As we dive into this barn find Corvair, let’s skip that Unsafe at Any Speed, stuff, shall we? Great, now that we have that out of the way, have a look at this 1966 Chevrolet Corvair convertible that has seen a partial mechanical restoration. It is located just outside of Toledo, Ohio and is listed on Craigslist for $4,000, which is how much the owner states they have invested in it. Is this air cooled, rear engine compact drop top worthy of your garage, or does it make you scream “Frunk it!”
Introduced for 1960, the Corvair was Chevrolet’s response to demand for compact cars. Facing increasing competition from VW and other imports, as well as new models from American automakers, such as the Ford Falcon and Rambler American, the Corvair intentionally broke from the norms of American auto production. With efforts led by GM’s Ed Cole, the Corvair, which was available as a coupe, sedan, wagon and convertible, as well as a truck and van, saw great success during its early run, even winning Motor Trend’s Car of the Year its first year on the market. More than 200,000 of the vehicles sold in each of its first four years on the market. However, this example comes from the second, and final generation of the Corvair.
The second gen was introduced in 1965 and more than 200,000 were produced. As 1966 rolled around the only significant changes were aesthetic, primarily the lack of a B-Pillar, as well as the introduction of four-speed synchromesh transmission. However, the introduction of the Ford Mustang and rumors of the Panther, the code name for the Camaro, led GM to end further development of the Corvair as sales slid steeply. In 1966 only 103,273 of them were built. The next year production dropped to 27,253. In 1969, the final year of the Corvair, only 6,000 were built.
The seller claims that this example was a barn find and that they have rebuilt the engine and completed some other mechanical repairs. You’ll find a new fuel system, rebuilt brakes, rewired lights and other items that add to its road-worthiness. However, it is in dire need of interior, body work, rust repair and a new top. If you’ve got the time and the skill, this could be a great deal for a flip or a great summer cruiser, no matter the speed. OK, had to.