Tomb Raider-Corvair Edition: 1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Coupe

Since Halloween is just a little more than one month away, I wanted to share a find with you readers that might get you into the mood.  It seems that this particular car is entombed somewhere where there is no electricity, and the whole scene looks spooky.  While I see no signs of that creepy Pennywise clown that has been so popular lately, I would still be on the lookout for some manner of sinister clown if I went to look at this crypt find 1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza coupe being sold on Craigslist in Birmingham, Alabama.  While the car looks to be complete and mostly rust free, the pictures give me the creeps.  At least the price, a very strange $1,496, is low enough that one of us should strap on a roscoe and head down to the steel city for a look at this one.

Just take a look at the picture above.  It makes you want to believe that “Christine” was a documentary.  The car is even red, as if I needed anything else to get my spidey senses tingling.  If we look past the paranormal aura of this one and start to look at this one as a product of Detroit instead of Satan, we can see that it looks to be a nice car.  One of the big problems with Corvairs is rust.  I have yet to see an unrestored one that doesn’t have a bad place or four with rust bubbling out of it.  This one looks to be pretty straight, but the blurry picture doesn’t let us get a good look at the details (Is that someone hiding in the back of the white Chevy?).

In this interior picture, the only scary things I see are the small rust holes in the front post and the splits in the vinyl seat.  The dash looks like it would clean up well, the steering wheel looks great, and it still has the original AM radio in the dash.  Hopefully, it doesn’t have a habit of turning on by itself.  The carpets are a bit faded, and the brake pedal is missing the rubber pad that usually protects it.  The owner does mention that there are a few small holes under the driver’s mat.  I am assuming that the lever under the dash is an emergency brake rather than a bludgeon of some sort, and it is refreshing to see that there are no blood splatter marks in the interior.  I do wonder if there are any knives in the open for easy access glove compartment.

Another interior picture shows that the upholstery, other than the driver’s seat, is in pretty good shape.  This one could probably be brought back to very good condition with some elbow grease and a re-covering of the damaged areas.  I forgot to mention that this is a manual transmission car, which is a plus for many of us.  Also, no blood or claw marks are evident on the white shifter knob, which is a good sign.

Under the hood, everything appears to be in place.  The seller is careful to tell us that the air cleaners are present, and that they were pulled off for the picture.  Furthermore, the seller claims to have gotten it running with a squirt bottle of gas, but the fuel pump will probably need to be rebuilt.  If this car has sat as long as I think it has, then the gas tank probably has more sludge in it than the proverbial black lagoon.  There is no telling what evil creature lurks in a stagnant gas tank, but it was a good thing that the dead fuel pump didn’t allow that muck to sludge up the carburetors.

So, despite the horrors of sitting so long, I think this one deserves a closer look.  Usually, when cars are stored in such a crypt like manner, they are only removed when the building has come up for sale, or the owner has dies and the family is trying to excommunicate all of the evil old cars and junk that lurk between the walls.  You may even get a good deal here, but leave your contact information in the comments area before you venture down into this crypt.  If you don’t show back up in the comments after a day or two, at least we can start fighting over the cars you have at home.  I am sure you would have wanted it that way.  Its not like we are going to find your body, anyway.

 

Comments

  1. glen

    Full Halloween mode going on with this post! There appears to be straw on the floor, evil scarecrow drove this? I’d like to see what the white car beside it is.

  2. Fred W.

    Bad fuel pump on a ‘Vair- brings back a lot of memories spent standing by the road next to a broken down one. Electric pump eventually solved the issue, which was not enough travel of the fuel pump plunger (maybe a worn cam lobe?). As a dumb 17 year old in 1974, I solved the problem with a tiny ball bearing (BB) placed between plunger and pump.

    • glen

      If it solved the problem, it wasn’t dumb.

  3. Oingo

    The price is not strange to people that understand the science behind pricing.

  4. Vincent vanasco

    Pennywise and pound foolish. Worth 750 and not more. I had one a Fitch Sprint. Slight mods and great driver.Miss it.

  5. Geoffrey Flynn

    The big problem with Corvairs is how many people have no idea what they’re talking about, and no idea how to work on them. Many a Corvair has met a terrible fate that way. Here’s a totally rust free Corvair . . . one of five totally rust free early Corvairs I’ve owned. Early Corvairs were very sturdy – GM’s first unibody. Those that lost floorpans to rust were not structurally compromised, and repro floor pans are inexpensive. The later Corvairs were much more prone to rust, especially at the bottom of the windshield. The rust travels down into the rockers and they lose structural integrity.

  6. jw454

    $1496.00 – 1964 Maybe there’s a connection. Who knows. It sounds like a fair deal. What other complete 53 year old 2 door cars that run have we seen lately for that amount?

  7. MadHungarian

    Yes, the oddly placed handle under the dash is the handbrake. Corvair fuel pumps do not tolerate sitting well, especially if there is any ethanol fuel in them. Replace it, new gas tank, go through the brakes, put on a new belt and you’re rolling. I’d also check the condition of the rear axle bearings before doing any significant driving. It’s a well known failure point on first generation cars, and they are likely dry or the grease has congealed.

  8. Greg Mason

    I had a 64 monza white with red interior 3 speed stick i inherited from my aunt with 21.000 miles on it. The only things i did to that car was get a alternator mount from a 66 and add a delcotron alternator with built in regulator and bypass the original regulator , change the push rod tube seals and use the Vega clutch plate in it ( no chatter on take off because of springs in the plate originals were solid. I realy liked that car. I let my older brother borrow it one day when his rambler broke down and it came back to me totaled, broadsided by a woman running a stop sign. ( NUTS ).

  9. Steve in Charlotte

    Here’s our restored ’64 Monza which was my wife’s parents first new car. Palomar Red. 4-Speed. 110hp. 51k miles.

  10. Jim P Koenig

    Found my nearly rust free 61 corvair in the great state of Minnesota.
    Fun car.

  11. paul

    Makes me yearn for the 150 hp ’63 spyder I had in my early 20’s

  12. Dean

    Corvairs are very easy to bring back. A new gas tank (available from Clark’s) and fuel pump (around $50 at O’Reilly’s) and you’re on your way. The Powerglide transmission will make it a joy to drive while you fix it up. This one looks pretty solid. Do as much or as little to it as you want, and get out there and drive it.

  13. hank

    In the condition that it is in, and the work that will need to be done to it, It’s more like a 400.00 car. Engine needs reseal, fuel pump, rebuilt carbs and God knows what else. Front and rear suspensions are likely original, and you don’t want to “roll” with 53 year old ball joints and tie rod ends. Would need a brake go-through as well. I’ve been buying selling and driving Corvairs for 31 years. Not a stereotypical “Frugal” Corvair guy, Just being honest.

  14. Richard

    i just purchesed a 63 spyder conv.
    glade u had the plesure of ownin a vair.
    this will be my first tubo an first stick vair ive had. any insight would be handy.
    my spyder was born third week of sept 1962 ember red . She is a barn find for sure. She was put away correctly.
    She sat 22yrs. put points in she runs on gas can.put new master cilinder on,origonal was still full of fluid so just bench bled the new one an she drives stops.sides the cleanin her body needs shes good.new tank an carb rebuild is on the way from clarks corvair parts.
    ive allways used them on all my vairs.
    did yours have a return fuel line?
    mine does not.

  15. Bob

    If there’s ever a Corvair show near you, go to it!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv1nkBPwPXw&t=60s

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