CHEVROLET CORVAIR MONZA 900 cONVERTIBLE - GEM OF A LOOKER AND RUNNER

1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvair
SubModel: Monza 900
Type: Convertible
Trim: Monza
Year: 1964
VIN: 40967W1144649
Color: Metallic Burgandy
Engine: Horizontally Opposed 2.7L 6 Cyl
Cylinders: 6
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual 4-speed
Drive type: Rear Engine, RWD
Interior color: Black
Drive side: LHD
Vehicle Title: Clear
Item location: Cypress, California, United States
Extras
tinted glass, factory AM radio
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Description for Chevrolet Corvair 1964

Thanks for stopping by to take a closer (second) look at my '64 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible. That you clicked on this listing shows you have an appreciation for one of America’s most distinctive post-war automotive icons. It’s also a car that enables the new or experienced collector to relive a unique period in automotive history on a limited budget.
This one offers a chance to have a lot of top-down fun in an honest, well sorted, mechanically sound, well preserved (but unrestored) and physically attractive car that will fit in your garage with room to spare. You can scroll down for mechanical and cosmetic specifics
Please Note: For unknown reason, mileage format did not accept actual mileage of 104,200 (see photo of dash). It accepted zero.
Despite its 54 years, Corvair has a large following with nationwide club support and parts availability. Because of increasing interest in the marque, OPG has just added a Corvair parts inventory catalog to its list. Additionally, the Chevrolet Hall of Fame Museum in Decatur, Ill has recently partnered with the collection of the Corvair Preservation Foundation to exhibit Corvairs in a unique new walk down memory lane.
Here’s a summary of Hagerty’s take on Corvairs as collectibles: "Bottom line is that the Corvair is no longer overlooked in the marketplace. And why not? Corvairs embody some of the best characteristics of owning a vintage car, including a unique and distinctive driving experience, and a lively and active club to make that driving even more enjoyable. Means that the collector car hobby’s tastes are evolving as well, and that you will likely hear from more potential buyers when it comes time to sell."
Let me start you out with some Corvair history
I've always enjoyed writing about cars so, if you are already a Corvair enthusiast, I may be preaching to the choir. But hopefully there are others of you who may not have had the opportunity to consider Corvair's uniqueness and historical significance in your quest to find a fun collector car with appreciation potential.Here's how it began: Throughout the 50's the 'Big Three' (Ford, GM and Chrysler) only produced full-size, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, body-on frame, solid-rear-axle cars. Although the independents produced the downsized Nash Rambler and Metropolitan, Hudson Jet, Studebaker Lark and Willys Aero Ace, engine/driveline configurations were all equally conventional.
It wasn't until the latter 50's that the tiny imports like the VW Beetle, Renault Dauphine and Fiat 500, all rear engined cars, began to appear stateside. Their popularity was a surprise to both homeland car makers and their buyers. They became popular because these little cars were found to offer both compliant suspensions and roomy passenger compartments. Despite their buzzy little engines, performance was adequate and fuel economy was great. Paying $1700 for a new Bug was akin to a ‘no brainer.’Reading the handwriting on the wall, for 1960, Ford and Chrysler both got into the small car act with their Falcons and Valiants - scaled down versions of their full size cars. Then, following GM General Manager Ed Cole's lead, Chevrolet went way out on the limb with a revolutionary new approach. Called the Corvair, it was GM's (and America’s) first horizontally-opposed, rear engine, air cooled car. It was also America’s first to have independent suspension at all corners and Fisher Body's first “Unibody” construction which eliminated the typical frame and allowed the body to sit lower on it's smaller 13" wheels and new "low profile" tires.
Despite its engineering prowess and considerable financial investment, for its 1960 introduction, Chevrolet provided dealers with uninspiring, low-budget compact sedans and coupes which price matched both foreign and domestic competition. It wasn't unusual to see a standard sedan on the raised platform on the busy corner of a Chevy dealer's lot with a price like $1995 boldly splashed on its windshield.It didn’t take long, however, for several of the car's basic attributes to turn this budget miser into a comfortable, sporty, canyon-carving machine. Unibody construction and the flat configuration of the air-cooled Boxer engine both contributed to its low center of gravity while its 4-wheel, independent suspension helped it stick to the road. It was the bucket-seated Monza coupe with its floor-shift 4 speed that sealed the deal and led some car automotive journalists to refer to it as a 'poor man's Porsche.'
By 1964, when this Monza was built, engine displacement was increased some 20 cubic inches to 164 (2.7 L). A newly added transverse leaf spring corrected the rear suspension geometry problems, provided for more neutral handling and finned rear brake drums increased stopping power. Corvair was also the first American company to introduce turbocharging which first appeared on the 63 Monza Spyder, turning it into a competitive road machine - and selected for their racing paddocks by the likes of Yenko and John Fitch groups.Seller's Background:I've been a car enthusiast from a young age and in 1953 had the chance to buy a '40 Chevrolet Deluxe 2-door sedan for $15. Cleaned and tuned it up and sold it for $50. I love old cars and have been into buying, refurbishing and driving them ever since.My preference these days is for those cars with historical significance. It is not my goal to restore them, but to preserve them in their original form with all systems functioning correctly.One of them was a 67 Porsche 912 that introduced me to boxer-engined cars and, and remembered the fun we’d have driving a friend's new 63 Monza through the canyons. So I decided to give one a try. I wanted a convertible because they mean summer fun.
In looking for cars I avoid ones with previous accidents and body cancer. Preference is for cars with original paint, but if a car is much over 20 years old, that's a tall order. I found this one in Tennessee and it had been stored away for much of its recent life. Signs indicate It was refreshed in the 80's by a dedicated owner who had it resprayed in a color slightly more vibrant than the original Palomar Red, registered it with the Antique Automobile Club of America and applied a plate showing its antique status. Appears to have had an engine rebuild about the same time. Floors and trunk bottom are rust free. Some pocks at a couple of the door bottoms (from gatherings of debris) have been cleaned, treated and resprayed.
Despite the hyperbole in the listing, it arrived mechanically with a charging problem, a starter gear engagement problem and more steering play than I found acceptable. It ran, but performance was marginal. I’m fortunate that around the corner here in Cypress is Carlson Garage, as old as the city itself, with head mechanic, Ken Lee, who worked on Corvairs in a previous life as a Chevrolet dealer service dept. mechanic.
My instructions to Ken were to solve the mechanical problems, address all brake/suspension safety issues and tune for maximum engine performance. Also left him with two deluxe carbs rebuilt by The Carbmeister. Four thousand dollars later (parts and labor) the clutch and pressure plate (had a crack causing engagement problem) were replaced along with the starter itself, a rebuilt generator, new fan belt pulley, and lube/tune up items. Front suspension was disassembled and tightened with new bushings. Some play remains without replacing steering gear box, but has been minimized. More recently I had a noisy valve lifter and voltage regulator replaced. Glove box light and wiper squirter are also functional. Engine runs strong, starts with a turn of the key, and runs cool. Brakes and shocks are strong and transmission synchros all do their job. Tires a near-new Mohawk 80 section, 13" radials - same size as orig equipment. Wheel disks are from the 63 and prefer them to the 64's. Car is equipped with dual side mirrors
I like ‘no excuses’ cars, so I replaced the aftermarket radio with a working original OEM Delco, replaced the headlight adjustment pockers along with a couple of the sealed beam units, which are now correctly adjusted, and treated the thin steering wheel to a leather cover. Driver’s side door card was worse for wear, so it’s been replaced with a nice duplicate from Clarks. Rubber around the doors, down the windshield post, trunk and engine cover seals have been replaced. Turn signals work but mechanism doesn’t self cancel, but I can live with that. Paint looks good, but does have some blems that can be seen up close. I'd classify exterior condition as driver quality.
Suspect, when the car was painted, it was also treated to a premium, sheared black carpet which shows like new. Vinyl seats show no wear and some interior metal panels have been resprayed. Glass is good (small windshield chip and scratches) but clear vinyl rear window is cloudy. Some NOS trim pieces have been added to the lower chrome strip and windshield wiper switch has been replaced. Owner’s Guide and dealer brochure are in the glovebox. Jack, spare tire and original Tennessee plate are under the hood.
While detailing the engine compartment, it was easy to hearken back to my Porsche that had thermal sound-deadening pads along the walls. So I got carried away and installed a Dynamat-type insulation throughout the compartment. And while it might absorb some engine sound, it doesn’t do much to silence the racous glasspack muffler installed by the previous owner.
I need to take a moment here and discuss the engineering prowess and quality Corvair put into its cars. Vinyl upholstery and convertible top are of superior quality and have lasted well through the years, despite a sagging driver’s seat. Glove box door of most contemporaries, including Packard, for instance, were a single sheet of pressed steel. Corvair’s is three layers and about 15 pieces. It includes a chromed surround that matches the dash panel. The convertible top frame releases and folds effortlessly and includes individual hold-down locks. Side windows are nicely beveled.
Can also mention that I took our family of four adults to dinner with the top down last evening and drove along the Long Beach coast to everyone's delight . Later, on the 605 freeway I found the car to cruise eagerly at 80 (possibility of an optimistic speedometer). No evidence of overheating despite the sunny, 92 degree day. One caveat: This car takes you back to earlier times when Corvairs weren't equipped with power accessories. Air conditioning, Powerglide, seatbelts, radio and heater were extra cost options. So if you plan to drive this car and have problems with things like rolling your own windows and manipulating a stick, this car is not for you.
I was so impressed with this one’s quality that I searched for a clean turbocharged Spyder, also a 64 convertible, since I prefer the original design. It will be my keeper.
Overall, this one is a quick-starting, good running, easy shifting, smooth riding, corner hugging, fun car to drive and one that easily lends itself to driving along the Pacific Ocean route with the top down.
While the Corvair’s last year was 1969 because it wasn’t competitive with V8's like the Mustang, over the years it has developed a strong cult following and its revolutionary design shows signs of increased interest as a ‘must have’ American collectible. Certainly one for the budget-minded collector
Over my 15 yerars with eBay, I’ve listed a dozen or so cars, both my friends’ cars and those of my own and have found it to be a pleasurable experience - with many buyers turning into long-time, collector-car buddies. Well, that is until this experience that found the high bidder to welsh on paying. Looked like he was entertaining himself by exposing the reserve.
As with any used car, your personal assessment, or that of a professional, is recommended before you bid as condition is “in the eye of the beholder.”
This is a ten-day auction with a reasonably low reserve. Be assured I look forward to your questions as well as your bids.
A non-refundable $500 PayPal deposit is expected within 48 hours of closing and full payment within 7days by a non-PayPal source. The car is currently insured and the title is in my name. It will be signed off when your payment is confirmed. Current license plates will be retained and the listing will be removed if the car is no longer available. There is no Buy it Now price, but any offers will be seriously considered - keeping in mind this is not a “fire sale,” but a car I’m listing in hopes of finding an appreciative new buyer looking for a sound investment in a collector car.
Thanks for wading through all this information and Good Luck Bidding!!