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Rough Start: 1968 Chevrolet Corvair – The Last Of An Ambitious Experiment

Rough Start: 1968 Chevrolet Corvair – The Last Of An Ambitious Experiment

Another day, another cheap car hunt and today, I’m raising the limit for the Rough Start search in a one-time rational decision. Here’s the thing…as buddy Luke Finley pointed out in a video recently, good sheetmetal of vintage types are getting thin on the ground for just about any kind of hobbyist. You either have trash, people who think their yard art vehicles are worth a mint, or people who play by Barrett-Jackson rules for their otherwise decent vehicles. For someone who is looking for a nice, unique bit of classic iron, is the door shut? Not really, but it isn’t swinging open either. Getting out and hunting for a decent car is up to you.

So, why bump the budget up by a thousand dollars? That’s because this 1968 Chevrolet Corvair is for sale for exactly $6,000, and for once, I can’t rationalize attempting to bargain with the seller. The exterior is clean. The interior is clean. The car runs, though the seller admits it runs a bit rough, and there is nothing that leads us to believe that the car can’t at least be test-drove around a block or loaded onto a trailer and taken to wherever you need to go. You might even be lucky enough just need a weekend’s worth of time catching up on the upkeep before you have a sweet classic on your hands.

It isn’t everyday you find a later-model Corvair in good condition. It’s even rarer that it’s priced like a used Ford Focus. If you’ve been wanting something classic, why not try out GM’s air-cooled, rear engine machine? The suspension woes were gone for the second-generation cars and the flat-six had some pep to it. It’s no fire-breather, it’s no luxo-barge, but it’s something more: an attempt from GM to actually be innovative.

Facebook Marketplace link: 1968 Chevrolet Corvair Monza

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10 thoughts on “Rough Start: 1968 Chevrolet Corvair – The Last Of An Ambitious Experiment

  1. Jav343amc

    I\’m a life-long MOPAR and AMC nut, currently building a 1968 AMC Javelin SST 343. Knowing that from the get-go, why have I always had a soft spot for Corvairs? I\’ve never owned one; I\’ve never driven one. I\’m not even a Chevy guy! I can\’t eff-en figure it out! I guess it comes down to seeing Coravirs as, well, cool.

  2. Gary

    Anyone who’s seen my posts here knows I loath all things GM. That said, I’d love to have a Corviar! This one would be two tons of fun to hop up and drive the pooh out of!

  3. Bob J

    Umm, the last year of Corvair production was 1969. My brother had one, a 1966 model if I recall correctly. They were actually OK cars, and they handled very well after the corrective model year suspension change. Fuel economy was actually good for the time. My recollection was ~27 MPG HWY. Just as with VW Bugs, engine life was limited and oil leaks were somewhat common. Blower (Cooling fan) belts could be problematic, but not a show stopper IIRC. They were relatively roomy (interior) and had adequate trunk space too (for its size). My recollection was that they never really recovered after all of the negative press, but they really weren’t bad cars. BTW, I’m a MoPar guy, but realy, these cars were OK, even the early ones, but you had to mind tire pressures and maintenance.

    my .02

      1. Mike Plegge

        Only part of the 69 run was hand built. The vast majority of Corvairs ran the line. There wasn’t ever a suspension issue. That was disproven in a study in ‘72. The Corvair was found to be no less safe than any other car at the time. The suspension was actually upgraded in 64 and then revamped again for the late models. The Corvair was in trouble from the start because of production costs and was dead the moment the Chevy II went into production and then the Mustang sealed its fate. All of that happened before Nader’s book hit the shelves.

    1. Don Stump

      I had 66 corvair , the 5 bolt pattern..12 inch wide dirt track rear tires rear & 7 1/2 inch front meat ..had rear wheel alinement .Took street corners 30-35 mph .. out handled corvettes of the day in cornering , which pived them off.

    2. Kim

      Not being able to burn the rear tires off the rims at every stop light and sufficiently heat resistant \”O\” rings to handle its engine heat not arriving until several years after its demise are what killed the Corvair. It was expensive to build and limited in comparison to what the same dollars in a conventional car could get you. I have owned 16 of them.

  4. Mark Gillespie

    Of course, in 1966 Don Yenko showed the performance potential of the Corvair with production of the Yenko Stinger…still winning Vintage races with mine !

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