Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

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adrieno
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Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by adrieno »

Hi all ! Here I am new here, my name is Adrien, I am French,
I plan to buy a Chevrolet Corvair of 1968.
It is complete and starts apparently. I would like to know if it is a good car, reliable on a daily basis?
What are the weak points of this car?

Thank you all in advance !

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erco
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Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by erco »

Hi adrieno! That's not a 1968, pretty sure it's a 1962. A Corvair's reliability depends on many things, mainly how well it's been taken care of for the last 58 years! They are fun cars, mainly collector's cars. Parts are mostly special order here in the US, probably downright rare in France. I'm going to say that this is a great hobby car, a second car for occasional use. Probably a bad choice for an only car to drive every day though, unless you LOVE Corvairs. That said, there are people all over the world who keep their Corvairs going. That car looks great, I hope it finds a good home!

66vairguy
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Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by 66vairguy »

A Corvair in France.

Corvairs were sold in Europe when new. There are some Euro clubs.

That said it would by like buying a used Citroen in the U.S.A. A fun interesting car, but probably difficult to find service or parts.

Even in the U.S.A. many "old car" mechanics won't work on a Corvair. I've had old "hobby" cars all my life and by the time I bought a Corvair I was able to learn about the "differences" and do all my own repairs. Clark's Corvair has a web site and a lot of parts - but shipping would probably be costly to Europe.

Once a Corvair is properly repaired it is reliable. Worst problem is oil leaks at the push rod tubes, but the new seals solve that issue. The oil pan can be a challenge to get sealed.

erco
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Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by erco »

Two more 'Vairs in France, from https://www.corvair1.com/owners-gallery
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flat6_musik
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Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by flat6_musik »

:goodpost:

I would not fear the reliability of a corvair. However, a calm "measured" overview of the overall condition of your corvair I think is what is needed. The engine has the potential to leak from many places and the pistons/rings may have been overheated and neglected for years.....to the point that they are out of spec as to ring sealing. Just be ready and diligent.

adrieno
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Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by adrieno »

Thank you all for your feedback !
I preferred to come to a US forum because I am passionate about the USA with my wife (we have already come 3 times)
We miss your grandiose landscapes! : D
But also to get a real fair opinion about this car.
Thank you for your points to watch,
I will keep you informed if the seller answers me to go visit it.
Hello from France ! :)

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Allan Lacki
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Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by Allan Lacki »

This may be of interest to you:

Chevrolet Corvair Club of Paris, France
91410 Dourdan
paul.dupuis-philipponnet@industrie.gouv.fr

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bbodie52
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Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by bbodie52 »

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

ImageImage

CORSA Chapter Locator
:link: https://www.corvair.org/index.php/compo ... =9&reset=0

The French CORSA club chapter info is listed below, but the Paris website no longer appears to be active.
CORSA wrote:CORSA Chapter Locator - Chevrolet Corvair Club of Paris

Country: France
State:
City: 91410 Dourdan
Street Address: Les Granges le Roi
President: Paul Dupuis
Vice President:
Secretary: Sabine Donalisio
Treasurer:
Newsletter Editor: P. Dupuis-Philipponnet
Newsletter Name: Corvair News
Website: http://corvairfrance.free.fr/index.htm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/corvairclubdefrance
Email: paul.dupuis-philipponnet@industrie.gouv.fr
Special Interest Group: No
Active Chapter: Yes
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Chevrolet Corvair Club de France
Public group · 375 members
:link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/corvairclubdefrance
Thierry Laforet updated the description.
February 20, 2014 ·
Avant de poster sur le site prenez le temps de lire la charte du groupe visible à l'adresse suivante.
http://corvairfrance.free.fr/chartecccf.pdf
Le Chevrolet Corvair Club regroupe les propriétaires et amateurs de cette voiture tous types confondus (cabriolet, coupé, berline, break) ainsi que les utilitaires et buggies équipés de cette mécanique. D'autres propriétaires d'américaines ayant possédé une Corvair par le passé côtoient ceux qui en possèdent une aujourd'hui car l'expérience n'a pas de prix ! Le Corvair club trouve sa raison d'être dans la préservation de ces voitures si marginales et, point particulièrement original, dans le rétablissement de la vérité sur leur comportement routier.
Le groupe est ouvert à tous les amateurs de Chevrolet Corvair, membres du club ou pas, possesseur de Corvair ou non.
En tant que membre vous pouvez vous aussi inviter des amis à venir faire partis de notre groupe


Before posting on the website, take the time to read the visible group charter at the following address.
http://corvairfrance.free.fr/chartecccf.pdf
The Chevrolet Corvair Club brings together the owners and lovers of this car all types (convertible, cut, sedan, break) as well as the utilities and buggies equipped with this mechanics. Other American owners who have owned a Corvair in the past meet those who own one today because the experience is priceless! The Corvair club finds its reason to be in the preservation of these cars so fringe and, particularly original, in the recovery of the truth about their road behavior.
The group is open to all Chevrolet Corvair lovers, club members or not, owner of Corvair or not.
As a member you can also invite friends to come and be part of our group
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. You will also find a list of essential Corvair parts suppliers. Clark's Corvair Parts in Shelburne Falls, MA 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

:dontknow: I would like to encourage you to expand on your earlier post and tell us more about yourself, as well as about the Corvair you are considering. Some detailed photographs of the car — including the VIN (door jamb) and Body Tag in the engine compartment — can be very helpful. If you can provide 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, your 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.

The Corvair engine design is sound and reliable enough so that they are even adapted for use in private aircraft. However, professional mechanics seem to avoid them, probably due to their motorcycle-like characteristics such as aluminum construction, air cooling, and multiple carburetors. Reliability and reduced maintenance can be improved by upgrading the distributor to eliminate the vintage ignition points system and replacing it with an electronic breakerless ignition system. http://www.corvair.com/user-cgi/catalog ... ow_page=74 The 1962 and later Corvairs had a newer distributor design that is compatible with the available electronic ignition system upgrades. Carburetor design improvements were also implemented in 1962 that carried through to the end of Corvair production in 1969, including an automatic choke system. If the Corvair 4-door sedan you are considering has a 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, they are considered to be reliable as long as the transmission fluid has been properly maintained to the correct level. Over-filling the transmission can introduce air bubbles into the oil, which can cause problems. Chronic low fluid levels can result in internal damage due to low oil pressure which causes slippage and burning of the clutches and bands. Such damage is often indicated bu discolored (dark or brown) fluid with a burned odor (on the dipstick). The vacuum modulator will usually wear out and fail over time, but is relatively easy to replace. A failed modulator is often indicated by the presence of transmission fluid in the vacuum hose.
Modulator (Modulator Valve) C876 8 oz. http://www.corvair.com/user-cgi/catalog ... w_page=135
Clark's Corvair Parts,Inc. has EXACT ORIGINAL REPRO modulator valves. Don't Settle for "Should Work" Replacements. If your modulator is more than 10 years old, you are really on borrowed time. The inner reinforced rubber diaphragm is VERY THIN (.017 - .019) and is weakened by hot PG fluid and constant flexing.
Image Powerglide Vacuum Modulator Leak

Manual transmission clutch problems commonly include loose rivets in the flywheel, which is indicated by a rattling sound while the engine is idling in NEUTRAL. Depressing the clutch pedal usually stops this rattling sound if the flywheel is loose. http://www.corvair.com/user-cgi/catalog ... w_page=108

If the steering feels sloppy or loose, this is often caused by a worn pitman arm bushing in the steering linkage (where it connects to the pitman arm at the steering box). http://www.corvair.com/user-cgi/catalog ... w_page=156

Front-end clunking might also be a badly worn ball joint. I've read that this could be related to a loose lower control arm issue, as in loose or worn bushings or ball joints that are shifting position with acceleration and deceleration. The pitman arm bushing can also rot and leave a lot of slop in the steering connection between the steering box pitman arm connection and the steering linkage.
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Problems with the external lighting can be caused by a poor grounding of the light socket.

Try to examine the car carefully. Maintenance is often a process of self-teaching and Do-it-Yourself as a hobby, but replacement parts - even the oil filter - may be impossible to find at normal automotive parts outlets. Almost all of your parts needs may have to be ordered from the United States, which I understand can be an expensive process in Europe. Shop manuals and other maintenance guides and books can often be downloaded via the Internet at no cost. viewtopic.php?f=225&t=6007 Web sites like the Corvair Forum can also be of great help as you learn to maintain and work on your Corvair. Of course, metric tools will be of no use on the Corvair. You will need a set of American wrenches and sockets.

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

joelsplace
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Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by joelsplace »

Once you have all the old car bugs worked out they are extremely reliable. I would say as reliable as a new car but with higher maintenance due to carburetors and points if you keep them. I don't hesitate to take mine on trips several hours long and lots of people drive them across country to the conventions. Most of the issues come from not being driven. Bad fuel, rotten tires etc.
I drove a '63 convertible as my daily driver for years and ran it full throttle for 30 minutes straight back and forth to work for years with no issues.
The turbo cars are the only ones you can't drive like that because they will overheat.
Don't forget to run 10psi less pressure in the front tires.
And yes, that is a 1962 from all the external indicators. The first digit of the serial number will tell you the year on the early models so it will be a 2.
I took my Lakewood on a 130 mile trip Thursday and I didn't check anything but the fuel before leaving.
114 Corvairs, 5 Ultravans and counting
Northlake, TX

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bbodie52
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Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by bbodie52 »

:goodpost:

I agree 100% about Corvair reliability if the car is maintained regularly and driven regularly. A 1965 Corvair Corsa convertible was our primary family car from 1973 and well into the 1980's while i served all over the world in the Air Force. Fully loaded with the wife and two children, we drove the Corvair coast to coast across the USA several times, used it on long vacation trips up lengthy mountain roads to Lake Tahoe, California, and drove it all over Germany while stationed at Ramstein Air Base (Kaiserslautern, Germany) from 1980-1983. On our last cross-country trip in a Corvair Corsa (140 hp, 4x1 carburetors), we drove from Los Angeles, California to Lake Tahoe, California, and then across the USA to New Jersey to ship the car to Germany. Upon our return several years later, I drove the Corvair from Kaiserslautern to Bremerhaven, Germany to ship it to the USA. We flew back to New Jersey, picked up the Corvair at the port, and drove it south to Georgia, and then west (in the middle of hot summer weather) to California over a three day period — a total of 3,254 miles (5,237 km) without any mechanical problems at all! The family got very hot that summer without air conditioning (especially when crossing the hot Arizona and Southern California desert), but the Corvair handled the long daily drives with a full load of passengers and cargo with no problems!

Of course, the Corvairs are even older now, and much depends on the quality of maintenance each Corvair receives. But a Corvair can serve you well.

Below is some material I wrote in the past that may be helpful...

The initial cost for purchase is relatively low — not really inflated by popular demand as with Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs, and other classic performance cars from the 1960s and 1970s. Labor cost is relatively high, if you don't do your own work. Depending on were you live, qualified mechanics to perform mechanical labor on a Corvair may be difficult or nearly impossible to find. If you are willing to learn to perform much of your own maintenance, the cost of ownership is very reasonable — excellent if you start with a well-maintained or restored Corvair. It is usually much cheaper to pay a little more up-front for a well-maintained car in good to excellent condition. Parts suppliers like Clark's Corvair Parts make most non-body repairs economical and possible. Many Corvairs — especially from northern-tier states — may suffer from severe road salt damage that can be very expensive to nearly impossible to overcome.

I have a long history with Corvairs. My parents bought their first new family Corvair in 1961, and an upgrade to a 1965 Corvair Corsa convertible in 1965. I rebuilt my first Corvair engine as a self-taught DIY "Shade-tree Mechanic" during my high school summer vacation in 1969, and over the years we have had 10 Corvairs pass through our ownership, with our current Corvair a 1966 Corsa convertible (similar to the 1965 Corsa that remained with me and my family for around 30 years).

With that background in mind, here is some material that I wrote that may help to answer your questions...


Owning a classic 50+ year old Corvair could be a nightmare if you make a poor selection. Do you know how to work on classic cars or maintain them? Corvair-qualified mechanics are rare. What kind of budget do you have for this car? If you don't spend enough or select the car carefully, you are likely buying a project car that a hobbyist might purchase for a restoration project. Most Corvairs might be classified as temperamental. They are over 50 years old, and old technology. They require work to keep them on the road, and a maintenance budget. It is not like buying a modern new car.

If the owner/driver learns how to maintain the Corvair, reliability will increase. The possibility of a quick diagnosis as problems develop is also possible as knowledge increases. I have driven our Corvairs all over the USA, from coast to coast and in Germany while we were stationed there with the Air Force. One or more Corvairs have consistently been family transportation for most of my lifetime. There is no reason that your 1964 Corvair (which looks to be in very good condition) cannot be considered to be reliable transportation — if your family makes it that way. But it is not a modern new car with all of the latest technologies. It must be maintained and serviced regularly by an owner who appreciates, understands, and takes pride in its condition.

I would recommend reading through the following material, and then carefully consider your skills, abilities and needs. Owning a classic car takes a certain amount of pride in ownership that will give the owner/driver a sense of confidence in driving a classic car that reflects the certainty that comes from really knowing the car.


Please look over the following comments that I wrote some time ago, and see if they might help you with your plans to own a Corvair. You may have already seen these comments and suggestions, but if not, I hope they are helpful...
As a new prospective future owner of a Corvair, I will try to answer a few of your questions directly, and will also provide some material that I wrote in the past to others who were also considering purchasing their first Corvair. My family purchased our first Corvair in 1961 when I was eight years old. My parents bought a brand-new 1961 Corvair Monza four-speed manual transmission coupe. In 1965 they sold the first Corvair and purchased a new 1965 Corvair Corsa convertible (140 hp 4×1 carburetor engine with four-speed transmission). At age 66, it must be painfully obvious that I like these cars, since my wife and I continue to drive a 1966 Corvair Corsa convertible with the same engine and transmission that my parents had in their 1965 Corvair many decades ago.

I have driven Corvairs all over the United States and in Europe as well. During my 24 year career in the Air Force I took two Corvairs with me when we were transferred to an assignment near Ramstein Air Base, in Kaiserslautern, West Germany. These Corvairs easily transported my wife and two children along with me to assignments all over the United States. They were our primary transportation for most of the 24 years that I was in the Air Force. They also did quite well on the German autobahn during my three year assignment in Europe.

To give you some idea of my confidence in driving Corvairs, I purchased our current 1966 Corvair Corsa convertible from a classic car dealer in Lakeland Florida. My wife and I purchased this car in 2012 for our 40th wedding anniversary. I spotted the car on eBay and negotiated the purchase over the phone. Trusting that the car would have no problems with a return trip, I purchased a bus ticket from Atlanta to Lakeland Florida, completed the transaction, and drove the car 565 miles back to our home in North Carolina. The Corvair attracted a lot of attention at practically every gas stop and fast food restaurant that I stopped at on the return trip. I was also the recipient of many smiles and thumbs-up signs at intersections while I waited for the light to change! People seem to like Corvairs, and my new convertible always seemed to attract attention in the parking lot as a crowd of curiosity lookers would gather around the car while asking many questions and telling me stories about their memories of having a family Corvair in their younger days. I can't guarantee that you will always be able to drive a Corvair over long distances without mechanical problems. These Corvairs are more than 50 years old, after all. But if you take the time to learn to maintain your Corvair properly and develop the DIY skills needed to take care of your Corvair, you can probably count on some pretty good results.

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. 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.

Common and Useful Corvair Websites

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


I wrote the following material some years ago to answer similar questions from other potential new Corvair owners...
bbodie52 wrote:Thanks. I hope my previous comments were helpful. Your comments seem to reflect interest but also uncertainty. I have worked with a number of first-time Corvair buyers in Europe who were considering a purchase of a car from USA sources (to provide a greater range of cars to consider), while knowing that such a effort would make it impossible for them to test drive or personally evaluate the car before purchasing and shipping it. Your circumstances are somewhat similar. They contacted local experienced Corvair owners and aficionados through this Corvair Forum and through local CORSA clubs, and they often found sympathetic club members who were willing to help as local "third party" volunteer assistants.

There is much to consider, and the material below is something I wrote some years ago to try to help the first-time Corvair buyer. Corvairs can be found from sources throughout the United States and Canada. I hope you will find these comments to be useful...


:chevy: The Corvairs are vintage 1960s technology and design — easy to learn and easy to maintain. I would say that learning to work on a Corvair is analogous to an experienced home DIY "shade tree" car mechanic learning to work on a motorcycle. The concepts and procedures are very similar, but the details and the way it is put together is a little different. With the Corvair engine (like a motorcycle) you are dealing with a lot of aluminum. The metal is soft when compared to steel and cast iron, so the use of a torque wrench, anti-seize compound and carefully avoiding cross-threading becomes more important. Also, (like some motorcycles) you are dealing with multiple carburetors so tuning procedures are a little different. The use of Corvair shop manuals and supplements, other technical guides, and information sources like the Corvair Forum, and perhaps joining a CORSA (Corvair Society of America) club chapter can help you to quickly learn about Corvairs. Information resources, like good Corvair parts suppliers, are plentiful if you know where to look. Suppliers like Clark's Corvair Parts have been well-respected and extremely supportive since 1973, and suppliers like that make Corvair ownership more practical and much-more possible. I taught myself how to remove a Corvair powertrain, overhaul the engine, and rebuild the Powerglide transmission during my summer vacation in 1969, when I was sixteen years old. I was working alone (my father had been transferred by Lockheed from northern California to southern California, and we had not yet moved to join him). I had a shop manual and a garage full of tools. There was no Internet, no Corvair Forum, no CORSA club — I was pretty-much on my own. Yet I learned and was successful (in 1972 that engine carried me and my new bride on our wedding day and on our honeymoon).

So you should be able to master working on Corvairs without too much trouble — except watch out for rust and body rot! The Corvair is of unibody construction, so most body repair involves cutting and welding. The doors, trunk lid (in the front) :tongue: , and engine compartment lid (in the back) ::-): and maybe the gas filler door are the only bolt-on body components. Everything else is cut and weld, and the body serves as the main chassis frame. So unless you are a master body repair technician, you need to select your Corvair carefully and avoid excessive hidden rust or a "Bondo bucket". The door frame areas, fenders, floor pan, the bottom of the trunk, lower windshield and battery area often rust and rot.

What follows is an attempt at introducing new prospective Corvair Owners to Corvairs and some of the issues involved. Food for thought, before you take the plunge. This is a copy of something I wrote earlier, but I think it may be helpful in your quest for the "right" Corvair...
bbodie52 wrote:I will try to provide a quick summary of the 1960-1969 Corvair lineup, and will also try to provide some answers regarding the use of a Corvair as a "daily driver".

EARLY MODEL: 1960 - 1964 Corvairs were the first generation. Their body style emulated other Chevrolet body styles from the early 1960s. The rear suspension was a swing-axle design that was similar to the Volkswagen "Beetle". The 1960 model year was the only year with a 140 cubic inch engine, and there were some characteristics that were unique to that model year only. A number of refinements were implemented in the following year, including some restyling of the front end and an increase in displacement to 145 cubic inches (CI). A manual choke was used in 1961, and this was changed to an automatic choke design in 1962 that remained with the car through 1969. A turbocharged 150 hp Spyder was introduced in 1962, and the Spyder name remained with the turbocharged engine through 1964. In 1964 the engine displacement in all Corvair engines increased from 145 CI to 164 CI. There were also some suspension refinements, including a front anti-sway bar and a rear transverse leaf spring to improve handling in all 1964 Corvairs. Here are a few pictures of Early Model (EM) 1960-1964 Corvairs...

Image 1963 Monza Coupe

Image 1964 Monza Convertible

Image 1962 Lakewood Station Wagon

Image 1963 Monza Interior

Image
1964 Corvair Engine Compartment

Image Corvair Rampside Truck

Image Corvair Greenbrier Van

Image Van/Truck Interior

LATE MODEL:The 1965 Corvair introduced a completely new body style, that was also seen later in similar styles in the Camaro and Pontiac Firebird. The drum brake size was increased, and the swing-axle rear suspension design used in EM Corvairs was abandoned. The new rear suspension was a design lifted from the Corvette Stingray.

1965 and 1966 Corvairs were nearly identical. In 1967-69 the top of the line Corsa was dropped, leaving the Monza and economy 500 until production was discontinued in the spring of 1969. During the 1967-69 production period, there were minor safety changes, such as a dual master brake cylinder in place of the single unit used in 1960-1966. Interior seats and trim changed somewhat, paralleling the items used in Camaros and some other GM products during that period.

All 1965-66 Corsas came with a standard 4-carburetor 140 hp engine, and an optional 180 hp turbocharged engine. The 140 hp engine remained optional in the rest of the lineup. Other engine options in the Monza and 500 were 110 hp and 95 hp dual carburetor engines. All engines could be had with a manual 4-speed or 3-speed transmission, or with a 2-speed Powerglide automatic (with the exception of the 1965-66 turbocharged 180 hp engine, which was available with the Corsa only, and only with a 4-speed manual transmission).

Air conditioning was a rare option, but can be found in the 1965-1967 lineup, and some of the EM Corvairs as well. The following link will provide you with some air conditioned Corvair background and history...
:link: http://www.corvair.org/chapters/airvairs/

The brakes, front and rear suspension, transaxle and body were essentially identical in the Corsa, Monza, and 500. The primary differences in the cars were the instrument panel (the Corsa had more gauges), trim details, and the engine option.

The late model Corvairs were available in a 2-door Coupe, 2-door Convertible, and 4-door Sedan. In 1968, the four-door hardtop was discontinued, leaving three models—the 500 and Monza Hardtop Coupes and the Monza Convertible. Air conditioning was dropped as an option. The weight of the cars was very similar in all configurations.

Image
1965 Corvair Corsa Coupe
Image


Image
1965 Corvair Corsa Convertible

Image
1965 Corvair Monza 4-Door Sedan

ImageImage
Corsa Interior (Top) / Monza Interior (Bottom)

Image
140 hp 164 CI 4x1 Carburetor Engine (1965-1969)

Image



Corvairs can suffer from rust and body rot problems, especially in areas that use a lot of road salt in the wintertime. While you may be able to learn and successfully attack most mechanical issues as a DIY effort, body decay can be much-more difficult, time-consuming, intimidating, and expensive to correct. So look for hidden rust or rot problems that may have been covered up with plastic filler, and be cautious in your Corvair selection.

A Corvair can serve well as a daily driver. But I would recommend a backup car or other alternatives, since ANY breakdown can put the car out of service for days until replacement parts can be obtained (if needed). If you have the skills and ability to work on the car yourself, repairs can often be completed fairly quickly. But if you have to rely on professional mechanics, downtime can be long and possibly expensive — if you can find a good mechanic to do the work for you.
bbodie52 wrote:Here is something I wrote over a year ago — Brad's Admonition, or some words of advice — based on over 50 years of exposure to Corvair ownership — that I wrote to try to give new Corvair buyers some idea of the issues involved. I'm sure you have some idea already, but I also think this is worth considering...

Since you are new to Corvairs, I want to give you some information that I have written to other new prospective first-time Corvair owners. I have been involved with Corvairs since I was eight years old, when my parents bought our first Corvair – a brand new 1961 Monza 2-door coupe, white on red with a 4-speed transmission. I now own Corvair number ten, which I purchased in June 2012. (If you want to read a brief personal biography that outlines my family background and our experiences with Corvairs, go to CORVAIR FORUM > Introductions > New from Lake Chatuge North Carolina. viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4032 ) I want to encourage your enthusiasm in developing your plans to buy your first Corvair, but at the same time I want to help you to think through just what you are getting into. So please read and consider these comments below...

I have listened to many potential Corvair first-time owners. Many have no prior experience with owning any classic car, and many have never driven a Corvair at all, or have not driven one in decades. Some are motivated by childhood memories of a family Corvair. They typically describe the desire to locate a perfect, restored, ultra-clean example, and look to the Corvair Forum Corvair enthusiasts and aficionados to tell them what to do.

The first thing I think that needs to be done is to try to set-aside the usual emotion-based enthusiasm that any car buyer might feel when visiting a dealer and gazing with emotional eagerness at the vast array of new cars displayed in the showroom, on the car lot, and in factory brochures and advertisements. There is an extreme difference between owning a 50+ year-old Chevrolet that was likely engineered, designed and built with pre-planned obsolescence in mind — a car that GM only envisioned having a life-span of ten years or so. Many of the potential Corvair buyers are captivated with the exciting idea of owning something different — something not normally seen on the road — something that your neighbor will not buy! Certainly that is the case with a Corvair, but owning a Corvair and enjoying that ownership demands a certain dose of reality before you "buy-in". Many are unprepared for the maintenance and upkeep demands of a Corvair. "Where can I find a good Corvair mechanic?" is a common question — often displaying an inability or unwillingness to do some mechanical work and maintain that car yourself. Yet qualified Corvair mechanics can be distant, expensive, inconvenient, and all-too rare. At a time when finding even a spark plug, fan belt, or oil filter for a Corvair often means an Internet or mail-order purchase, finding local support may be unlikely or impossible. Even searching automobile junk yards will often not help, because these cars are so rare and infrequently found that they have all but disappeared from the scrap yards too. Even locating and buying a used part is a mail-order proposition. And even if you spend $15,000-$20,000 for a fully-restored Corvair in mint condition, it still comes "as-is", with no warranty and little in the way of a local support system — far different than what most car buyers are used to expecting! These are the realities of owning an older classic car.

Corvairs are popular and affordable classic cars, and enjoy a good infrastructure of maintenance supporters, owner's clubs, and parts suppliers — and that REALLY helps! But I suspect that most happy Corvair owners are something of "shade-tree mechanics" and hobbyists who are prepared to deal with the risks and problems related to Corvair ownership. It requires a long-term commitment and a dose of reality to happily own a classic Corvair. The "first date" infatuation with the attractiveness and uniqueness of a Corvair will not sustain you in a long-term relationship with a Corvair. It is far-better to have a realistic idea of just what you are getting into before you "take the plunge" and buy your dream car.

A cautious, knowledgeable and educated search for your dream Corvair is a great start, and a careful and realistic analysis of your own mechanical talents, skills and abilities is also useful. If you plan to have a mechanic do most of the work for you, the availability of a Corvair-skilled mechanic and the associated costs involved must be taken into account in your financial planning to own a Corvair.

I try to not be too negative, but I have worked with others who came to realize that Corvair ownership was more than they could handle. I just feel that new prospective Corvair owners come here to this forum to learn from others who have more experience, and we are not doing them any favors by "candy coating" the issues involved. If they pass the "sanity check" and still want to pursue buying a Corvair, then GREAT! This Forum and perhaps some local Corvair club members can potentially help them pursue that dream. But it should be a realistic dream, and not a frustrating "nightmare" experience. Better to make a clear-headed, informed decision early in the game!

I hope that these comments are useful to you. I know I get "long-winded", but I also know you are trying to make an important decision, and I hope all of these comments will help you.
Corvairs can suffer from rust and body rot problems, especially in areas that use a lot of road salt in the wintertime. While you may be able to learn and successfully attack most mechanical issues as a DIY effort, body decay can be much-more difficult, time-consuming, intimidating, and expensive to correct. So look for hidden rust or rot problems that may have been covered up with plastic filler, and be cautious in your Corvair selection.

A Corvair can serve well as a daily driver. But I would recommend a backup car or other alternatives, since ANY breakdown can put the car out of service for days until replacement parts can be obtained (if needed). If you have the skills and ability to work on the car yourself, repairs can often be completed fairly quickly. But if you have to rely on professional mechanics, downtime can be long and possibly expensive — if you can find a good mechanic to do the work for you.
Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
Image 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible

erco
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:45 pm

Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by erco »

No one here will say "Don't buy that Corvair". But I'll wager that no one in this forum has a single Corvair as their only car. It's a hobby we love. A Corvair is a car guy's car and likely a poor choice if you expect to be a carefree, turnkey daily driver, especially in France. At some point, something on this 58 year old car will break, and getting parts & service will be a time-consuming challenge. Get a Corvair AND a cheap Honda.

66vairguy
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Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by 66vairguy »

erco wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:03 pm
No one here will say "Don't buy that Corvair". But I'll wager that no one in this forum has a single Corvair as their only car. It's a hobby we love. A Corvair is a car guy's car and likely a poor choice if you expect to be a carefree, turnkey daily driver, especially in France. At some point, something on this 58 year old car will break, and getting parts & service will be a time-consuming challenge. Get a Corvair AND a cheap Honda.
Good comment. A "hobby" car is something to enjoy and appreciate in spite of its shortcomings. That why clubs are important to help folks keep their hobby cars on the road. A good comparison would be old English sports cars. Fun and different, and for those reasons you tolerate the less than great reliability and DO NOT expect them to be trouble free as modern cars. Rarely do you end up "fixing up" and old car without putting more into it than it is worth. If you are not mechanically inclined find a car to buy that someone has put a lot of money into and is ready to go with few issues. It will probably be less expensive.

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terribleted
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Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by terribleted »

66vairguy wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:39 am
erco wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:03 pm
No one here will say "Don't buy that Corvair". But I'll wager that no one in this forum has a single Corvair as their only car. It's a hobby we love. A Corvair is a car guy's car and likely a poor choice if you expect to be a carefree, turnkey daily driver, especially in France. At some point, something on this 58 year old car will break, and getting parts & service will be a time-consuming challenge. Get a Corvair AND a cheap Honda.
Good comment. A "hobby" car is something to enjoy and appreciate in spite of its shortcomings. That why clubs are important to help folks keep their hobby cars on the road. A good comparison would be old English sports cars. Fun and different, and for those reasons you tolerate the less than great reliability and DO NOT expect them to be trouble free as modern cars. Rarely do you end up "fixing up" and old car without putting more into it than it is worth. If you are not mechanically inclined find a car to buy that someone has put a lot of money into and is ready to go with few issues. It will probably be less expensive.
Yes as they get older they become less viable as a "must go every day" car. Parts become harder to find and downtime waiting for parts can be an issue as well as finding someone to work on them if you are not capable yourself. They are as reliable as any car of their era and. If everything is new or as new they will perform like when they were new. If everything is old worn out and not maintained....well enough said:)
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
Currently working full time repairing Corvairs and restoring old cars.
https://www.facebook.com/tedsautorestoration/

Located in Snellville, Georgia

adrieno
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:03 pm

Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by adrieno »

Hi all ! thank you for all your information and advice!

Regarding vintage cars, I have a few (Peugeot 205 gti, Peugeot 104 ZR, Renault 4L, Toyota land cruiser)
And I already have an old car every day (Peugeot 205 GR)
my stepfather has a car lift, so I could work above and below!
I tell you if I buy the car :)

In any case, thank you all for your sympathy!

erco
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:45 pm

Re: Reliability of a Corvair ? ( Fr )

Post by erco »

Perfect, adrieno! You are in the right place. I hope you get that car and enjoy it!

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