Classic Car Overview
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 1960s 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 Monza Convertible features a slick blue-over-black color combination, rare options, and classic European styling all for a price that wont 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 Corvette Stingray, 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 1967 Camaro that would take the world by storm the following year. Although the car was born with Code F Marina Blue paint, it now wears a shade much closer to Danube Blue from the same years color chart, which is a great color to match with that black vinyl convertible top. The paint is top driver-quality and shines up beautifully under our lights, with the factory brightwork and trim providing a nice contrast thats not overbearing. Youll hear cars like this referred to as having a sympathetic restoration meaning that its not a full blown, over the top, open-checkbook job, but rather the car has largely lived a comfortable existence since new, has always been in great condition, and regularly gets what it needs to keep it looking and running as it should. By the looks of things inside-and-out, thats likely a bit of an understatement, because even as a strong driver this Corvair is about as nice as youll ever see on the road today. The grille and tail panel are clean, and the dramatic lenses and 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 black vinyl seat covers and matching black carpets are correct replacement pieces, but again this was a car that has been cared for and likely didnt need much to get it looking this good again. The black wrinkle finish dash is a Monza hallmark, and the sporty gauge cluster and floor-mounted 4-speed manual shifter practically begs you to go out and have some fun. The factory AM/FM radio is in place, which is a pretty rare find, but not quite as rare as the options list for this economy car factory A/C (converted to R134a refrigerant and blowing cold today), a tilt/telescopic wheel, seatbelts, and a power convertible top (needs service) are all part of the original package. Quite frankly, this is the most loaded Corvair Monza weve ever seen. Every part of the cabin is done right, with factory-style ornate door panels still in place, along with a 2-spoke woodgrain steering wheel at the head of the cockpit, and the rear seat looks rarely used. Open the bonnet and find an awful lot of storage space for a car this size, and it too was neatly finished to match the standard of the rest of the car. Pop the rear engine lid to find the venerable 164 cubic-inch, all-aluminum flat six. By 1966, the troublesome generator was replaced with a reliable, modern alternator, so a quick flick of the key and this rumbling little motor is ready to scrap. The engine runs strong, fed through 4 original-style Rochester single barrel carburetors and breathes easy thanks to that unique six-snorkel air cleaner up top. The spare tire was removed from the engine gay, which means you can actually stick your hands in for easy access, and there are signs of recent maintenance throughout. Theres not a ton of horsepower on tap, but in a car that only weighs around 2700 pounds its plenty zippy around town, and for those of you perplexed by the auxiliary fans on an air-cooled engine, theyre for the A/C system. Underneath, a lot of work has been done to keep this Corvair roadworthy through the years, and with a light dusting of undercoating the floor pans have been protected from 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 American Racing Torque Thrust Old Style wheels, which frankly improve the look of any classic car and are wrapped in thick, fender-filling 205/70/15 blackwall radials. Loaded, fun, a little different and very affordable. 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! 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