Last updated Oct 20, 2009
(DISCLAIMER: This is not a picture of the actual car. It is a shot of an identical one that I found online.)
In the fall of 1994, a friend at work told me about a Corvair parked on a lawn he drove past every day with a "For Sale" sign in the windshield, and asked if I might be interested. Well, I wasn't in the market for a project at the time, but thought I'd check it out in case any of my friends from the local chapter of the Corvair club had any interest. When I went to check it out, I had my then 14 year old daughter Becky along with me. I saw a 1960 Corvair 700 sedan in decent shape. Nothing exceptional about it except a really good price - She saw a great father-daughter project and prospective first car. We worked out a deal - I would buy the car, we would work on it together, and she could buy it from me when she got her license for what I had invested in it. What can I say, it sounded like a good idea. The next afternoon, after a 10 mile test drive, I paid the huge sum of $125 for a car with 65,000 original miles, nearly new tires, and exactly zero rust-out. it had a couple of bumps and dings, but nothing major. It had all it's original Ermine White over Tasco Turquoise two-tone paint, and that paint turned out to be salvagable - a couple of hours with my buffer, light compound and finishing polish and it shone like a new penny.
The man I bought it from was the nephew-in-law of it's original owner, a retired local Police cheif who had kept the car garaged. He lived two blocks from the Police station, so he walked to work. Ditto his Church. Basically, he used the car to go shopping and for his annual Florida vacations, about a 2,400 mile round trip and maybe 3,000 total per year. When he gave up driving due to age in the mid 1970's, his neice and her husband bought the car from him. They used it as a second car, so they didn't put a lot of miles on it either.
Becky and I did a lot of little "this & thats" on it. For instance, Becky resewed the covers on the sun visors because the original stitching was falling apart. I taught her how to change the oil, lube the chassis, and do a thorough tune up on a car with a standard breaker-point ignition system. While we did the work, I had the car regestered and used it to commute to work a couple of days a week, probably the most daily use the car had ever seen. As a surprise, I gave her the car for her 16th birthday, but not the keys - They and the title would wait until she got her license.
A couple of months later, she decided that she wanted to live with her mother in Florida, and asked me to hold onto the car for her until she could arrange to take it down there with her. Several years went by, and the car sat. And sat. I spoke to her on the phone one day and asked what she was going to do with the car. I had no need of another car at the time, and it wasn't really the kind of Corvair I was into anyway. She told me to sell it for her if I could. I advertised it locally and through the national Corvair club with no success, so I arranged for a friend who owns The Corvair Ranch, a Corvair repair and restoration shop, to take it on consignment for her. A couple more years went by and I was out at The Ranch to have my '66 Monza inspected, and I saw the '60 sitting off to the side of his lot with a faded "FOR SALE - NOT FOR PARTS" inside the windshield. I realized it had been taking up space on his lot for a long time, time that would have cost me (or Becky) a ton of money if we had put the car into storage. I called Becky that evening and suggested that I just sign the car over to The Ranch, which she reluctantly agreed to do. That's where the car sits today. There are a couple of pictures of it as it is now in it's photo album.
84 Horsepower, 140 Cubic Inch, Air-Cooled Flat-6
2-speed Powerglide Automatic Transaxle
1/4 Mile: Slower
Top Speed (Observed): 80 MPH
700 Package, which included:
Bright trim around the beltline, the windshield and backlight
Driver's Door Mirror
Day/Night Rear View Mirror
Dual Sun Visors
Rear Seat Armrests
Color-Keyed Rubber "Carpet"
In addition, the car had the following options:
Gas-Fired Heater (GREAT Option - Instant heat!)
AM Pushbutton Radio
Gas Door Guard
Door Edge Guards
Chrome Wheel Trim Rings
(Yeah, this one was pretty well loaded - for a 1960 Corvair!)
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