When five grand is burning a hole in your pocket and you want to be able to hit the road in short order, generally speaking, hunting down a fifty-ish year old car isn’t your best bet. For five thousand dollars, if it’s not a family deal, the chances are good that it’s not going anywhere until you save up at least a few hundred more bucks to fix whatever the major issue is that has kept the car from the road for however long you are looking at. It sucks, but it’s reality, right? Where are you going to find something from the Sixties that has the looks you want, the lines, and can still be considered roadworthy in the mega-auction age?
Don’t be discouraged if your heart is set on the era. You aren’t going to have much luck finding a first-gen Mustang or a clean Skylark for that kind of coin, but a little hunting and pecking goes a long way towards a machine that doesn’t need much to be absolutely bitchin’. Take this 1965 Corvair Monza four-door. We dug this up in western Washington and it strikes quite a few solid notes. First and foremost, it’s titled and licensed, ready to go. Second, if you can get past the crew-cab deal, the Corvair is still a looker. (We tend to like the 1965-69 shape a little bit better than the more upright and formal 1960-64 version.) A set of decently-sized Chevrolet Rally wheels looks great, and we can ignore the flat black trunklid for the price. The interior looks great, and the stereo system has been upgraded to accept Bluetooth without sacrificing the classic look. In fact, the only thing we aren’t happy to see is the shifter on the dash for the Powerglide. For a race car, we don’t mind, but for a street car the two-speed automatic doesn’t seem appropriate.
But what would you do with it? After the sale, there’s only $500 left over, so we’d concentrate on just driving it and taking care of small items until we could get a re-shoot over the whole thing. As much as we’d like to swap this Monza to a four-speed, we’d hate ourselves for cutting up a clean sedan. What would you do?