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Chevrolet Corvair, White, for sale in Charlotte, North Carolina, for $13,995.
The Corvair was redesigned in 1965, and in 1966, the top model was the Corsa convertible such as this 65,311-mile survivor. You can forget the nonsense about being unsafe, because the redesign gave the Corvair the Corvette's rear suspension, upgraded transmissions, and knockout styling that still looks fantastic today.
This wonderfully original Corvair Corsa convertible is a great example of a car that shouldn't exist. Today's GM would never take a chance on a rear-engine, air-cooled machine, but in the 1960s, anything was possible. Styling of the Corvair was vastly improved, and by 1966, the car was one of the most entertaining domestic vehicles to drive. The proportions are just right, and the crisp styling foreshadows the Camaro that would arrive the following year. This one has never been restored, and retains its original bodywork and paint throughout, a testament to clean living. Offering a soft patina that accents the car's originality, the paint is not show quality, but only a perfectionist would repaint an unmolested car like this. Body panels line up the way the factory intended, and there's no sign of rust, rot, or age-related issues in the structure. This is a solid Corvair that has always been cherished.
One of the Corvair's biggest virtues was the spacious interior. By putting the engine out back, there was a flat floor, and by pushing the passenger compartment forward, legroom is expansive for a compact car. The Corsa came standard with a 140 mph speedometer with resettable trip odometer, a tachometer, temperature gauge, analog clock, a manifold vacuum gauge for measuring fuel economy, and, of course, a fuel gauge, and this one also includes an optional AM/FM radio. The original seats are nicely preserved with no splits or tears and Camaro fans will probably find the instrument panel very familiar. Even the carpets and door panels are in excellent condition and completely presentable as-is. A black vinyl convertible top is a pleasing contrast to the white bodywork, and folds easily with only one person required.
The Corvair's engine is a 164 cubic inch flat-six, air cooled, of course. With four single-throat carburetors, it makes a robust 140 horsepower and moves the lightweight ragtop like a sports car. The four-speed manual transmission was an option and featured upgraded internals shared with other Saginaw 4-speeds. The suspension was now a true multi-link independent setup, replacing the swing arms that caused all the controversy and endowing the low, lightweight Corvair with surprising handling prowess. Test drivers of the period had to be pried out of the driver's seat following test runs, because the car is truly a joy to drive at any speed.
Bigger brakes borrowed from the Chevelle gave it stopping power to match, and the tires were upsized as well, with this one wearing 13-inch whitewall radials on its original steel wheels.
Although the pony cars would make the Corvair obsolete, cars like this incredibly well-preserved and solid Corsa convertible are fantastic drivers that still draw appreciative glances. Call today!
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Transmission:4 speed manual
Location:Charlotte, North Carolina