Poor Paint: 1966 Corvair Monza Coupe – $6,500

by | Mar 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

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March 17, 2023, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we can now call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

If you want to check the quality of a car’s restoration, looking under the hood and trunk is an easy way to spot how well a car was prepared for a repaint.  Next, checking the materials used to restore a car’s interior can hint at how old the restoration is.  Great pictures can lead potential buyers to show interest in your classic car, however, inspecting the details mentioned earlier may detract them from purchasing. This is the case with this 1966 Corvair Monza Two-Door Hardtop, last listed in March 2023 on Craigslist in Huntsville, Texas (Austin).

First, an inspection of the “Frunk” (the front trunk on Corvairs, Porsche sports cars, and many electric vehicles) and rocker panels on this Corvair reveals a respray from black to orange.  The worn weatherstripping shows signs of bad overspray. The overspray still on the spare tire really gives us pause as that appears fresh and not twenty years old as the seller suggests of the repaint. Consequently, while the age of the poor repaint is in question, the velour-reupholstered interior ties in with a possible twenty-year-old restoration.  While cosmetically unappealing to some, the seller’s report that this Corvair could be daily driven might appeal to some looking for a vintage ride that they can actually enjoy using rather than showing.

Last offered for $6,500, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is well below the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for second-generation Chevrolet Corvairs of all body styles and power trains built between 1965 and 1969.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the truck featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $5,700 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $8,500.

Chevrolet resolved any handling criticisms of the original car when it launched the stylish second-generation Corvair model year 1965.  Now featuring true hardtop styling and a fully independent coil spring suspension, Car and Driver magazine’s David E. Davis Jr. showed enthusiasm for the 1965 Corvair in the magazine’s October 1964 issue:

“And it is here too, that we have to go on record and say that the Corvair is in our opinion—the most important new car of the entire crop of ’65 models, and the most beautiful car to appear in this country since before World War II.” “When the pictures of the ’65 Corvair arrived in our offices, the man who opened the envelope actually let out a great shout of delight and amazement on first seeing the car, and in thirty seconds the whole staff was charging around, each wanting to be the first to show somebody else, each wanting the vicarious kick of hearing that characteristic war-whoop from the first-time viewer.” “Our ardor had cooled a little by the time we got to drive the cars—then we went nuts all over again. The new rear suspension, the new softer spring rates in front, the bigger brakes, the addition of some more power, all these factors had us driving around like idiots—zooming around the handling loop dragging with each other, standing on the brakes—until we had to reluctantly turn the car over to some other impatient journalist … The ’65 Corvair is an outstanding car. It doesn’t go fast enough, but we love it.”

New refinements appeared in the 1965 redesign.  A much better heater system, larger brakes borrowed from the Chevelle, a stronger differential ring gear, a Delcotron alternator (replacing the generator), and significant chassis refinements were made. Out back, a new fully articulated rear suspension virtually eliminated the danger of the previous generation’s swing axles and was based on the contemporary Corvette Sting Ray (Corvair used coil springs while the Sting Ray uses a transverse leaf). AM/FM stereo radio, in-dash All Weather Air Conditioning, and a telescopically adjustable steering column were new options in 1965.

The 1966 lineup remained essentially unchanged from 1965.  A plastic air dam was installed below the front valence panel to conceal the front suspension and underbody, and lessen crosswind sensitivity. At the rear, new larger taillight lenses were used featuring a thin chrome ring around the center of the light. Air-conditioned cars received a new condenser that was mounted in front of the engine, eliminating the previous unit mounted atop the engine and requiring its removal for most engine services. Unfortunately, Ralph Nader’s infamous book combined with high sales of Ford’s Mustang (and thus an upcoming Camaro to compete) spelled the beginning of the end for the Corvair.

This TV commercial for the 1966 Corvair labels it “A most unusual car for people who enjoy the unusual.”

The Mac’s Motor City Garage YouTube Channel features this 1966 Chevrolet Corvair commercial:

This 1966 Corvair Monza Coupe shows signs of a dated amateur restoration, especially with the two-decade-old paint.  The car appears to have been originally black but was subsequently painted orange.  The aftermarket black velour and bright orange carpet may turn off some who prefer a stock-looking interior. Knowing the quality of the twenty-year-old respray combined with what looks like a replacement frunk floor panel placed rather than welded in, we would look hard at this Corvair’s undercarriage before moving any further.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Chevrolet’s innovative Corvair was a new type of car for the 1960s. With its flat six air-cooled motor these cars were very popular for their practicality, styling, efficiency, and fun handling! 


This 1966 Monza is a handsome example painted in bright orange paint and accented by its black velour interior. The interior is stylish and modern for its era complete with bucket front seats and a nifty dash-mounted shifter. Open the hood, and you’ll see a cavernous cargo space that rivals that of a full-size car. Walk around to the trunk, and you’ll find the engine, a 164 cubic inch flat 6-cylinder engine with new carbs, cap n rotor, wires, and plugs. These motors are highly regarded for their sturdy power delivery and unique sound.

Paired with a 2-speed automatic imagine how this Corvair can get up and go! If you’re looking for a sharp example of a 60s classic this is, the one you want to own! The body is great on this little car, it is starting to break out behind the front fenders, and the lead seam at the lower windshield columns is lifting because of poor prep but other than that everything else is rust-free. The paint is over 20 years old and has nicks and scratches, but she still looks great. Everything works, lights, gauges, wipers, horn, heater, etc. I have a new weatherstrip for the hood and trunk, just hasn’t been installed. This car runs fantastically and can be a daily driver with no problem. “Very dependable” and for the price, you can hardly buy a lifted golf cart. If you’re looking for a cheap cool little classic to drive around in, this is your car. Come take it for a test drive, you will be sold.”

Show or go: What would you do with this restored 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Coupe?  Please comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Steve

    I love the car, hate the interior!


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