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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings folks!

Thanks for letting me inquire here, I am actually a Corvair enthusiast!! I'm an admin over on CorvairForum.com , come over and see what else GM had to offer the compact car market in the early 60's =)

On to the point, I'm looking for a set of 14" wheels from an early (4 lug) Nova station wagon or Nova SS.

Let me know what you've got, or point me in the right direction. The whole idea is to keep it cheap, so it'd be great if you were near me, near Philly, or in north or central NJ where much of my family lives so maybe we won't need to ship the wheels.

I'm located near Scranton, PA. My town is Lake Ariel if you want to punch it into google maps or whatever.

I think I've got a line on two of the wheels, so I only "need" 2 more but I'd be happy to have some spares.

Reply here, or email me at [email protected]

Thanks for the space and your time!
 

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Chevy II and the Corvair used the same four lug 13" wheel. Corvair went to a five lug 14" inch wheel in 1965 when it changed it's rear suspension in response to Ralph Nader's smear campaign from a swing axle to full IRS with the same trailing arms and half shafts that the Corvette used. (1964 had a camber compensator spring added to the swing axle as a result of the law suit).

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All Corvairs came with 13" wheels, they did not go to 14"s when they went to five lugs for the 65' 2nd gen cars. The Corvair trucks did get 14's but the backspacing is much different so we cant use them on our cars.

Also important to note, Ralph Nader's book was published in 65', the 2nd gen Corvairs with the new trailing arm suspension were already in showrooms so obviously the change was not based on his misinformation. Also the "camber compensator" for 64' pre-dated the book by nearly two years. It's actually a transverse leaf spring setup that resulted in better handling.

There is still a lot of misinformation out there about Corvairs and we are constantly battling it. I'll leave you with these parting comments:

As a result of Nader's book the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration was created (NHTSA). One of the first things the NHTSA did was go after the Corvair. In 1971 the NHTSA released a 500 page report that exonerate the Corvair completely. The report stated that the Corvair was no more prone to rollovers than any of it's primary competitors.

The idea that Ralph Nader "killed" the Corvair is also incorrect. What really killed the Corvair was the Mustang. When the "big three" launched their small cars Ford dominated GM with the much better selling Falcon, but the Corvair found a niche market with the sporty car crowd. GM launched your Nova to compete (very successfully) withe the Falcon, Valiant, etc. but kept producing the Corvair for this niche market. Ford took note, and decided to launch something to tap that same market... this resulted in very rapid development of a sporty car using a lot of Falcon design elements... the Mustang. When Mustang hit the market it just obliterated Corvair sales. GM responded by developing the Camaro and Firebird which really replaced the Corvair.

Sorry I wrote a book here, but there's a lot to say!

Chevy II and the Corvair used the same four lug 13" wheel. Corvair went to a five lug 14" inch wheel in 1965 when it changed it's rear suspension in response to Ralph Nader's smear campaign from a swing axle to full IRS with the same trailing arms and half shafts that the Corvette used. (1964 had a camber compensator spring added to the swing axle as a result of the law suit).

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the kind words Philip =) The fact that hardly anyone seems to know the truth is a big part of what motivated me to read every book I can find on the subject and become something of a Corvair historian =) Obviously there is a lot more than I wrote but I tried to give just enough to clear up most of the confusion.

Ray welcome to the site and thanks for the insight on the Corvair history. Like many others I had all the wrong thoughts on the demise of the Corvair.
 

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My first automotive related job was at Phillips 66 station in rural northern NJ. The owner had one of the Corvair Spyder model IIRC with a turbo on it. The car was awesome both in power and handling. That was in 1967, have always wanted one but could not afford one then or now.
There was a storage lot in Snowflake Az that had close to 100 of them, all years and body styles...none for sale nor any parts for sale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When the 2nd gen Corvair came out the "Spyder" was replaced by the "Corsa". All Spyders came with the 150 turbo, Corsa's came standard with the "140" engine with four one barrel carbs (normal vairs have 2 one barrels) but there was an expensive upgrade option to go to the 180 turbo engine on the Corsa's. I've got one of those.. a 65 Corsa 180 Turbo coupe, that I still need to do body work on before I get it on the road. I've got two of the "140" Corsa coupes.

Corvairs are generally cheap and a ton of fun, maybe you should look a little closer. A fairly nice driver (no turbo or anything) can be had for $4,000-$5,000 and project cars far less than that. The only thing that gets pretty expensive is buying a correct repro interior for them but there are other options. What mostly limits their popularity is that it's VERY expensive to make them fast, however they are amazing handlers and have the racing history to prove it =). Check out the Yenko Stinger http://www.corvaircorsa.com/yenko01.html and maybe google Fitch Sprint as well. It is definitely worth a couple minutes of your time if you aren't familiar with them.

My first automotive related job was at Phillips 66 station in rural northern NJ. The owner had one of the Corvair Spyder model IIRC with a turbo on it. The car was awesome both in power and handling. That was in 1967, have always wanted one but could not afford one then or now.
There was a storage lot in Snowflake Az that had close to 100 of them, all years and body styles...none for sale nor any parts for sale.
 

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I guess my memory was a little off, his brother had one too, maybe it was the Spyder.
I'll look into them again, I have fast with the Nova, the 72 Chevelle wagon is being built for a cruiser, a Corvair would be a fun driver.
Thanks for the links.
PM Art I know he not going to use the 4 lug wheels, but he may have already sold them since he recently had to move.
 

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I had a 1961 Corvair Monza Spyder that I melted two slugs (trying to tow a friends disabled Chevelle after he had called me up for a "ride" home when his car broke down). Replaced that motor with one out of 1965 140 horse four barrel version from the junk yard in 1966 but didn't like the way carbs progressed so I rebuilt my old engine with Crower and EMPI parts as well as bigger TRW slugs and jugs. I then carved open the old heads (figured they were junk any way so i couldn't hurt them) and ported the log manifold added a turtle under each carb and ported the intakes and installed bigger valves After having the head welded back together by professional welders down in the ship yard in port Tampa I used a 390 Holley carb on top of a one into four tube manifold with a set of Headman headers and that (combined with the cam change) really woke up the little flat six.

I never experienced any handling issues despite what the ambulance chasing Ralph Nader was saying publicly as far back as 1963 (before he wrote "Unsafe at any speed", he was attempting to sue GM for rollover accidents that were the result of under inflated tires). I was also auto crossing a home built tube frame go-kart powered by a Corvair flat six spinning a VW Vanagan spur gear transaxle mounted upside down using VW front torsion bar suspension with 13x8 racing tires. That was the most fun I ever had with four wheels.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good stuff! Philip, my last post was a little confusing I guess, the turbo was the Spyder from 62 till 64 so it sounds like that is what your boss had.

Big Dave, sounds like you certainly had some fun with Corvairs but your info is off a bit. The Spyder didn't come along until the 62 model year. In fact 1962 was the first year for any factory turbocharged car EVER.

Also I wouldn't stake my life on it, but I'm pretty confident that GM never heard of Ralph Nader before he published his book. As I recall the sequence of events was that GM heard about the book published by a nobody, and they tried to get some "insurance" in the form of hiring a PI to dig up some kind of dirt on Nader. They got caught, and as it turned out GM getting caught is really what brought Nader into the limelight and catapulted his book into a best seller. It is said that if GM had never hired a PI to go after Nader none of us would know his name and his book would probably have never become mainstream material.
 

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G

Also I wouldn't stake my life on it, but I'm pretty confident that GM never heard of Ralph Nader before he published his book. As I recall the sequence of events was that GM heard about the book published by a nobody, and they tried to get some "insurance" in the form of hiring a PI to dig up some kind of dirt on Nader. They got caught, and as it turned out GM getting caught is really what brought Nader into the limelight and catapulted his book into a best seller. It is said that if GM had never hired a PI to go after Nader none of us would know his name and his book would probably have never become mainstream material.
Sounds like present day politics :D
 

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Good stuff! Philip, my last post was a little confusing I guess, the turbo was the Spyder from 62 till 64 so it sounds like that is what your boss had.

Big Dave, sounds like you certainly had some fun with Corvairs but your info is off a bit. The Spyder didn't come along until the 62 model year. In fact 1962 was the first year for any factory turbocharged car EVER.
Mine had carbs no Turbo (never owned a turbo as of yet). Bought the car used in 64. It was a white rag top two door four speed with red interior that had been repainted black, so the Spider badges may have been add ons after the repaint. I had had a VW Karmen Ghia before that that I drove 72 miles one way every day to college (dreamed of owning a Porsche so the six cylinder Corvair was an upgrade in itself).

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Mine had carbs no Turbo (never owned a turbo as of yet). Bought the car used in 64. It was a white rag top two door four speed with red interior that had been repainted black, so the Spider badges may have been add ons after the repaint. I had had a VW Karmen Ghia before that that I drove 72 miles one way every day to college (dreamed of owning a Porsche so the six cylinder Corvair was an upgrade in itself).

Big Dave
A 61 (if original) would have had a manual choke, with a knob on the dash. Fully manual just like most motorcycles. 61 is the only year that had this as it was a temporary measure while GM came up with a new choke solution after the 1960 choke turned out to be very troublesome. Also, in addition to the turbocharger, a Spyder (only made from 62-64) would have had a full set of round instruments on the dash. All 60-64 Corvairs except the Spyder had a (very attractive) sweeper dash. Here is a pic of the (red) interior of my 63 Monza coupe. This is the car I put together for my fiance to drive =) http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f90/Swiftblade13/Corvairs/?action=view&current=DSC01504.jpg

Since one photo is a bit of a tease, here is the link to an album of my Corvairs in various states of completion/incompletion, enjoy =) http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f90/Swiftblade13/Corvairs/
 

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I guess my memory was a little off, his brother had one too, maybe it was the Spyder.
I'll look into them again, I have fast with the Nova, the 72 Chevelle wagon is being built for a cruiser, a Corvair would be a fun driver.
Thanks for the links.
PM Art I know he not going to use the 4 lug wheels, but he may have already sold them since he recently had to move.
Still have em, two are still on the back front ones well they're here someplace,LOL..... Had two Corvairs 64/65 put a lot of miles on them and both never missed a beat, ran them through the hills on curvy roads with no handling problems and took trips with no comfort issues either, they're very cool cars. Also had a dune buggy with Corvair power, and to this day still don't know how it survived the way I drove it but it did, LOL. Only PITA was the pushrod tubes leaking oil, but when they came out with the neoprene o-rings that was the end of that. One other issue was valve seats, had to make sure they were staked real good or else if you run it really hard and got it real hot seats had a tendency to fall out, happened to me three times then I met this Corvair guy that knew his stuff and told me what to do, so I did exactly what he said and never had a problem after that!........ Ralph Nader was/is just an "a$$hole".....:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Since you are apparently a station wagon guy maybe this Corvair will whet your appetite. How many station wagons have louvered quarter panels from the factory? =)

I do not own one of these but I'd like to get one eventually. I want to convert one into a 2 door with full coupe length doors.
 

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How many station wagons have louvered quarter panels from the factory?. I want to convert one into a 2 door with full coupe length doors.
That would be way cool...:thumbsup: Don't know how many came that way but everyone I seen had them, didn't that had something to do for heat???, I know some didn't have the gas heaters in them????, been a long time away from Corvairs and don't remember too much about them...
 

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Since you are apparently a station wagon guy maybe this Corvair will whet your appetite. How many station wagons have louvered quarter panels from the factory? =)

I do not own one of these but I'd like to get one eventually. I want to convert one into a 2 door with full coupe length doors.
Ya think it might have something to do with the fact that it is an air cooled engine?

Personally I would build it as a Nomad panel truck with a SBC sitting in the back amidship if I had any body working skills (which I don't).

I thought about the Corv-eight quite a bit in my younger days but never found a good project car as the Corvair held it's value right up to the point of some one wrecking one (then that lack of body working skills stopped me in my tracks again). It was much cheaper to buy a six cylinder three speed manual Nova for $600 - $800 bucks than a Corvair that even when twenty years old never fell much below $5,000 around were I live.

Once I graduated from College (with my third degree so it took me a while to leave campus), I didn't autocross as much, but then got into drag racing in a big way as I was making more money than I had ever had before. (That's my PSA of the day; "stay in school!")

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
LOL sorry, I meant how many other types of station wagon have louvered quarter panels, all Corvair station wagons have them, its how the cooling and intake air get into the engine room!

Don't know how many came that way but everyone I seen had them, didn't that had something to do for heat???,
The gas heater was standard only in 1960 because there was no "direct air heater" available yet. Starting in 61' the direct air heater pulling hot air from the exhaust manifolds became available and the gas heater became an option. It continued to be available but less and less common through 64 then was discontinued. I actually just bought a Corvair gas heater for our winter daily driver. It will cost me a couple hundred bucks to get it useable but I got it dirt cheap. Instant heat is nice in the winter!
 
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