Custom Cruise Friday
Bob Seib of Edmonton has a knack for finding exactly what he is looking for with seemingly little effort. This week’s Custom Cruise Friday featured vehicle is his 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Monza. Seib has owned the fairly rare Chevy two-door car for about five years. He purchased the car after mentioning to his wife, Donna, that small classic cars like these really piqued his interest. She found a listing for the 1965 Corvair on popular automotive classified website a very short time after their initial conversation. Seib’s luck was first displayed in a Custom Cruise Friday post last spring where he more or less stumbled upon one of the most beautiful pickup trucks to grace the blog.
“I like these little cars,” Seib said. “I wanted to know how they worked.”
Let’s be real for a second
A conversation about the Chevy Corvair cannot take place without addressing the elephant in the room, consumer advocate Ralph Nader’s 1965 book, “Unsafe at Any Speed.” Seib recognizes that Chevy could have made some different choices with the original generation of the Corvair, but is also quick to point out that one of Nader’s chief complaints about the car, its unibody construction, is common place today.
“He said it was, ‘unsafe at any speed,'” Seib said. “How do you more quickly kill a car?”
Getting beyond the negative press is a pretty simple set of mental gymnastics for a real automotive connoisseur like Seib. The Corvair was a very interesting vehicle for its time. Seib was fascinated with how Chevy engineers used an air-cooled engine that was rear mounted. Even seemingly insignificant functions, like how the heater worked, drew Seib’s rapt attention.
Taking a chance on the internet
Anybody who has combed through the internet looking for a car has likely learned that a photo doesn’t always tell the whole story. However, when Donna Seib found the Corvair online and showed Seib, he knew this was too rare of a find to pass up.
“I rented a trailer to look at it, because pictures hide things,” Seib said. “At worst I’d be out the cost of the trailer. I went down there — and I was smitten.”
When he first saw the car, he knew it was a “true survivor.” It still had the original paint, original tires and, really the only non-factory component he could see is that the original tires had been replaced with modern radials. Smitten with the 1965 Chevy Corvair or not, the body did need some work to get out some imperfections. Seib’s brother Clifford did an excellent job repainting car to eliminate dings, dents and scratches which have accumulated over the years.
Clifford’s paint work is also prominently displaced in the silver rear panel on the car, which was an option for the Corvair when it was sold in dealerships.
People don’t know what they’re seeing
It takes a special collector to put the time and resources into a vehicle like the 1965 Chevy Corvair Monza. First of all, they are difficult to find because of the car’s limited production run. Then there is the continuing problem that plagues all classic car enthusiasts, finding parts. The latter has not been an issue for Sieb as his car’s previous owners have taken excellent care of it.
“You don’t see cars like this in original condition hardly ever,” Seib said.
A true “car guy” to his bones, Seib enjoys the looks his Corvair gets as he drives around town. In fact, during the taping of the interview and photo session, a very excited person came over to take a closer at the car.
“It’s a conversation piece for sure,” Seib said. “I love talking about cars and meeting people like that. It’s very cool.”
Have you found your dream car? Are you finishing up the final touches? The Don Wheaton Blog wants to tell your story. Send the important details about the car, as well as some photos, to Don Wheaton Brand Manager, Melina Kawecki. She can be reached by email, email@example.com or by phone 780-439-0071.