Sweetheart Survivor: 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Club Coupe

Long maligned, it looks like Chevy’s quirky Corvair is starting to get its due in the collector car market. Claimed to be a one-owner car in an ad that is otherwise light on details, this ’63 Corvair Monza coupe, offered on eBay in San Antonio, Texas, looks like an appealing entry-level classic cruiser. There’s a reserve above and beyond the $4,000 starting bid, which must be a sign that values are picking up, because four grand sounds about right to me for the honest, unrestored survivor this car appears to be.

The Monza trim level, added to the Corvair line a few months after its late-1959 debut, was Chevy’s first admission that perhaps its unusual, rear-engined compact could be more than just a Spartan Volkswagen fighter. Decked out with restrained chrome trim and full wheel covers on the outside, and deluxe carpet and separate front seats (too lacking in support to truly be called buckets) inside, the Monza is more luxurious than sporty, so this car’s Powerglide automatic transmission just adds to the easygoing vibe promised by its cheerful, white over red color scheme.

While some discoloration is evident on the driver’s door card, overall the red interior looks remarkably unmolested. The original radio is present, although the ad doesn’t say whether it works, and there don’t appear to be any split seams or major blemishes on the seats. The rear seat looks like it’s never been used. It’s possible the seats have been reupholstered; one of the great things about Corvair ownership is that new and NOS parts are readily available and affordable. Mileage is undisclosed, so it’s tough to assess what may or may not have been freshened. Don’t take the boilerplate list of standard equipment on the ad seriously, by the way; Corvairs never had most of those features (airbags, power windows, locks, and steering, tilt wheel, etc.), and they clearly haven’t been added to this one.

Everything looks pretty tidy in the engine bay, although the rubber gasket around the opening needs to be replaced. It’s impossible to tell whether this is the 84 or 102-hp flat six; either way, expect performance to be smooth but leisurely. Sportier drivers are advised to check out the revolutionary turbocharged Monza Spyder—and be prepared to pay a hefty premium. The dearth of detail in the ad means that prospective buyers should be prepared to do a close inspection of their own, but for anyone looking for an affordable, easy to own, driver-quality survivor, I’d say this Corvair merits the effort. What say you?


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