63 Corvair Convertible Good First Car

08-27-2004, 11:44 AM
Lately I have looked into Corvairs and I like them. Good Looks, RWD, and a very unique car that I never see around. My dad has owned his share of American Classics and this is what I have learned. Most big GM FWD's suck, late 70's American cars are about the ugliest car's ever made (discluding 3rd Gen Shark Vette's, Trans-Am's, and Camaros), and most American classics (GTO, Chevelles, Chargers, etc.) average just under 10 mpg, and that is NOT what I need. The Corvair, however is an exception, averaging about 25 mpg. It's also not a suicide machine, sporting the ultra small block 125ci w/ a 2-spd Slip and Slide (at least the models I am looking at). It's not slow, either, with a 11.1 0-60 time, 16.2 1/4 mile, and 102 mph top speed, with aren't robust digits, but respectable for a first car. On the other hand, I hear they ARE suicide machines, there is a pretty big accident rate on these cars, and Ralph Nader wrote a booked called "Unsafe at any speed" which is a book trashing on the dangers of the Corvair. What I want to know is what you think of the car and do you recommend it.

08-27-2004, 01:05 PM
What can I say? My first car was a 1962 Corvair - but that was in 1967. I still think it was a great car no matter what Nader(the Michael Moore of the 60s) said. They are classics today with quite a following and enthusiasts everywhere. As with all older cars, you have the typical problems including rust.

Good luck, I'm sure you will have fun with it...

Old Lar
08-27-2004, 09:43 PM
I learned to drive in my brother's 62 Corvair. Not a bad car. It liked to throw fan belts. Twin carburators were hard to synchronize. It would be a fun weekend/summer car. A 40 year old car, parts may be hard to find, and when you find them, those parts may be pricey.

08-27-2004, 10:55 PM
my first car was a corvair. 1961 gold looking. very nice. meant to compete with the porsche. the engine sucked, but understandable over 40 years old. EXTREMELY classy car. it was a little too classy for me, but thats all up to you

08-28-2004, 01:36 AM
My son and I fixed up a 1963 Corvair when he was in high school. While interesting to drive, they have their share of problems you should be aware of:
1. They're very prone to leak oil around the push-rod tubes and valve covers. This, in turn, will fill the interior with a delightful oil smell when you use the heater.
2. The early engines don't tolerate unleaded gas well, and, will run hot. My son's car pucked a valve seat and grenaded its engine because of this. We finally dropped in a later model 'Vair big block 90 hp engine, and, it ran OK on unleaded.
3. If the rear engine mount fails on the early "Vairs, the rear end will steer the car for you. My son's car ended its life upside down in a ditch because of this. If you buy an early one, put new engine mounts in it.
4. The heater/defroster system in these things is a joke.
5. Even in nice shape, the cars aren't appreciating in value very much - its very easy to over restore one.
6. Put the big oil cooler from an A/C model on the engine. It'll help the engine live longer.
7. There used to be an outfit called Clark Corvair who carried tons of parts for these things.


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