For $2,500, Could This 1964 Chevy Corvair Monza Spyder Lure You Into Its Web?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Corvair may have once been unfairly dunned as being “unsafe at any speed” but seeing as its not presently running, it doesn’t seem all that dangerous. Let’s see if its price makea bringing it back up to speed a worthwhile task.

If you’re going to buy a 1990 VW Fox GL, yesterday’s candidate seemed to be the one to buy. That assertion was owed to its stellar condition, and, at least for 64-percent of you, its nice price.


Fox is a pretty fun name for a car, but it’s not really all that…cool. Perhaps it’s the playful nature of the animal for which it’s named that made the VW Fox feel somewhat jejune.

You would never apply that term to the name of Chevrolet’s premier sports car, the Corvette. That’s because that appellation is taken from a bad-ass naval fighting ship.

Today we’re not talking about a Corvette, but the model’s one-time showroom mate, the similarly-named Corvair. Now, we all know about the history of the Corvair, and how consumer advocate Ralph Nader felt that the average American driver needn’t have had to adapt to the rear-engine, swing-axle Corvair’s unique handling qualities. What we probably haven’t delved into sufficiently is the Ford Mustang’s role in ultimately killing off the Corvair.


You see, while GM attempted to leverage the various parts of the Corvair platform on other cars, and attempted to turn the model into a sporting brand, a la Porsche, they still couldn’t match the success that was the Mustang.

With the Mustang, Ford found a way to print money. The personal coupe’s secret was a drop-dead sexy body attached to a mundane and highly profitable Falcon platform. GM couldn’t match the Mustang with the rear-engine and six cylinder Corvair, and so they drove the final nail in the model’s coffin with the introduction of the Nova-based Mustang clone, the Camaro.


Before that however, Chevy built cars like this 1964 Chevy Corvair Monza Spyder. These models sported several improvements under their first generation bodywork, in anticipation of the major redesign the following year.


The ad for this Spyder says it’s presently not running. I know, bummer, right? The engine that’s not running is a 2.7-litre (2,683-cc) alloy air-cooled flat six fed by a single barrel side-draught Rochester carburetor and producing—if it actually did run—150-bhp.

Now, we all know that it takes four things for an internal combustion engine to work—fuel, compression, spark, and timing. One of those four has gone Barney Rubble on this coupe, and the seller apparently isn’t interested is finding out which one it might be.


The non-running car does come with what’s described as a rebuilt four-speed manual, as well as a refreshed carb and updated brake master. The body looks to be in fine shape albeit missing its badging, and suffering from decrepit rubber syndrome. The interior likewise seems a bit rough, although it’s nothing you couldn’t live with. Plus, that five-dial Spyder gauge cluster is worth its weight in faded dreams.


The odometer says 43,000 miles, which might all be original, all you got. There doesn’t seem to be any rust or major body issues, and there’s what appears to be an old-school TV antenna on the one side in case you wanted to pull in some random static since those frequencies have longs since been sold for other purposes. Best to toss that in the trash, I’d say.


I’d also say that I like this Corvair’s paint color. That’s because my very first ever car was a 1962 Corvair painted a very similar merlot. Call me a traditionalist or call me sentimental, just don’t call me late for dinner.

The asking price for this non-running but oh-so well-kitted Corvair is $2,500. Now, if you’ve seen prices on these things of late you’ll know that $2,500 is… well, I guess that’s what we’re here to find out, as I don’t think I’ve seen a Corvair in this exact state in a while.


What do you think, is $2,500 a fair deal for this turbocharged Corvair as presented in its ad? Or, does its non-running status have you running for the hills?

You decide!


Orange County, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Tomsk on Hooniverse for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.