The whole Chevrolet Corvair family has lead a tough life – thanks to the beancounters at Chevrolet in 1959, not least Ralph Nader with his publicizing of “Unsafe at Any Speed”, and of course the resultant malicious hearsay. Despite huge efforts from GM, the Corvair never really recovered, and still to this day – 48 years after production ceased – the image is still tainted. But does that not just help make it excellent value-for-money as a classic car?
In last Saturdays Prime Find of the Week, I stated that the design of the stylish little NSU Prinz 1000 works just as well on the diminutive German, as it does on the Corvair which inspired it. While I genuinely feel that is the case, I must also confess that after writing the NSU piece, I launched myself into a frenzy of surfing the net for various Corvairs.
I’ve always had a soft spot for an early first generation Corvair Lakewood station wagon, but if I were indeed treating myself to a Corvair, I think I would ultimately end up being tempted into a second generation Corvair coupé. The second generation is simply a much better resolved car, and the coupé has looks to kill for. As we probably all know, the first generation was marred by rather unfortunate handling characteristics introduced by the weight distribution of the rear-mounted flat-6 engine in conjunction with a rear swing axle, and then only made even worse by the GM beancounters deleting the rear anti-roll bar which the engineers had otherwise insisted upon. But GM at least learnt from their mistakes, and made sure that the second generation was a very different car when it debuted as a ’65-model in late 1964. Besides all new styling, there were multiple technical advances of which the most significant was clearly the new fully independent rear suspension and coil springs at all four wheels. As such the second generation actually became quite a well-handling car. Ironic then that Ralph Nader’s book “Unsafe at Any Speed”, criticizing the first generation of Corvairs, came out practically simultaneously with the new Corvair, which in fact was probably perfectly safe at most speeds.
And now just have a look at this little beauty! Being a ’65 car, it’s of course the first year for the second generation Corvair. More importantly, it’s a coupé with that oh-so-elegant roofline, thin A- and C-pillars and of course no B-pillar at all. Granted, it’s only a Corvair 110 – thus offering the second smallest engine option with 110hp from its factory air-cooled 2.7 litre flat-6. Yes, the 140 would have been more appealing and the Turbo with 180hp obviously even better. But bear in mind that the base 911T introduced in 1967 actually also made due with 110hp. Either way, this sleek Corvair coupé has an automatic gearbox anyway, so it’s really more about cruising. The story behind the car sounds pretty amazing too, with apparently only two previous owners and a mere 19,000 miles on the clock. Sadly though, that mileage can not be verified, so I’m not sure I would want to be paying a huge premium for that story. Still, if the Corvair looks as good in a real world pre-purchase inspection as it sounds on paper, then the story might actually be true. The pictures sure look quite convincing – and not just the exterior either, as both interior and engine bay appear equally tidy…
The Corvair is registered in the UK, has been fully serviced, and the dealer has even treated it to four new tyres. You can see the full advert on the dealers website here: 1965 Chevrolet Corvair 110 Coupé
As you can see, it’s up for £ 13,750. However, the dealer seems to have reduced the price recently, as the same Corvair can be found on eBay at a one grand saving, and you can even make them an offer, so you might just get lucky…
Corvair eBay advert
With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
Just remember – Any Classic is Better than No Classic! We obviously invite our readers to help prospective buyers with your views and maybe even experiences of any given model we feature. Further to that, if you stumble across a classic which you feel we ought to feature as Prime Find of the Week, then please send us a link to firstname.lastname@example.org