Poor Man’s Porsche: 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder Convertible – Sold?
February 25, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Despite trying to emulate VW’s air-cooled, rear-engine economy car success with its own American interpretation, by 1963 Chevrolet Marketing realized its Corvair was viewed more as a specialty import fighter. Driving that insight was the success of the two-door Monza coupe and convertible, which was one of the few bright spots in Corvair’s extensive model range. The most desirable of all Corvairs is the 150 horsepower turbocharged Monza Spyder. A rare find is this 4-speed equipped 1963 restorable project car originally listed in January 2021 on Craigslist in West Haven, Connecticut with an asking price of $4,750. A check of the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool reveals the current ask falls well below this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $8,100. Interestingly, the Collector Car Market Review Online Valuation Tool indicates the seller’s asking price is $500 above this guide’s #4 “Fair” estimate.
In spring of 1962, Chevrolet committed itself to the sporty image they had created for the Corvair by introducing a convertible version, then offering a high-performance 150 hp turbocharged “Spyder” option for Monza coupes and convertibles, making the Corvair the second production automobile supplied with a turbocharger as a factory option, with the Oldsmobile F-85 Turbo Jetfire having been released earlier in 1962. Corvair station wagons were discontinued at that point in favor of the new Corvair Convertible and Chevy II (built at the same assembly plant). Optional equipment on all passenger cars (except wagons) included metallic brake linings and a heavy-duty suspension consisting of a front anti-roll bar, rear-axle limit straps, revised spring rates, and recalibrated shock absorbers. These provided a major handling improvement by reducing the potentially violent camber change of the rear wheels when making sharp turns at high speeds. The Turbocharged Spyder equipment group featured a multi-gauge instrument cluster which included a tachometer, cylinder head temperature, and intake manifold pressure gauges, Spyder fender script, and Turbo logo deck emblems, in addition to the high-performance engine.
We came across this video on YouTube of a very young Michael Landon pitching the ’63 Corvair Monza in his Little Joe from Gunsmoke character:
Based on the pictures provided, this Corvair appears to have good bones for an interesting restoration. Unfortunately, the seller doesn’t provide a picture of the engine, so we recommend confirming the correct turbocharged engine remains in place before committing. The peeling paint, interesting cloth seat pattern, and ET alaluminum wheels have us thinking this car received some sort of refresh in the early eighties, so be on the look out for old Bondo hiding 50-year-old sins. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Selling original 1963 Chevy Corvair Spyder convertible. This is mechanic’s special, project vehicle.
Car starts and runs, is mechanically sound, needs body work and finishing touches.
Vehicle’s interior is clean, in good shape. This is convertible with removable top.
The owner purchased the vehicle for a project, but does not have time to work on the car.
Several new parts for this car are included in the sale for free.
Price is negotiable, the owner will consider all sensible offers. Clean title.
If interested, please call Adam.
If you require more pictures, please email me. Thank you for watching.“
Do you have a Corvair Monza Spyder story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!
We had a ’65 Monza coupe when I was a teenager. 110hp with power glide.. I took it for my driver’s
test. My Dad bought it in ’69 for about $800.00.
By the way, Little Joe Cartwright was on BONANZA not Gunsmoke!
Brian – YIKES – thank you for correcting us!