Rare Option: 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible – Sold?

Oct 2020 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

November 10th Update – We confirmed the private seller’s listing for this nicely optioned Corvair expired with no replacement found.  We’ve reached out to the seller directly to confirm whether he sold the car or it is still available.  For now, we will assume the former.

October 5th Update – In a true sign word is getting around out about GuysWithRides.com, the seller of this very nicely optioned Corvair convertible commented below his car remains for sale.  We confirmed Bob’s statement when we came across a fresh Craigslist ad for his Corvair with the same asking price of $15,000.

September 30th Update – we confirmed the original Craigslist ad for this nicely optioned Corvair expired during the past week, so with no replacement listing found, we’re labeling this air-cooled beauty “Sold?”

While we take factory air conditioning for granted in modern cars, in the 1960s this feature remained a very expensive option. On convertible models the common belief was A/C was not needed in all but the hottest climates. An on the air-cooled Corvair, only about four percent of the 1966 cars featured the option.  An even rarer option for ’66 Corvairs was front-seat headrests as they didn’t become mandatory until the following model year. Consequently, imagine our surprise when we came across this Ermine White over bright blue 1966 Corvair Convertible equipped with both options listed recently on Craigslist in Ithaca, New York. The private seller of this well-optioned example is currently asking $15,000 or best offer and a check of the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms that falls between the #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $16,800 and the #3 “Good” estimate of $10,800. The Collector Car Market Review Online Tool provides a second data point indicating the private seller has his car priced $500 higher than the #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $14,500. 

Chevrolet introduced a thoroughly redesigned second-generation Corvair for the 1965 model year featuring nicely updated styling yet more importantly, a new fully independent coil-spring suspension that replaced the original swing axle setup Ralph Nader unfairly criticized in his book Unsafe at Any Speed. 

The 1966 lineup remained essentially unchanged from 1965 with only a few key changes. Engineers changed the steering column to a two-piece design featuring a universal joint to lessen the danger of intrusion during a front-end collision (actually a mid-1965 running change). A plastic air dam was installed below the front valence panel to conceal the front suspension and underbody, and lessen crosswind sensitivity. In front, The “lock door” emblem (covering the lockset for the trunk lock) was changed from red to blue and featured a shorter bar. At the rear, new larger taillight lenses were used featuring a thin chrome ring around the center of the light. A small yet monumental change on air-conditioned cars was a new condenser mounted in front of the engine eliminating the previous unit mounted atop the engine.  Not only did this improve heat exchange efficiency, it no longer required condensor removal for even the most basic engine service. The Corvair script nameplate was moved from atop the trunk lid to a position next to the driver’s side headlight bezel.

Unfortunately, sales began a decline as a result of Nader’s book and the fact the new Mustang offered V8s featuring up to 271 horsepower compared to the Corvair’s 180 horsepower top powertrain. Rumors of the upcoming “Panther” — the code name for the new Mustang-fighting Camaro was another nail in the Corvair’s coffin. Production for the model year was down to 103,743 and proved to be the last and arguably best year of the Corvair convertible.

Here’s a commercial from 1965 currently posted on YouTube launching the completely redesigned Corvair:

 

Not only is this a very nicely optioned Corvair in a stunning color combination, but we also love the fact the third owner has enjoyed his Monza since 2006. We like this Corvair Monza as these cars still represent a great entry-level car if you like a nice convertible for the summer that handles more like a modern car and can fit nicely in your garage.  Also, this car features the dashboard-shifted Powerglide automatic transmission if you prefer not to own your own gears.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1966 Chevrolet Corvair convertible. Ermine white with bright blue interior. 92,600 miles. Excellent condition and always garaged. I’m the third owner and purchased in 2006. Powerglide transmission. Dual carburetor. Rare factory options include AM/FM radio, AC, headrests, padded dashboard & visors, wire wheel covers, power top, and rear antenna. Firestone radial tires.

Beautiful, dependable, fun to drive. $15,000 or best offer.

Do you have a Corvair Monza story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

4 Comments
  1. Dave

    Headrests were required on US passenger cars beginning in 1969, not 1967 as stated in the text.
    Love the car, though!

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      Dave, thank you for correcting us on the year.

      Reply
  2. Analog Man

    I love Corvairs (both generations) and constantly peruse the classifieds for them. They were under-appreciated for many years though always with a core group of fans. It’s nice to see in recent years they’re getting the love they deserve.

    It’s hard for me to get excited about a Powerglide equipped Corvair. I don’t think the engine’s power output (modest torque down low, more hp higher up) is a good match for the only 2 gears (yes, *two* speeds) of the Powerglide. It would be totally fine for just cruising around, which is probably what this car would be used for. But the 4 speed is so much more fun.

    As with all Corvairs, check thoroughly and carefully for rust. Even back in the 70’s and 80’s when I used to look at used ones for sale, most were full of bondo even way back then.

    Reply
  3. Bob

    The Craigslist ad for this car is active again. (My car) – Bob

    Reply

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