SNEAKY QUICK CORVAIR, FLAT SIX, 4 SINGLE BBL CARBS, LOTS OF POP FOR THE PRICE!!
Forget all that Ralph Nader nonsense, because this 1968 Chevrolet Corvair Monza hardtop is the sporty car that GM wanted to build from the start. No spooky handling, plenty of power from the air-cooled flat six hanging out back (sound familiar?), and an interior that's got plenty of Camaro DNA running through it, all for less than the price of the smallest, most boring economy car you can buy today.
The Corvair got a bad name early on, and that was surely part of why it didn't survive, but if you read the enthusiast press of the period, they flat-out LOVED this car. By 1968, all the bugs had been worked out and the restyle a few years earlier had transformed the awkward-looking early Corvairs into a sleek, sporty coupe that wouldn't look out of place next to a Corvette or Camaro. This one was originally green, but at some point it got an appealing burgundy metallic paint job that highlights its sporty nature. Finish quality is decent, with a few flaws here and there and some signs of use, but at this price, nobody's going to complain. A chin spoiler works with a Camaro-esque ducktail spoiler on the rear deck lid to give this neat little car a very aggressive demeanor. The chrome bumpers look good, there's a bit of stainless brightwork to add some interest, and the overall look is of a car that's been properly enjoyed with many years to go.
The interior is a neat place to hang out, and the first thing you'll notice is the totally flat floors that make it feel spacious inside. Black bucket seats are not especially fancy, but they do have a handsome pattern that gives the affordable Corvair an upscale look. The wood-rimmed wheel isn't authentic but warms up the otherwise monochromatic passenger compartment a bit, and you do get a fully array of instruments, including a factory tach. A long T-handle Hurst shifter manages the 4-speed manual gearbox, which is the enthusiast's best choice in a Corvair. There's also an AM/FM/cassette stereo in the dash that sounds decent and makes this a fun car to drive every day. And unlike its German competition, there's a good-sized trunk up front, which also houses the dual-reservoir master cylinder.
The 164 cubic inch flat-six engine sits low in the chassis out back and inhales through a set of four 1-barrel carburetors to make a very sporting 140 horsepower. It starts with a characteristic wooshing of the big fan in the middle, and out on the road makes plenty of torque to have fun with some much bigger cars. Handling is the Corvair's strong suit once GM sorted out the underpinnings, and the fully independent suspension rides over bumps like a hovercraft and hangs on in corners like a sports car. Brakes are reasonably effective, particularly since the car's so light, and the twin exhaust systems give it a throaty sound that you'll enjoy when you blip the throttle. The body pans are in good order and slightly oversized Rally wheels look right and allow the use of fatter 195/75/14 front and 215/70/14 rear radials to give it a little bit of a rake.
Outfitted the way an enthusiast would want it, this neat Corvair promises fun all out of proportion with its price tag. Perhaps you should look more closely, because there's a very good reason why Corvairs are so beloved by their owners. Call today!
- AM/FM Radio
- Cassette Player
- Seatbelts (Front)
- Vinyl Interior
- Front Brakes
- Rear Brakes
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