Chevrolet Corvair Monza 1963






scale 1:18

Model number: 1484


Review of the model:

The American answer to the VW beetle.

The 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza from Sun Star Models is a neat little car. I think we collectors are spoiled by the maker, who is making effort to release one of American Classic Cars more quirky models. Newer the less they offered this model car in many colors over the years. Why I mention this; is because the model itself is surely one of Sun Stars earlier model cars as the model has begun to show age!
Why I use this phrase? It is only to explain that this model is well made, but some parts of detailing are far better nowadays when they release new model cars than in this case.

There is no doubt about this car is small and therefore some parts are mode difficult to made realistic to scale, such as the trim lines around the windows. Here on the Corvair they are only painted in silver instead the common chrome metal on other models; for example the 1957 Studebaker Hawk. Another thing is the model squeaks, when you park or “play” (Read handling) the model. The majority of the noise come from the wheels and can be helped with a little WD40 or oil. The 1963 Corvair has its trunk in the front of the car. Sadly Sun Star has not giving us access to this!

But when all this is said I have only good things to say about this little cut model car! Look inside the cabin, it will surprise you how sporty and comfort it welcomes you. Sun Star shows fine details including a red carpet. And on this particular model, with a paint scheme of Tuxedo Black exterior with Red interior drizzled with chrome trims and detail – You get a very appealing “sports car” with a touch of class. When we kick tires on this model you will notice the small low profile tires, with small narrow white wall rings, topped with fantastic hubcaps, which only are seen on much more expensive cars. Sun Star here gives you them precise to scale. As always the paint and lacquer work is impeccable and the body of the car shines like a expensive Steinway piano.

We have to go all way back if we will look at the small 6 Cyl. Air-cooled motor. Just open the deck lid for easy access. To my surprise the spare tire and wheel is also allocated here. The richness in details is moderate, so I added some paint and grey-wash to enhance the parts in the engine bay. Mostly when I review a model car I mention the grille of the car, but here because the rear mounted engine we only have breathing gels on the deck lid and up front a minimalistic designed frontend with only headlights and small trim lines – But Chevrolet and Sun Star had made a fine job here! The lenses and bezels is very realistic as well as the four backlights.

If we go a little backwards to enjoy the car, the cast is strait and all parts including the trim and doors is perfect aligned with no gabs and poor assembly. All emblems are tampon stamped paintwork, but as with Sun Star it is flawless.

So this little Corvair is a beauty in black, but as on the real car, you have to dust it regularly to maintain is elegance. – Now it is up to you! Are you a new owner of the 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza from Sun Star?

I will give this model 3 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and some movie clips for the real car. So please enjoy!




  Chevrolet Corvair Monza 1963  
  A small car for the Americans  
  Air-cooled rear engine just like the European VW and Porsche  
Black exterior with red interior is always elegant
A gigantic side mirror
The trunk is up front
A true Classic car that's on its rise
A cute little car
A car in the budget segment but still full of grace
The engine compartment in the rear
The spare wheel is located upon the motor
Rear lights that shows the cars family heritage
Thanks to Sun Star Models for making a "controversial historic car"
A sneak pre view of the motor
Bucket seats in red vinyl
Looks like the European NSU
2.4L flat six  95 bhp.
Also a car choice for the sporty youth of America




In 1952, Ed Cole was promoted to chief engineer of the Chevrolet Motor Division. Four years later, in July 1956, he was named general manager of Chevrolet — GM's largest automotive division — and a vice president of General Motors. At Chevrolet, Cole pushed for many of the major engineering and design advancements introduced in the Chevrolet car and truck lines between 1955 and 1962. He was the moving force behind the development and production of the rear-engined, air-cooled Corvair. Despite its infamous history, the Corvair was a ground-breaking car in its day. As chief engineer, he was heavily involved in the development of the Corvette sports car. He is also known as the "father" of the small-block Chevy V8, one of the most celebrated engines in American automotive history.

Until 1960, the Big Three American domestic auto manufacturers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler) produced only one basic size of passenger car: large. However, a successful modern "compact car" market segment was established in the U.S. by the 1950 Nash Rambler. Moreover, imports from Europe, such as Volkswagen, Renault, and Fiat, showed that demand existed in the U.S. for small cars, often as a second car or an alternative for budget-minded consumers. While the Big Three continued to introduce ever-larger cars during the 1950s, the newly formed American Motors Corporation (AMC) focused its business strategy on smaller-sized and fuel-efficient automobiles, years before a real need for them existed. Because it was a small company compared to the Big Three U.S. automakers, AMC positioned itself as a "dinosaur-fighter" and its compact-sized Rambler models rose to third place among domestic automobile sales. American Motors also reincarnated its predecessor company's smallest Nash model as the "new" 1958 Rambler American for a second model run, an almost unheard of phenomenon in automobile history. In 1959, Studebaker followed AMC's formula by restyling its bread-and-butter sedan, calling it the Lark and billing it as a compact. The Lark granted Studebaker a respite for several years before the company ceased automobile production in 1966.

During 1959 and 1960, the Big Three automakers planned to introduce their own "compact" cars. Ford and Chrysler's designs were scaled-down versions of the conventional American car, using four- or six-cylinder engines instead of V8s, and with bodies about 20% smaller than their standard cars.

An exception to this strategy was the Chevrolet Corvair. Led by General Manager Cole, Chevrolet designed a new car deviating from the traditional American norms of design. The car was powered by an air-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine constructed with many major components made from aluminum. The engine was mounted in the rear of the car, driving the rear wheels through a compact transaxle. Suspension was independent at all four wheels. No conventional chassis was used, being the first unibody built by Fisher Body. The tires were an entirely new wide, low-profile design. The styling was unconventional for Detroit: subtle and elegant, with no tailfins or chrome grille. Its engineering earned numerous patents, while Time magazine put Ed Cole and the Corvair on the cover, and Motor Trend named the Corvair as the 1960 "Car of the Year".

The Corvair's sales exceeded 200,000 for each of its first six model years. The rear-engine design offered packaging and economy advantages, providing the car with a lower silhouette, flat passenger compartment floor, no need for power assists, and improvements in ride quality, traction, and braking balance. The design also attracted customers of other makes, primarily imports. The Corvair stood out, with engineering significantly different from other American offerings. It used GM's Z-body, with design and engineering that advanced the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout pioneered by cars including the Tatra 77, Tucker Torpedo, Fiat 500, Porsche 356, Volkswagen Beetle, Renault Dauphine, Subaru 360, and NSU Prinz—and employed by the concurrent and short-lived Hino Contessa.

The Corvair's powerplant was an overhead-valve aluminum, air-cooled 140 cu in (2.3 L) flat-six (later enlarged, first to 145 and then to 164 cubic inches). The first Corvair engine produced 80 hp (60 kW; 81 PS). Power peaked with the 1965–66 turbocharged 180 hp (134 kW; 182 PS) Corsa engine option. The first generation model's swing axle rear suspension, invented and patented by engineer Edmund Rumpler, offered a comfortable ride, but raised safety concerns associated with the car's handling stability, and was replaced in 1965 with a fully independent rear suspension similar to the Corvette Sting Ray.

The Corvair represented several breakthroughs in design for mass-produced Detroit vehicles, with 1,786,243 cars produced between 1960 and 1969.

The 1960 Corvair 569 and 769 series four-door sedans were conceived as economy cars offering few amenities to keep the price competitive, with the 500 (standard model) selling for under $2,000. Powered by the Turbo Air 6 engine 80 hp (60 kW; 81 PS) and three-speed manual or optional extra-cost two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, the Corvair was designed to have comparable acceleration to the six-cylinder full-sized Chevrolet Biscayne. The Corvair's unique design included the "Quadri-Flex" independent suspension and "Unipack Power Team" of engine, transmission, and rear axle combined into a single unit. Similar to designs of European cars such as Porsche, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and others, "Quadri-Flex" used coil springs at all four wheels with independent rear suspension arms incorporated at the rear. Specially designed 6.5 by 13 in. four-ply tires mounted on 13 in wheels with 5.5 in width were standard equipment. Available options included RPO 360, the Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission ($146), RPO 118, a gasoline heater ($74), RPO 119, an AM tube radio ($54), and by February 1960, the rear folding seat (formerly $32) was standard. Chevrolet produced 47,683 of the 569 model and 139,208 769 model deluxe sedans in 1960. In January 1960, two two-door coupe models were introduced designated as the 527 and 727 models. Following the success of the upmarket "Mr. and Mrs. Monza" styling concept cars at the 1960 Chicago Auto Show, management approved the neatly appointed bucket-seat DeLuxe trim of the 900 series Monza as a two-door club coupe only. This model began arriving at showroom floors in April 1960. Despite their late January introduction of the coupe, these cars sold well; about 14,628 base model 527 coupes, 36,562 727 deluxe coupes, and 11,926 927 Monza club coupes, making the coupe one of the most popular Corvairs.

Sales figures revealed to Chevrolet management that the Corvair was more of a specialty car than a competitor to the conventionally designed Ford Falcon or Chrysler's Valiant. Corvair was not as competitive in the economy segment. Chevrolet began a design program that resulted in a compact car with a conventional layout, the Chevy II, for the 1962 model year.

An available option on the Corvair introduced in February 1960 was RPO 649, a more powerful engine, the "Super Turbo Air". Super Turbo Air was rated at 95 hp (71 kW; 96 PS) at 4,800 rpm and 125 ft-lb at 2,800 rpm due to a revised camshaft, revised cylinder heads with dual springs, and a lower restriction muffler with a 2" outlet. This option was available in any Corvair model. However, in 1960, RPO 649 was not available with RPO 360, the Powerglide automatic transmission.

The advertised February introduction of a fully synchronized, four-speed transmission RPO 651 was postponed until the 1961 model year. This was due to casting problems with the aluminum three-speed transmission case which resulted in technical service bulletins to dealers advising of the potential for differential failure due to external leaks at the front of the transmission's counter gear shaft. The revision of the four-speed transmission designated for 1961 introduction incorporated a cast-iron case and a redesign of the differential pinion shaft to interface with a longer transmission output shaft and a concentric pilot for the revised transmission case. These are among many of the course corrections undertaken by Chevrolet by the end of the 1960 model year.

In 1961, Chevrolet introduced the Monza upscale trim to the four-door sedans and the club coupe body styles. With it’s newly introduced four-speed floor-mounted transmission, DeLuxe vinyl bucket seats, and upscale trim, the Monza Club Coupe gained in sales, as nearly 110,000 were produced along with 33,745 Monza four-door sedans. The four-speed Monza caught the attention of the younger market and was sometimes referred to as "the poor man's Porsche" in various car magazines. The Monza series contributed to about half of the Corvair sales in 1961.

In 1962, Chevrolet introduced the Corvairs with few changes at the beginning of the year. The bottom line 500 series station wagon was dropped and the 700 became the base station wagon. The "Lakewood" name was dropped. The ever-popular Monza line then took on a wagon model to round out the top of the line. In spring of 1962, Chevrolet committed itself to the sporty image they had created for the Corvair by introducing a convertible version, then offering a high-performance 150 hp (112 kW; 152 PS) turbocharged "Spyder" option for Monza coupes and convertibles, making the Corvair the second production automobile supplied with a turbocharger as a factory option, with the Oldsmobile F-85 Turbo Jetfire having been released earlier in 1962. Corvair station wagons were discontinued at that point in favor the new Corvair Convertible and Chevy II (built at the same assembly plant). The slow-selling Loadside pickup was discontinued at the end of the model year. The rest of the Corvair 95 line of Forward Control vehicles continued. Optional equipment on all passenger cars (except wagons) included metallic brake linings and a heavy-duty suspension consisting of a front antiroll bar, rear-axle limit straps, revised spring rates, and recalibrated shock absorbers. These provided a major handling improvement by reducing the potentially violent camber change of the rear wheels when making sharp turns at high speeds. The Turbocharged Spyder equipment group featured a multi-gauge instrument cluster which included a tachometer, cylinder head temperature, and intake manifold pressure gauges, Spyder fender script, and Turbo logo deck emblems, in addition to the high-performance engine.

The Monza Coupe was the most popular model with 151,738 produced out of 292,531 total Corvair passenger car production for 1962. The Corvair was fast becoming the darling of the sporty car crowd. Aftermarket companies offered an array of accessories for the Corvair, from imitation front grilles to serious performance upgrades such as additional carburetors, superchargers, and performance exhaust and suspension upgrades. One of America's most successful race drivers, John Fitch, chose the Corvair as the basis for his "Sprint" models. They were created at his shop in Connecticut by adding various performance improvements along with unique styling touches. Individual components were also available through his mail-order business. Several Chevrolet dealers became authorized Sprint dealers able to install his conversions.

The 1963 model year had the optional availability of a long 3.08 gear for improved fuel economy, but the Corvair otherwise remained largely carryover with minor trim and engineering changes. Self-adjusting brakes were new for 1963. The Monza line was really proving its worth. Of all the Corvairs sold in 1963, fully 80% were Monzas. The convertible model accounted for over 20% of all the Monzas sold.

For 1964, significant engineering changes occurred, while the model lineup and styling remained relatively unchanged. The engine displacement was increased from 145 to 164 cu in (2.4 to 2.7 L) by an increase in stroke. The base engine power increased from 80 to 95 hp (60 to 71 kW; 81 to 96 PS), and the high-performance engine increased from 95 to 110 hp (71 to 82 kW; 96 to 112 PS). The Spyder engine rating remained at 150 hp (112 kW; 152 PS) despite the displacement increase of the engine. In 1964, an improvement in the car's swing axle rear suspension occurred with the addition of a transverse leaf spring along with softer rear coil springs designed to diminish rear roll stiffness and foster more neutral handling. Spring rates could now be softer at both ends of the car compared to previous models. The heavy-duty suspension was no longer optional, although all models now had a front antiroll bar as standard. Brakes were improved with finned rear drums. The remaining pickup, the Rampside, was discontinued at the end of the model year.

Despite a vastly improved 1964 model, Corvair sales declined by close to 80,000 units that year. This was attributed to a number of factors, including the basic styling being 5 years old, the lack of a pillarless hardtop (which virtually all competing compact models had), the lack of a V8 engine, and the introduction of the Ford Mustang on April 17, which broke all records for sales of a new model (and ate into Corvair sales).

Technical specification:

First generation:
Production 1959–1964

Body and chassis Class Compact car
Body style:
Two-door convertible
Two-door coupe
Four-door sedan
Four-door station wagon
Six-door van
Eight-door van
Two-door pickup truck

Layout RR layout:
Platform Z-body

2,296 cc (2.3 L) Flat-six
2,375 cc (2.4 L) Flat-six (1961–63)
2,683 cc (2.7 L) (1964)

Three-speed manual
Four-speed manual
Two-speed Powerglide automatic

Wheelbase 108 in (2,743 mm)
Length 180 in (4,572 mm)
Width 66.9 in (1,699 mm)

Productions numbers and base price for 1963 model:

288,419 US$1,982–2,798



Old brochures of the car





































Video of the real car from YouTube

  1963 Chevrolet Corvair  
  Will the Corvair Kill You? | Hagerty Behind the Wheel  


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Aeronautic Mar. 2018


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