But when he died his adopted son sold all of them off quickly, so I missed out on one of them, too.

    • Joe Howell

      Mine was always throwing the belt at high RPM, usually while passing a car so the car I just passed would then pass me pulled over on the side of the road with the generator light on :( I solved the belt throwing problem by hooking a stiff coil spring to the generator and anchoring the other end to the body at the rear of the engine compartment. By leaving the hold down bolt slightly loose the spring could pivot the generator to keep the belt tight at high RPM. An outfit called “IECO” (I think) made Corvair hop up parts and offered a kit to do the same thing, my solution was cheaper.

      Like 1
  13. Craig

    I swapped two Pontiac bucket seats for a 62 corvair in 72 drove it for two years then sold it for $50. Dumb me.

  14. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    In the year 2016, I can’t believe anyone is still regurgitating tales of blown fan belts and Ralph Nader. Most of us Corvair drivers have remedied, corrected or forgotten all about these old headlines. Buy one and upgrade it! Much more prudent and inexpensive than a Porsche.

  15. Mike R.

    My first car that I bought while still in high school was a 64 corvair monza convertible spider. Only made about 5 psi of boost. Was better than the 110hp ones. Next was a 65 corvair Corsa with the 180 up turbo! The previous owner install almost everything from the Crown Engineering catalog. It would peg the 20psi boost gauge!! A classmate of mine had a 240z,it was dead meat on the table! That 64 turbo Was a fun car to drive!!

    Like 1

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