1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder

Very rare rear-engined factory turbo Corvair! Rust free and just-serviced

We know what you’re thinking: rear-engined, turbocharged, swing axle and no sway bar. What could go wrong?

"Unsafe at any speed" was the title of Ralph Nader’s infamous book, in which the unconventional Corvair was made an example of in its outspoken first chapter.

Unfortunately, and perhaps unfairly, the 1962-1964 Corvair still wears this stigma today.

Nader may have had a point – on paper, the car’s platform doesn’t exactly lend itself to high levels of lateral grip. Though, Chevrolet were hardly the only manufacturer to dabble in rear-engined performance vehicles. Unlike Porsche, they just didn’t spend the next 70 years embedding it in their brand heritage.

Chevrolet’s Corvair in Monza Spyder specification was indeed a performance vehicle.

The Monza was an upscale trim level, introduced in 1961. It was instantly popular, with motoring publications calling it the "poor man’s Porsche".

In 1962, the Monza Spyder was introduced. Taking top spot as the high-performance offering with a turbocharged 2.4lt flat-six yielding 112kW. Remember, this was well ahead of its time in the early 60s; the Corvair was the second production car in the world to utilise a turbocharger. Porsche’s iconic "widowmaker" 930 Turbo arrived some 14 years later in 1975.

Set aside the car’s dangerous reputation, it actually makes a lot of sense as a collectible.

In 1963, 19,000 Monza spyders were produced, 7500 of them were ragtop convertibles.

It was a genuinely innovative, efficient high-performance vehicle and survival rate is relatively high given that people knew early on that these were special vehicles produced in low-volume for a company like Chevrolet.

This 1963 Corvair Monza Spyder coupe is very original and reportedly completely rust-free.

The seller bought it from the original owner, and has had a recently undergone a complete service in which the turbo and carburettor were rebuilt; and new fuel lines, filter, brakes and shocks fitted.

The car comes with all books and many original spare parts.

The paint is original and shows some minor wear and tear; while the original interior presents incredibly well.

The car is in running condition, and is started and driven regularly.

It’s based in New South Wales, and is listed for $24,950.

You can check out the full listing here!

 

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