1964 Corvair Monza Spyder Convertible, one of only 4761 produced.
Chevrolet manufactured the Corvair model for 10 years from 1959 to 1969 over two generations. The first generation ran from 1959 to 1964 and the second one from 1965 til the end.It came in different models over the years such as two-door coupe, convertible, four-door sedan, and four- door station wagon body styles, as well as passenger van, commercial van, and pickup truck variants. The Corvair meant to compete with cars such as the Ford Falcon, Studebaker Larks, the Beetle and others but for not being very economical it unfortunately was not able to compete with the other brands.
Chevrolet noticed that the Corvair buyers enjoy the great handling of the car and would prefer more engine power. Based on that feedback Chevrolet introduced 1962 the optional high performance option (“Spyder”) that included a turbo charger supplied by Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge for the coupe (Monza Club) and convertible models.
The Spyder turbo charged engine was able to provide 150 horsepower at 4,400 rpm which was almost 50 percent better than the concurrent 102 bhp “stage two” Corvair engine. The car was able to acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 10.8 seconds. At that time it was respectable power for a rather cheap car. The Corvair engine was a 145 cubic inch flat six power plant position in the rear of the car.1964 some more improvements were provided such as 164 cubic-inch engine and a transverse leaf springs for the rear suspension.
The Corvair was the first mass produced turbocharged passenger car. Oldsmobile has been beaten Chevrolet with announcement of the first turbocharged car (F85 Jetfire) by only a few weeks but the Spyder actually went on sale first.
The Spyder did not become a distinct model until 1964. Consequently, 1962 and 1963 Spyder production is accounted for in the Monza figures. In 1962, 9,468 (6,894 Coupe, 2,574 Convertible) Monzas were built with the 150 horsepower, turbocharged Spyder package. In 1963, the number increased to 19,099 (11,627 Coupe, 7,472 Convertible) .1964, 11241 Spyder were sold, 6480 coupes and 4761 convertibles.
This fine example had a complete cosmetic and mechanical restoration performed in 2018-2020. Restored in its original, rare, and desirable code 900 “Tuxedo Black” with red interior and white vinyl top. The body was stripped to bare metal before any body or paint work began. The applied paint was sanded and buffed for a beautiful Finish. Interior was supplied by Clarks Corvairs and installed with new foam and sound deadening by Dave Damitz here in Tucson. The power top was optional and functions great. The replacement top material was also supplied by Clarks Corvair and is in great shape. The convertible top Boot Cover is original and shows some discoloration.
The engine Was initially built for extra performance and added boost, but after it was running and driving the builder/ owner was happy with the power it supplied and never hooked up some of the added options like the MSD ignition, Methanol injection, etc because it just wasn’t needed. The waste gate is installed but it is not being used as its only pushing 8lbs of boost. That being said the engine is capable of much more power added with a different carburetor for more flow to the Turbo. Machine work was performed by Larrys engine and Marine here in Tucson. It has a magnafluxed forged crank, HD rods, custom flat top JE forged pistons, AutoBon full Finned Iron 3.622 Bore Jugs, and is now 173 cu In up from 164 cu in originally. The engine is backed by a 4 speed with 3.89 differential.
All of the gauges work in the dash including the MTX digital Air/ fuel sensor and digital temp gauge but the gauges in the custom panel below dash are just for looks but could be hooked up later if desired.
Well sorted car that looks great, drives great, and gets thumbs up wherever it goes. Rare options and desirable original color combo make this Corvair stand out from the rest. Comes with a 5″ binder documenting the build with receipts, parts instruction, notes, etc as well as a service manual and assembly manual.