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All About Corvairs

camaroboycamaroboy Posts: 6
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
I just bought a 1963 Corvair with all 64 parts and
I love it. I also work at The Corvair Ranch if
anyone else would like to talk about Corvair's or
would like info. about The Corvair Ranch write


  • nstone1nstone1 Posts: 2
    I'd definitley like some info. e-mail me at [email protected] I'm especially interested in the limited run of the 1969's.
  • nstone1,
    I hope you got my email. We ship cars to so don't worry about were you are in the country. I think you will be pleased if you buy a corvair. They may not have alot of horsepower but they look good and they are alot of fun to drive.
  • C13C13 Posts: 390
    I like the later body style. We had a few in the family when I was a callow youth.

    How does that stock turbocharger on the Corsa 180 hp engine hold up? How do the engines in general hold up?

    My choice would be a Corsa coupe. Never could talk the old man into it.
  • I have never seen any problems with the turbocharged engine. As far as the engines in general there are a few problems that can be solved easly. Thanks for your interest in Corvairs C13.
  • ralph124cralph124c Posts: 36
    My comments on the Corvair...a friend's dad had one, and it handled great-also had great gas mileage (as if anyone cared in the late '60s!). All in all, it was a pretty good design, much maligned by that charlatan (Ralph Nader). As I recall, he was the man who pioneered "social causes"-his m.o. was to research accident records, then concoct evil conspiracies (on the part of "evil" corporations). He would then write bogus exposes and launch class action lawsuits. In addition to the Corvair, he tried to "do in" the Volkswagon beetle (he dug up an obscure, 10 year old report from Sweden)-unfortunately fro him and his ilk, VW owners were too smart to buy his crap.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Nader was actually right about the very early was not a car for the average inexperienced American driver of the time...I've seen one flip firsthand (right in front of me, just like RAlph said they would.) The phenomenon has been videotaped as well by track testers. It's really an extreme situation of a tight turn and with incorrect tire pressure, the very early cars will roll over.

    But the unfortunate thing was that Nader's criticism of the early cars stigmatized the later cars, which had been corrected and no longer exhibited all those handling problems.

    GM screwed themselves on the Corvair, it wasn't Nader's fault. Their response to his criticism was to hire private detectives to try and ruin his life. Great, just great...a $15 rear stabilizer would have have the problem of the rear wheel tuck and we'd probably have had an American Porsche.

    I had a 1966 Fitch Corvair for a while...outstanding car that could hold with most high performance foreign cars of the day, both in acceleration and handling.

    I like Corvairs a lot. I think the 1965 4-door hardtop is still one of the loveliest 4-doors every designed.
  • C13C13 Posts: 390
    Surely a nice engine from an old rusted 911 would help. The usual suspension mods. Modern (though conservative) tires.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Problem with that, though, is you'd have an engine worth more than the car...and you'd be facing a $10,000 rebuild if you got too frisky.

    I did see a Porsche=powered Corvair van / camper conversion once that was beauifully done. Lotta work.

    Interesting you mentioned this conversion, when GM was firt testing the Corvair in 57-58, they ran around the country in a Porsche 356 powered by a prototype Corvair they anticipated the porsche 911 by 6-7 years!
  • SpedmanSpedman Posts: 15
    Camaroboy, do you work at the Corvair Ranch in Gettysburg, PA? If so, I visited you about 2 years ago when I bought a 64 Monza convertible at an auction at a vo-tech high school outside Annapolis. I had to return it because it was in simply horrible mechanical shape. The school was good enough to take it back.
    I'm still looking for a 64 Corvair convertible with an automatic. I'm willing to pay market value but it has to be in very good condition and pass muster with Lee Hamilton, a well known Corvair repairman near Annapolis. If you have any lines on such a car please let me know.
  • C13C13 Posts: 390
    Please post Hamilton's address.
  • C13C13 Posts: 390
  • stub2stub2 Posts: 5
    I have owned several Corvairs from a '63 spyder conv. to a '65 monza (which turned into a "corv8") also several '65-69 corsa's, 140hp -180hp. fun little cars. I sold them all and got into Harleys I wish I had kept the corv 8.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    what's a "corv8" engine transplant?
  • C13C13 Posts: 390
    That reminds me.

    I knew a kid who installed a water-cooled domestic engine in a Corvair and cut a hole in front for a radiator. Very crude looking. He said it was reliable, and this particular kid was not much of a braggart, so I'm inclined to believe him. I think he used a Buick V6.

    He's a car designer now for a major firm. The Corvair was kind of a high school project. You shouldn't hold it against him.
  • stub2stub2 Posts: 5
    A corv 8 is a corvair with the trans-axel turned over and a chev 327 installed where the rear seat used to be.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Thank you...yes, many people forgot that the Corvair engine runs "backwards" from most engines, and when they put them in VWs found out that they had 4 reverse speeds and one forward.
  • stub2stub2 Posts: 5
    I am an aircraft mechanic so I am used to engines turning different directions.
  • C13C13 Posts: 390
    How about a nice Lycoming in a Corvair?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Then it would be a Corv- "air" because it might go airborne after 100 mph. Actually, those 6 cylinder Lycoming aircraft engines are beautifully built and would cost about 3 times the price of the car say nothing of being built to run at a fairly constant rpm range....but I think the Corvair engine, with proper mods and upgrades, can be made into a very decent and reliable powerplant...basically nothing wrong with it except it's lazy.

    I will say one unqualified good thing about the Corvair, that is the 1965 on up drum brakes I ever tried on a car.
  • crv65crv65 Posts: 1
    I am trying to find a red steering wheel for my 65 Monza Convert. I can't find it in Clarks catalog (maybe I'm not looking in the right place). Anyone know where to find one?
  • camaroboycamaroboy Posts: 6
    Did you call the Corvair Ranch we can get you just about anything.
  • SpedmanSpedman Posts: 15
    Camaroboy, I called them. they were a big help and are keeping an eye out for me for the kind of car I'm looking for.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Just curious...Is the Corvair Ranch anything like the Mustang Ranch?
  • camaroboycamaroboy Posts: 6
    I don't have a clue I have never heard of the Rustang Ranch. But if it is alot of junk mustangs it's the samething.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    I don't think they have any junk Mustangs but, like the Corvair Ranch, I think you can get almost anything you may be looking for!

    So, I guess they are similar...
  • C13C13 Posts: 390
    I think that at the Mustang Ranch you could even get something you weren't looking for, in spite of their much-touted testing program.

    The models at the Corvair Ranch probably have lower mileage and a lot less abuse.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Yes, but who knows if the odometers have been rolled back?

    Oh, what some will pay just for a comfortable ride!
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    What a great topic -- the corvair part, I mean -- I hope it comes back to life.

    I go past a gray, primed 65-67 Corsa coupe on my way to work. It's for sale and if anyone's interested in details, email me and I'll be glad to stop for info.

    I used to rally a 65 (140) Corsa w/a college friend. What an experience that was! All was fine except the very awkward throws with the long shifter that made it feel a bit like a stand-up bread truck when you missed a gate & had to search for the gear! Loved it.

    But we were cool cuz I had lakes pipes I could uncap for some extra noise. Fun. (Don't tell my kids!)

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • cgoetzecgoetze Posts: 7
    camaroboy Does the corvair ranch have a website or do they still use snailmail for brochures/catalogues? I would be interested in finding out more about them.
  • I can't remember the model name, but it had that overhang roof in the back and the automatic transmission shifter looked more like a toggle switch than a gear shifter, but my dad loved that car. Chicago to Los Angeles for summer vacations. Wow, going down route 66 in this car was an absolute blast. My dad bought this crazy "air conditioner". You added block ice in this resevoir, plugged the thing into the cigarette lighter, turned the fans on and instant frostbite. My sister and I were small enough that if my dad wanted to do an all-nighter, my sister would stretch out on the back seat. My dad would pull two suitcases out of the front trunk and put one on either side of the transmission hump so the surface was even. He'd put an airmattress on top of that, and I slept like a baby directly behind the front seats. Dad learned how to drive in a 56 BelAire, but his first car was the '65 Corvair. I remember, even to this day, his comments about the shape of the car and how well it drove. Personally, I think if the Corvair had continued it's evolution, we wouldn't have had the Camaro to compete with the Mustang. Chevrolet had the Corvair and that was good enough for my dad.
This discussion has been closed.