Throwing caution to the wind and driving 1500 miles in a Chevy Corvair


Just outside of town, the Corvair was due for its first fill-up. The old flat-six was loving the cool morning air, no strange new noises announced themselves, and I was ready to settle into the driver’s seat for a solid day of cruising. It was time to let go of the wrenches and let my hands settle in with the steering wheel for many hours.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/05/24/driving-1500-miles-in-a-chevy-corvair


I recognized the Stone Lake Sinclair in Cassopolis MI, on M60 in South West Michigan. Usually,in the summer, it has classics including a police car parked there. I’ve never met the owner but he has an impressive landmark.


Sharp eye @dleit53! Last time I passed through (2016) there was a couple awesome vintage tow rigs and some neat items inside. It appeared to be significantly emptier this time around, which made me a little sad.

Really neat spot though!


Just completed a 800 mile round trip to the dedication of the Corvair Museum in Decatur,Il a week ago. 1964 Corvair Monza Spyder coupe with factory Kelsey-Hayes wire knock off wheels. Easy 65-70 mph with lots of punch from the 150hp turbo. Next trip, Road America vintage races at Elkhart Lake,WI in July.


I was also sad to see the station empty. I’m hoping the other vehicles return soon.


When I was a bit younger my friends and I owned several Corvairs that we either bought for cheap or found, yes found, on the road. It had the pink slip ( CA ) signed and when we went to DMV to change it into my friends name they just wouldn’t believe that it was found ! But as for reliability, no problem EXCEPT for over revving the engine and having the fan belt fly off ! I even built one of the first fully home built Corvair tube framed dune buggies replete with Sunbeam Imp front suspension ! Huzzah !


Used to have a 1963 Corvair Monza Spyder.
Ran really good after we put stabilizers fore and aft, guides so it didn’t throw belts and replaced the gaskets so it didn’t leak prodigious amounts of oil. Also went to radial tires from the bias ply it came with.
It seemed to like running I-5 near Redding, CA when the temps (about 105) were forcing other cars to slow down because of overheating.


We drove one of these from Lansing,MI to Denver and back many years ago; and while it was parked in front of my in-laws’ home, it got hit. The best body shop in Denver was owned by George Anema who repaired it in 2 days.

That Slnclair station looks like one located in Cassopolis, MI.


Your story was timed perfectly for my first “long distance” run from TC to GR on Saturday for a club rally in my ‘66 Monza convertible! Putting on the new exhaust the day before!


I routinely take vacation trips in my collector cars. I am often asked “aren’t you afraid of breaking down?” and then I remind them of the cross country trips people took in cars throughout history. And then remind them of the brand new cars I’ve seen sitting beside the road waiting for a tow truck. I see absolutely no reason not to enjoy my cars as fully as I can. Since the author “threw caution to the wind” in his Corvair for 1500 miles he will be amazed that two years ago I drove my Corvair 2200 miles on vacation that took me down the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway and then further south before returning to my home in Ohio. Last year that same car took the wife and I to Texas to visit my sister. Before that a '63 Chevy Nova survived over 4,000 miles of vacation duty. Go ahead and drive your boring boxes if you want to, the wife and I are planning next year’s vacation. The vehicle of choice for that trip? A 1937 Chevy Master Deluxe 5 window coupe Cheers!


Nice @tcwheels13! Have I seen your car running around town? What color?


Kyle -

I just got the Corvair in December (best month to buy a classic!) from the thumb area and am learning my way around it. (Insured by Hagerty, of course!)

It’s a Monza, but has the 140hp four carb engine and enhanced gages with the Powerglide transmission. Marina blue with black interior and white top. After I get the front suspension rebuilt, I’m putting a new black top on. That was original color.

Just yesterday put a new exhaust system on that I got from Raffi. Sounds pretty good!

I’m going to bring it to Cars and Coffee whenever that starts again so maybe I’ll see you there! Let me know if you want to grab coffee and talk Corvairs in the meantime!


Don’t let perfect be the enemy of better…


You sound just like me when I tell people I’m driving my 1968 Ford F100 from Ohio to Tennessee this spring about modern cars being broke down on the side of the road…only I add that unless it’s something catastrophic I’ll get back on the road without the help of a computer and a rollback…or the huge repair bill!