1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Rare rear-engined factory turbo Corvair! Interesting classic

1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza – Today’s Tempter
This 1963 Corvair is anything but your average American classic.

The Corvair is an incredibly interesting car on paper, but still suffers from a infamous stereotype it was given decades ago.

"Unsafe at any speed" read the title of Ralph Nader’s book, in which the unconventional Corvair was taken to task in its very first chapter.

And we can see where Nader was coming from: rear-engined, turbocharged, swing axle and no sway bar? It doesn’t exactly lend itself to high levels of dynamism and lateral grip – but the Corvair, perhaps unfairly, still suffers from the unsafe stigma today.

Chevrolet was hardly the only manufacturer to dabble in rear-engined performance models – unlike Porsche, they just didn’t spend the next 70 years embedding a rear-mounted engine as part of their brand heritage.

In actuality, the Corvair was tremendously ahead of its time – first introduced as an up-spec trim level in 1961. Motoring publications were quick to call it "the poor man’s Porsche".

In 1962, the Corvair Monza Spyder was introduced, taking top spot as the lineup’s performance offering. Its turbocharged 2.4lt flat-six yielded a healthy 112kW – and was the second production car ever to utilise a turbocharger from factory. Porsche’s iconic 930 turbo arrived to the party 16 years later in 1975.

Setting aside the Corvair’s dangerous reputation, it makes a lot of sense as a collectible on paper.

In 1963, 19,000 Corvair Monza Spyders were produced. They were genuinely innovative and efficient high-performance machines for the era, and survival rate remains relatively high as many people at the time recognised the car as something special, and low-volume for a manufacturer like Chevrolet.

This one on sale here has spent much of its life in California and is described as a rust free and very original car.

It claims to have had a full engine service with carburettor and turbo rebuilt, and new fuel lines, filters, brakes and shocks.

The exterior looks presentable with only minor wear and tear with age and the native left-hook interior is original and said to be in great condition.

The seller says there are many original and spare parts that can be included in the sale.

Based in New South Wales, the Corvair is listed for $25,000.

Check out the full listing here!

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