Junkyard Find: 1968 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Coupe

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1968 chevrolet corvair monza coupe

Fully three-quarters of you who took our “Ralph Nader, Angel or Demon” poll voted to give ol’ Ralph a halo instead of a pitchfork, so we don’t need to explain how his book wasn’t really the cause of the Corvair‘s plummeting sales after the initial burst of enthusiasm following the car’s release. No, most likely it was that more traditional Chevy II that did that, but the case can be made that The General kept on building Corvairs all the way into 1969 as a way of proving that Ralph Nader can’t push around (what was then) the Most Powerful Corporation In the World. In 1968, only about 15,000 Corvairs were sold, which makes this rusty Denver example fairly uncommon.

Corvairs in beat-up condition aren’t worth much these days; I know a guy near Colorado Springs with close to a hundred in project-worthy condition. He doesn’t get much interest from buyers.

Heating an air-cooled car was always a problem; getting carbon monoxide in the passenger compartment is a danger in Corvairs (and Beetles and their kin). You could get an aftermarket gasoline-fueled heater for Corvairs.

This car has a column-shifted Powerglide 2-speed automatic, not the sportier 4-speed floor-shift manual.

Restorable? Sure. Worth it? No. You can get a solid 1965-69 Monza coupe for a depressingly small fraction of the cost of fixing the rot in one like this (this yard does, however, have a ’64 Corvair Monza sedan in much nicer shape).

Clings to the road like a Siamese cat!

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Writer d'Elegance Brougham Landau.

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  • Nick Nick on Sep 21, 2015

    I like this revised style Corvair. Far sleeker than most cars of it's era. I'd love a final model year convertible. I hope someone saves it...the last one I saw like this had been turned into a very unfortunate looking gasser.

    • FormerFF FormerFF on Sep 21, 2015

      Go to Hemmings and see how little money you'd have to spend to get a nice driver Corvair, and you'll see why this one is where it is.

  • Jcaesar Jcaesar on Oct 07, 2015

    I don't know why people hate on the Corvair so much. I remember them as a kid and they looked kind of cool...sort of like first generation Camaro.

  • Spamvw Three on the tree, even Generation X would have a hard time stealing one of those.
  • ToolGuy This trend of cyan wheels needs to end NOW.
  • Kwik_Shift Interesting nugget(s) of EV follies. https://x.com/WallStreetApes/status/1729212326237327708?s=20
  • SaulTigh I've said it before and I'll say it again...if you really cared about the environment you'd be encouraging everyone to drive a standard hybrid. Mature and reliable technology that uses less resources yet can still be conveniently driven cross country and use existing infrastructure.These young people have no concept of how far we've come. Cars were dirty, stinking things when I was a kid. They've never been cleaner. You hardly ever see a car smoking out the tail pipe or smell it running rich these days, even the most clapped out 20 year old POS. Hybrids are even cleaner.
  • Inside Looking Out Just put ICE there. Real thing is always better that simulation.