Rare ‘Vairs – 1965 and 1966 Chevrolet Corvair 4-Door Pair

So even if you can argue the last risky, innovative thing GM did was adding independent front suspension to their chassis in 1938, you still have to admit the Corvair was an interesting, creative solution to the problem of selling Americans a compact car in the 1960s. And the legacy of that effort is either the first series with its controversial, but influential and very of-its-period styling, or the second series with its beautiful, minimalistic Coke-bottle styling. Fifty years on, the most common surviving versions of the Corvair are the coupe and the convertible, but here’s a pair of 4-door hardtop sedans, both with the 110 engine and 4-speed manual transmission. Find the first of this unusual pair, a 1966 Chevrolet Corvair 110 4-door for sale in San Jose, CA for $2100.

1966 Chevrolet Corvair right front

The car is said to run great and has been serviced by Mel Raven, a well-known local Corvair mechanic. The brakes have had a recent overhaul, and the engine shot shows a reasonably clean engine compartment with alternator and recent-looking spark plug wires. Some of the wiring on the driver’s side looks a little questionable, but a higher-resolution shot will prove if that suspicion is warranted. This car has been for sale since this summer, but unfortunately there is no record of the original asking price. Funny enough, a second 4-door sedan can be seen in the background, but when’s the last time *you* saw one?

1966 Chevrolet Corvair engine

The interior looks quite decent, with a dash with only minimal sun damage, and a sport steering wheel that looks to be better quality than your average aftermarket wheel. However, it appears to be from the 1980s, and really deserves to be replaced with an original-style or period aftermarket wheel. While you’re replacing that, you might as well try to find a more attractive alternative to those turbine-style aftermarket wheels. Perhaps some Minilite replicas or some widened steelies as used on the Yenko Stinger might do the trick.

1966 Chevrolet Corvair interior

Either way, the car makes a surprisingly good-looking sedan. While the coupe has a more attractive roof-line, the sedan has more side glass area, giving an impression of greater length and an elegance of its own. The pillarless look also works really well, as you can see on our other car, this 1965 Chevrolet Corvair 110 4-door for sale for $3800 in Seattle, WA.

1965 Chevrolet Corvair left front

It’s not clear if this is the original color, but burgundy works really well with this shape. As you would expect for the additional cost, this car appears to have better paint, nearly new tires, recently rebuilt carburetors, decent interior and very little rust. The car is said to have had extensive work under a previous owner, but it’s not clear whether there are any records to substantiate this claim.

1965 Chevrolet Corvair engine

The engine compartment looks even cleaner than the white car, with alternator upgrade also visible. Showing great attention to detail, even the spare has been replaced, so if you end up needing it you can trust you’ll get home on it. No 50-year-old cross-ply spare for you, no siree! The current owner has only put 1000 miles on the car in two years, and has not driven it in the last 1 1/2. The seller’s mechanic has said the car could use new seals, although it is not keeping the car from running. Perhaps a little use will bring them back to life.

1965 Chevrolet Corvair interior

What happened to red-on-red-on-red cars? The interior is said to be in good shape, barring a minor tear on the driver’s side seat and a few knicks and smudges in the headliner. On a second look, this may be an automatic – the seller doesn’t mention a transmission, and the pedal to the left of the gas is suspiciously wide. If running 110hp through a 2-speed Powerglide is too much of a drag, why not consider some engine upgrades? Improvements to the carburetors and head are well-documented, and as you can see among the Ford Falcon crowd, upgrading the six can be cooler than swapping in a V8.


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4 Responses to “Rare ‘Vairs – 1965 and 1966 Chevrolet Corvair 4-Door Pair”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    I’m always impressed with how much car you get for the money in a Corvair and they’re such good looking cars too.

  2. Willy Says:

    Yes, the red one is an automatic. The lever on the dash to the right of the three gauges is the selector.

  3. Jack Says:

    So believe it or not, I bought the red ’65! The paint is not what it looks like in the photo and it smokes after the engine has gotten really hot (I’m guessing from the bad engine seals) and on top of that the window seals are very leaky, especially the rear window

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