Click here to see a video this car starting and running.
My daughter and I got this car back on the road about ten years ago. It got her back and forth to high school, college, and assorted jobs. Five years ago, when the original engine started to burn and blow lots of oil and rust issues became too extensive to ignore, we took the car off the road and put some real work into it. I decided to rebuild a newer 95 HP engine with new bearings, rings, pistons, cylinders, and seals and bolted that to a rebuilt Powerglide transmission. As part of the drivetrain swap we replaced the heavy, inefficient generator with a modern alternator. To deal with the rust, we welded in new rocker panels, floor panels, and body patches before coating the underside with POR-15, and laying down Black Cherry Pearl 2K paint over epoxy primer.
About a year ago, she decided to upgrade, so the car became my daily-driverIt was her daily-driver until recently when she upgraded. and has been, for the past year getting me to-and-from
The new engine runs nicely on 87 octane, starts up every time, purrs around town, and cruises easily on the interstate at speeds above the local posted limits.
Purists will see that, in addition to the non-factory paint, this ’61 has the rare (okay, never factory offered) ’64 Monza trim and the even rarer (okay, also never offered) ’62 seats. The rear bumper guards, however, were offered by the factory back in the day.
The rigors of driving during the salt season have taken its toll on the body and there is some rust that should be dealt with. New patch panels are available from Clark’s Corvair Parts and used panels are out there as well. I’m including a solid replacement hood, wheelwell trim, and leftover paint, and more is available from Summit Racing. The bodywork on the right rear was necessary due to a tire coming apart on the highway and beating the inside of the wheelwell and the fender. I didn’t replace the torn wheelwell, but patched it with adhesive-backed membrane. This has served well for the past year properly sealing the interior from road noise and rainwater.
Two issues that I live with, but would be easily fixed (if I had the time) are: 1. the heater cable won’t slide freely so every fall and spring I slide under the car and manually switch from no heat to full heat or vice-versa (I am including a replacement cable – the defroster cable/lever works fine); 2. either the solenoid or the ignition switch is unreliable, so I’ve installed a switch on the inside that always energizes the starter (Corvair Ranch will sell you replacements for both that are easily installed).
I’ve got quite a stash of parts, so if the buyer is interested, I can sweeten the deal with spares like a good, used cylinder head and a starter (while I’ve not needed these on the rebuilt engine, it can’t hurt to have backups).
I’m asking $1800. Feel free to make me an offer, but please don’t ask what my minimum price is. I don’t have to sell this car, but it’s time to move it on, so I’m only somewhat motivated.