WTB Late Model Convertible

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Medic
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:20 pm

WTB Late Model Convertible

Unread post by Medic » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:32 am

Hi there,

I've been wanting to purchase a LM convertible for decades, and I'm now in a position to do so. Below is what I'm looking for. If you know of any such car that is for sale, please let me know. Thank you very much!

LM Convertible
140hp
4sp
Preferably in the Southwest or West Coast. Willing to travel for the right car.
Not looking for a concourse correct car, I want a driver. I'm not looking for a race car, but performance modifications are fine (suspension, wheels, tires...)
Do NOT want a car that requires body work.
Looking to spend around $10k, may go up for the right car.

Thanks again!

Brett
Glendale AZ

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bbodie52
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Re: WTB Late Model Convertible

Unread post by bbodie52 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:17 am

:welcome2: :wave: Welcome to the Corvair Forum!

I have been around Corvairs since I was eight years old, in 1961, when my parents bought their first Corvair. They later upgraded to a 1965 Corsa convertible, and I learned to drive in that car and took my first drivers test in that convertible. When I was 20 years old I joined the Air Force, and upon completing tech school in 1973 my parents gave me the 1965 Corsa convertible that had been in the family since 1965. My wife and I drove it for many years and took it all over the country and to Germany with us when we were stationed there. It changed colors several times, from a light mist blue to a dark green, and then finally I had it painted red. Here's a picture of it just before we shipped it to Germany from our assignment in Massachusetts…

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I made the mistake of selling the 1965 Corvair Corsa when I retired from the Air Force and transitioned back to civilian life after 24 years in 1996. I have regretted selling that car, but what is done, is done! In 2012 my wife and I treated ourselves to a 1966 Corsa convertible as we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary…

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You will have to decide, based on your assessment of your own mechanical skills, how much restoration work you are willing and capable of tackling yourself. Anything that has to be done by a professional body shop or professional mechanic will likely add a great deal of expense to the total cost of your purchase. While spending more money up front does not guarantee that you will get a better car to start out with, the added cost of an initial purchase or of adding the cost of transportation to bring the car from a distant location might ultimately save you money. There is also the possibility of asking Corvair Forum members or members of CORSA to help you to evaluate cars that you would be considering that are too far away for you to personally examine prior to purchase. Many Corvair buyers in Europe for example have taken a similar approach in asking for help and advice from Corvair enthusiasts around the United States as they work through the process of finding and locating candidates that look good from listings on the Internet. Some of these candidates turn out to be a poor choice when they are actually evaluated by a third-party Corvair aficionado. Others turned out to be a great find that ultimately was packed up and shipped all the way to Europe! The key is to find the best car you can for the available money, to utilize assistance from within the Corvair community when making the final decision, and to not cut corners when spending money to buy or transport the vehicle of your dreams to your home. Overestimating your ability to restore a substandard car might be false economy that will haunt you in the end as you struggle to bring the car up to the standards of being a safe and drivable vehicle.

If you happen to come across a very nice convertible that perhaps is not a perfect match for your wish list, you may find that accepting some compromises will help you to locate a car that is nearly perfect for your needs. For example, if you find the Corvair convertible that is a 110 hp, two carburetor Monza four speed, you might consider accepting something it is slightly less than a Corsa. Some Monzas are equipped with a 140 hp four carburetor engine, and really differ only from the Corsa because they lack a Corsa instrument panel and Corsa trim. The suspension, brakes, powertrain, body and interior are essentially the same as the Corsa. It is even possible to do an easy upgrade and create what essentially is a Corsa clone by simply installing a Corsa instrument panel, and perhaps some Corsa trim. 110 hp and 140 hp engines are nearly identical, with the exception of the cylinder heads. The bottom end and camshaft are the same, and it is quite easy to install 140 hp cylinder heads, if you want the extra top-end performance. But I suspect that most 140 hp engines spend about 90% of their life operating on only the two primary carburetors. The difference in the two engines only becomes apparent if you drive the car hard enough to open the secondary carburetors and take advantage of the big valves and dual exhaust. I am considering upgrading my 140 hp engine by eliminating the four carburetors and replacing them with a electronic fuel injection system that operates using only two throttle bodies. That system also includes a distributorless electronic ignition system. For me, the added reliability and drivability of the Corvair engine that is breathing through electronic fuel injection throttle bodies and operates with no distributor is a plus that I want to take advantage of. I believe the airflow capacity of the EFI throttle bodies is greater than a pair of Rochester carburetors, so the overall performance should be quite good when breathing through the 140 hp cylinder heads and equipped with a dual exhaust. My wife and I hope to do some extensive traveling in that Corvair, and the improved reliability and stability of the Corvair engine with a modern GM electronic fuel injection and distributorless ignition system has a great deal of appeal to me at age 64.

So as you search for your dream Corvair convertible, don't completely disregard Monza convertibles. If you come across a very clean, rust free convertible with a good top, good interior, etc. consider how close it really is to a Corsa convertible in performance and handling, and consider the overall condition of the car and how much closer you can bring it to your dream car was a little custom upgrade work. Tailoring it to your needs and desires can be part of the fun of ownership — especially if you start out with a very clean base car.

Here are a couple of Internet resources that you might check out to see if you can locate any promising Corvairs that would interest you…

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:link: http://www.corvair.com/user-cgi/pages.c ... =buyorsell

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:link: https://www.corvair.org/go-shopping

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:link: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... sacat=6001

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:link: https://classics.autotrader.com/classic ... search-bar

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:link: https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/ca ... et/corvair

Good luck with your search. If you have any questions about any specific cars that you are considering, I hope you will look to the Corvair Forum for advice.

The link below will provide you with a list of useful websites that are Corvair-related. Some of the links will lead you to an extensive technical library that will allow you to download shop manuals and other technical references in Adobe Reader format at no cost. There is also a link that will help you to locate nearby CORSA (Corvair Society of America) club chapters. (I believe you can find excellent CORSA club chapters in both Phoenix and Tucson). While the Corvair Forum can be very helpful as you work on your Corvair, having local friends and contacts in your region who are knowledgeable about the Corvair can also be very helpful. These family-friendly CORSA chapters often offer picnics, group scenic drives, technical training and assistance, car shows, and competition events that can greatly enhance your enjoyment of Corvair ownership. You will also find a list of essential Corvair parts suppliers. Clark's Corvair Parts is the biggest and oldest Corvair supplier in the world. You will find a link that can provide you with a series of videos that amount to a tour of the Clark's Corvair Parts facilities. I think you will be amazed at the quality of the reproduction components they offer — particularly the interior carpeting and re-upholstery items. Parts suppliers such as this truly make our Corvair hobby possible.

Common and Useful Corvair Websites

:link: viewtopic.php?f=225&t=6007

There is a well-established CORSA (Corvair Society of America) club chapter in Phoenix, and another in Tucson. Joining one of them and socializing with other like-minded Corvair aficionados can be a big plus in your Corvair hobby. Websites like the Corvair Forum are great, but face-to-face contact with local Corvair owners can be very helpful too, and can make your hobby much-more enjoyable.

Here is some contact information...
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CORSA Chapter Locator - Cactus Corvair Club
Chapter ID: 850
Organization Name: Cactus Corvair Club
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Club mailing address
Cactus Corvair Club
c/o Treas. Joe Lewis
5811 W Park Ave
CHANDLER AZ 85226
PRESIDENT: David Dean 480-251-7177 dr.dean@cox.net​​
VICE PRESIDENT: Jim Johnson 480-495-2836
Newsletter Name: Fanbelt Flyer
Sample Newsletter:
Phoenix Fanbelt Flyer May 2017.pdf
Phoenix Fanbelt Flyer May 2017
(2.29 MiB) Downloaded 1 time
Website: http://www.cactuscorvairclub.com
We are the oldest continually active Corvair club in existence. Upon receiving a letter from Lou Grubb, general manager at Rudolph Chevrolet (now Lou Grubb Chevrolet), requesting all Corvair owners to form a club that would be sponsored by Chevrolet, the wheels were put into motion. At a lavish dinner meeting on October 2, 1963, 48 enthusiastic members approved a constitution chartering them as the "Cactus Corvair Club," and officers were installed with all the pomp and circumstance. For a number of years it was an uphill struggle as the other sports-car clubs in our Valley of the Sun were not quite sure this rear-engined gadget was a sports car, but as the club acquired a little polish and attempted greater and better events, we also acquired an excellent reputation as a sports-car club. As the appreciation and respect for the Corvair have grown over the years, car shows have become a big part of our yearly activities. Many shopping malls and parade organizers expect us to be regular participants in their annual displays and parades. In March of 1979, Cactus Corvair Club sponsored and presented the first annual All Chevy Day. This is the day for all Chevy enthusiasts to throw aside model preferences and just picnic, chat, and enjoy each other's cars and company. Attendance has doubled every year and now draws hundreds of old and new Chevys of all descriptions, making it one of the most popular annual car shows in the state of Arizona. Due to the closing of Lou Grubb Chevrolet / Power Chevrolet, the Cactus Corvair Club has moved to Thorobred Chevrolet in Chandler.

Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month (except for June, July and August when the club does not meet)
Location is at Earnhardt Chevrolet 2121 N. Arizona Ave - Chandler AZ 85225
Meetings start at 7PM. Driving a Corvair is encouraged but not required.
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CORSA Chapter Locator - Tucson Corvair Association
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Chapter ID: 857
Organization Name: Tucson Corvair Association
Street Address (Primary): 4842 W Paseo De Las Colinas, Tucson, AZ 85745
President: Dave Lynch, Phone: 861-4348, eMail: v_2davl@hotmail.com
Vice President: Mike Lake, Phone: 979-0310, eMail: msl56@q.com
Treasurer: Allen Elvick, Phone: 883-4337, eMail: amelvick@peoplepc.com

Newsletter Name: Corvairsation
Sample Newsletter:
Tucson Corvairsation - August 2017.pdf
Tucson Corvairsation - August 2017
(1.02 MiB) Downloaded 1 time
Website: http://www.corvairs.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TucsonCorvair/?ref=profile

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:dontknow: I would like to encourage you to expand on your initial post and tell us more about yourself. If you can describe your personal assessment of your mechanical skills and abilities, that would help a lot. Members of the Corvair Forum love to be helpful in assisting other Corvair owners with technical support and advice, but it helps a lot if we have some understanding of your technical background and mechanical abilities, Corvair-related knowledge, etc. Helping us to know more about you will help us to write comments to you that are tailored to your needs and experience. Knowing your location is also useful, because knowing where you live can sometimes suggest possibilities.

:welcome:
Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
Image 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible

Medic
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:20 pm

Re: WTB Late Model Convertible

Unread post by Medic » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:47 pm

Thank you for the response Brad. Since you asked:

When I was 14-16 years old, my grandparents had a light blue Corvair convertible, white interior with a PG. Fell in love with the car and desperately wanted to buy it as my first car, but was denied when my grandfather traded it in for a Chevy Corsica in the early 90's. Never did understand the motivation there.

As far as mechanical abilities, I'm comfortable doing a a majority of basic mechanical work. Dropping motors, taking care of suspension, fuel, brake systems etc is fine. I do not have, nor do I have a desire to learn paint and body work.

I have been a Jeep guy my entire life, and am in the final steps of building a custom 1970 Jeepster Commando. I do not want another large project. I want my Corvair to be a fun driver that I can maintain, tinker with or upgrade as time, necessity and desire dictate.

I have surfed most of the websites you have mentioned, and have been in contact with my local club, Cactus Corvair club, who have been very helpful. And I am not looking specifically for a Corsa, I would be happy with the 140hp and 4sp combo in a Monza. I have no desire for a low mileage, high optioned, rare 1969 convertible or numbers matching Stinger. I want something I can drive and enjoy.

As mentioned, I live in Arizona, but am willing to travel to find the right car. I nearly purchased a very nice 65 Monza in Seattle with plans to drive it back to AZ, but it sold before I had a chance to snatch it up.

Thanks again for the response, I hope this helps!

Brett

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