Machine 7, high quality air-cooled  restoration and performance parts

Aug 20 2009

America’s only air-cooled, rear engine car: The Chevrolet Corvair 1960-69

Posted by volkszone

Author’s 1967 Corvair Coupe restored

Odds are if you are under 40 yrs, you have never even heard of a Chevy Corvair as they stopped making them in 1969, writes Some 20-30 year old somethings think they are a Japanese car. If you were a kid in the mid to late 60’s, you probably know about them. You probably still love the body style, sporty and sleek, they are just cool looking. If you have never seen one, you will probably also agree with that observation. Even today’s tweenies (10-14 yrs) love them, especially the convertible! Corvairs are known as the “poor man’s” collectible car. They usually range from $1000 to $8000, over 1.5 million were made. Most are either on craigslist or Ebay. Parts for restoration are not an issue at all. Several places on the East and West Coast sell only corvair parts. There are plenty of books about them. There are probably still over 80,000 of them in the US.

Owning a Corvair is an experience. It usually is a love\hate relationship. You love the car when its running great and looking good, then, hating it when you buy a costly part and unable to install it because of rust.

The car is a time machine (well, any old car is) in that it makes one realize how far car technology has come in 40+ years. Until you sit and drive one, it is hard to differentiate the obvious and subtle differences. As a kid, I had always thought that the 60s cars were sophisticated machines. They were for their time, but driving a car made today (or since the 90s) and driving a Corvair is like night and day. The most noticeable item is the near all metal dash, more strength is needed to steer the car, thicker body metal, more chome. With older cars, you hear the engine, so they are more noisier. The Corvair was the economy car for Chevy, yet, it is as big as many of today’s cars! The Corvair is low to the ground, comes with either 2 or 4 carbs that need to be synchronized in air flow and idle\fuel mix. The engines are simple yet temperamental. Settings must be close to specifications or it will not run correctly, even for these more primitive engines. Another thing, as a Corvair owner, always carry some tools and a spare fan belt.

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