The Chevrolet Corvair is a unique collectible for fans of the American motoring genre. It was the only mass-produced US. car with a rear-mounted-air cooled engine, and GM produced close to 1.8 million of these versatile cars. The full Corvair line up spanned two-door coupes and convertibles, four-door sedans, station wagons, pickup trucks and even vans, and through the entire 1960's decade we were treated to two pretty special generations. One has to wonder if given more time, the Corvair .....
engineers would have found a way to make them float and fly. This particular 1966 Corvair Convertible features a slick white-over-blue color combination, peppy flat-six motor mated to a 4-speed gearbox, and classic European-inspired styling all for a price that won't break the bank.
Corvairs have a style all their own, and this 2nd generation droptop really looks great. A dramatic redesign was ushered in just a year before, with the new body showed influences from the C1 Corvette, an early '60s Bel Air, and the 1963 Buick Riviera. In fact, the very name 'Corvair' is a portmanteau of Corvette and Bel Air, and with a name like that it was inevitable that this design would be dramatic. The coke bottle styling set the trend for GM cars for the next fifteen years, foreshadowing the '67 Camaro that would take the world by storm the following year. Although the car was born with Code L Tropic Turquoise paint, it now wears bright white livery enhanced with LeMans blue stripes, which is a perfect color combination to match with the white convertible top and teal interior. The paint is strong driver-quality and shines up beautifully under our lights, with the factory brightwork and trim providing a nice contrast that's not overbearing. The brightwork at the front end and tail panel are clean, and the dramatic lenses and circular lights really punctuate the look. Gaps are precise, the body lines are straight, and all of the glass is very clean and tidy. Bottom line, this is a darn good-looking droptop.
Sporty bucket seats and room for four greet your entry, where the cabin is a lot more spacious than it looks. The teal-blue vinyl seat covers and matching door panels are correct replacement pieces, but again, this was a car that has been cared for and likely didn't need much to get it looking this good again. The blue wrinkle finish dash is a Corvair hallmark, and the sporty gauge cluster set-up and floor-mounted 4-speed manual shifter practically beg you to go out and have some fun. The factory Delco radio is still in place, which is a pretty rare find, as is the factory steering wheel that anchors the cabin and feel great in the hands of the driver. Plush carpets are protected with vinyl floormats, the rear seat is surprisingly spacious and looks practically untouched, and there's plenty of storage room under the bonnet.
Pop the rear engine lid to find a venerable 164 cubic-inch, all-aluminum flat six. By 1966, the troublesome generator was replaced with a reliable, modern alternator, an upgraded coil, and a fresh distributor, so a quick flick of the key and this rumbling little motor is ready to scrap. The VIN and trim tag tell us this is a true Corsa which originally came with a 140hp variant that had the 4 1-barrel set up, but this particular engine decodes to a 1964 block with a dual single barrel set up, which it still maintains. It runs smooth, with the dual original-style Rochester single barrel carburetors and breathes easy thanks to that unique multi-snorkeled air cleaner up top. In a car that only weighs around 2700 pounds it's plenty zippy around town, and the air-cooled motor stays nice and cool in the elements. The 2nd generation models had vast improvements to the suspension and they drive really well, with revised spring rates, a fully independent rear suspension modeled after the Corvette, larger brakes, and a front anti sway bar all pitching in to give this little roadster great road manners. Setting the mildly aggressive stance are a set of SS-style mag wheels, which frankly improve the look of any classic car and are wrapped in thick, fender-filling 205/70/14 Goodyear white-letter radials.
This classic American roadster sometimes gets overlooked in the collector car world, but with examples like this super-clean '66 droptop re-entering the market more frequently each year, we think things are about to change. Corvairs are on the rise! Call today!