Auction Pick of the Week: 1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza 900


In 2017, Hagerty arguably debunked the myth advanced by safety advocate Ralph Nader in his 1965 book, Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Danger of the American Automobile, that the Chevrolet Corvair was inherently unsafe.

In the story and accompanying video, Hagerty editor-in-chief Larry Webster, an experienced race car driver, put a vintage Corvair through its paces on an airstrip. While slipping and sliding around, he found that the rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive, swing-axled Corvair did handle differently than most of the American lead sleds of the 1960s. It was more nimble than its competition, yes, but at no point in the experiment did the car exhibit a willingness or tendency to flip, as Nader claimed.

Thus making the final score one for the Corvair, zero for Ralph Nader. He made some valid observations in the book (the Corvair took up only one chapter) but the car’s exoneration did, of course, come far too late. The Corvair was marketed from 1960 to 1969 and was Motor Trend’s Car of the Year in 1960.

But the market for Corvairs has long been solid among car collectors, and that remains so now.

Which brings us to this three-owner 1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza 900 being offered at auction on Hagerty Marketplace. It’s a very original survivor, powered by a 110-horsepower, 2.7-liter air-cooled six-cylinder engine mated to a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. The rear suspension was substantially improved in the 1964 model with a traverse leaf spring to handle camber compensation as the rear wheels move through their travel, making the ’64 the last and best of the Corvair’s first-generation models.

1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza 900 engine
1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza 900 dash

The car is believed to be still wearing its original Ember Red lacquer paint and red vinyl interior, as stated by the consignor, who believes that the odometer, which shows just over 35,000 miles, is likely correct.

The Corvair’s exhaust has been upgraded with a dual-pipe setup. The transmission was serviced with new fluid and a pan gasket, a new engine oil pan gasket, oil cooler seals, pushrod tube seals, fuel pump, left and right heater hoses, front and rear shock absorbers, rear stabilizer spring bushings, and both rear axle universal shafts.

1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza 900 front three quarter

The car is wearing chrome baby moon hubcaps on body-colored wheels, and raised-white-letter tires, but Monza wheel covers come with the car. On the rear panel is the badge from the original selling dealer, Gibson Motors of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Bidding on the 1964 Corvair Monza ends Friday, July 21, at 4:30 p.m. ET.




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