In postwar America, most cars on the road were large, powerful and heavily embellished with chrome and other extravagant styling cues like tail fins. Such automobiles sold quite well and made up the bulk of the market, but certain imports like the Volkswagen Beetle showed that there was a sizable group of American consumers that would buy smaller, more efficient, more affordable automobiles. American Motors was the first to offer such cars, but by the end of the decade General Motors was working on its own compact, one that would become one of the most memorable cars of its time. Introduced in 1959, the Corvair was a radical departure from anything GM had ever sold before. Fitted with the first unibody ever built by Fisher, it had a rear-engine, rear-drive layout similar to the Volkswagen or Porsche 356, which allowed for a lower silhouette and a flat floor for more interior space. In 1965, the Corvair was significantly revised with very attractive styling reminiscent of the Buick Riviera and Corvette Stingray, and the rear suspension was changed to a fully independent setup similar to the Corvette in place of the swing axle suspension of the first cars.
Corvairs over the years came in a wide range of body styles and with several different engine specs, but for 1965 and 1966 the top of the range in both performance and luxury was the Corsa. It was the only Corvair available with the 180-horsepower turbocharged flat-six, and came with extra items such as an electric clock, tachometer, oil pressure gauge, Corsa badges and special interior trim.
This 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa Coupe is an incredibly well-preserved original example with less than 15,000 miles and only two owners from new. It is finished in Evening Orchid with a Lilac White interior and black carpets, and has factory wire wheel covers, thin whitewall tires, rear antenna, rear bumper guard and a four-speed manual gearbox, a $92 option when new. Interior appointments include a factory AM/FM push button radio, tinted glass, factory tissue dispenser, seatbelts with retractors and the rare, desirable two-spoke steering wheel, which was an optional extra on 1965 and 1966 cars.
This car has original paint and upholstery as well as the original floor mats, owner’s manual and even window sticker. All is in gorgeous, well-preserved condition. Sold new at Clement Chevrolet in Rochester, Minnesota, it has enjoyed careful ownership from new with the same owner, and though it has hardly been used over the last five decades, it has never been neglected. Evening Orchid is a rare and distinctive color that adds to this Corvair's distinction. Its originality can’t be replicated, making this a highly rare and desirable example of a fast, daringly sophisticated Chevrolet that may be impossible to duplicate.