Classic & Cruising 1965 Chevrolet Corvair

The 1965 Chevrolet Corvair rolled off the production line and onto the roadways of America with smoothed-out body lines, an absent B-pillar and an upgraded 4-wheel independent suspension. Nicknamed ‘The Poor Man’s Porsche”, the ’65 Corvair had more power than previous year’s models and an improved braking system to complement that extra power.

Nationale oldtimerdag Zandvoort 2010, 1965 CHEVROLET CORVAIR MONZA, DM-27-60 pic 2
Image of this beautiful 19665 Corvair by Alf van Beem (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Second Generation 1965 Chevy Corvair

The year 1965 was the first year of the second gen Chevrolet Corvair line. Corvairs were in production from 1960 through 1969, with the first generation Corvairs produced from 1960 until 1964. 1965 through 1969 covered the second generation.

Was the Corvair Really Unsafe?

One thing that surprised me, when researching to write this article, is that I’ve always heard the car was taken out of production ‘by Ralph Nader’ because it was unsafe. So, I was surprised to learn that Nader only questioned the safety of the first three years’ models of first generation Corvairs because of the swing suspension installed in them – plus he questioned the safety of the entire auto industry – but the Corvair was singled out by the media. By 1964, an anti-roll bar had been installed in the front end of the cars.

That means, the cars dropped from production, six years later, had nothing to do with the cars in question because the safety issues had been addressed in 1964 and then fully redesigned in 1965 models. Plus, a number of other car models – produced by Mercedes, Renault and Volkswagen used the same type of swing suspension and were not pulled into the safety debate in the same manner.

’65 Corvair Specs

A 140 horsepower engine was installed in the rear of the 1965 Corvair, and it measured 183.3 inches in length from bumper to bumper.

The wheelbase of the ’65 Corvair was 180 inches, and measured 69.7 inches wide and 52.8 inches high.

According to a paint color card shared on, there were 15 available exterior colors for the 1965 Corvair and 7 interior colors.

’65 Corvair Exterior Colors

  1. Black
  2. Light Blue
  3. Maroon Poly
  4. Yellow
  5. Gray
  6. Light Green
  7. Dark Blue
  8. Red
  9. Dark Yellow
  10. Fawn
  11. Dark Green
  12. Turquoise Poly
  13. Orange
  14. White
  15. Ivory

1965 Corvair Interior Colors

  • Ivory
  • Fawn Poly
  • Charcoal Gray Poly
  • Charcoal (I have to confess I’m not clear on the difference between charcoal gray poly and plain charcoal. If anyone has info on it, I would welcome your input.)
  • Red
  • Light Green
  • Turquoise Poly

How Many Corvairs Were Built in 1965?

A total of 235,438 Chevrolet Corvairs were built in the 1965 production run. The breakdown of the numbers for each specific model are:

  • 17,560 Corvair Series 500 4-door hardtop sport sedans
  • 36,747 Corvair Series 500 2-door sport coupes
  • 20,291 Corvair Corsa Series 2-door hardtop sport coupes
  • 8,353 Corvair Corsa Series 2-door convertibles (making this the rarest of the ’65 Corvair models.)
  • 37,157 Monza Series 4-door hardtop sport sedans
  • 88,954 Monza Series 2-door hardtop sport coupes
  • 26,466 Monza Series 2-door convertibles


By Laure Justice

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