Corvair Sighted at 2005 Shifters Car Show

Hibbing, Minnesota

We attended the Shifters Car Show in Hibbing, Minnesota on June 5, 2005. Representation of our favorite cars was lacking at best. For the Edsels, just one very nice 1959. We found no Corvairs at all, until after noon when a white 63 Monza appeared. The car was owned by Dick Killien of Hibbing and Yuma Arizona (according to the sign in the window) and was driven to the show by his son who said that he just got it going and out of the garage the night before, since the car had been parked after purchasing it several months previous. Photos of the car sprinkled below. The driver (who I assume was Dicks son) disappeared shortly after arrival, off to get registered and have some lunch, so we were left to look over the car. I liked the wheels, and realized first hand what a pain in the butt the A/C system is in a Corvair.

We did not show our 64 Monza, as we only had a short amount of time to be at the show, it had been raining all day and bad weather was coming, so we attended as spectators.

To me the most interesting part of the day was listening to the "old timers" tell the tales to the masses about what awful cars the Corvair was. Unlike when we attend car events in our Edsel where people generally say "They were good cars, just to far ahead of their time" or some such, here everyone was telling horror stories. Here's what I managed to over hear (I paraphrase to save a mountain of space). Apparently Corvairs: "Leak oil from every seal in them. You practically had to have an oil truck follow you". "They're just like big vacuum cleaners. Sucking in air and all the dust and dirt. Filled the cylinders with sand. Those cylinders look just like ice cream cones after you drive them for a while". "They're just like airplane engines. They have these long studs at every cylinder, and they all pulled out so you had to spend a lot of time drilling and putting in Heli-Coils to keep the cylinders on". "Back in '64 the police chiefs daughter had one of these. Rolled it and killed her. I told him if he wanted to get rid of the hot rodders he should just buy them all Corvairs". "They woulda been good cars if they had just come along with radio tires sooner. I was out with some friends when I was 17 in my Spyder and hit that corner off the highway and spun a couple 360's and wound up looking back the way I came from. Bad suspension and bias ply tires."

Yes, these are actual quotes. I stood by the car awhile listening to people with my digital camera in audio record mode, so i could get them right when I got home. I thank these people for keeping general hatred of the Corvair alive, so the cars stay affordable for those of us who are enlightened. Oh, and on the way home my wife snapped a photo of me behind the wheel of our 1964 Monza, which looks like a Spyder, but really isn't.


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