Chevrolet Corvair Monza
The American car industry was intrigued when Chevrolet presented the Corvair in 1959. It was a compact car in time when compact cars were rare on U.S. soil. In fact, mostly foreign brands produced them. It had an engine in the back, rather than in the front like other domestic vehicles. Also, it was a six-cylinder boxer, not a straight six or V8 as everybody expected.
All in all, it was a bold and unusual move by the ultra-conservative Chevrolet. However, the most interesting model was the Corvair Monza. It was a two-door coupe or convertible that was a performance car in the Corvair lineup. The Monza featured one of the most unusual power plants Detroit has ever produced, the turbocharged boxer engine. It was basically Chevrolet’s four-seat Porsche 911 Turbo, 15 years before Porsche even thought of the idea.
The heart of the car was the 2.4-liter, flat six engine with a turbocharger on top. The result was 150 HP. That may not be a big number, but the small weight of the Corvair Monza helped produce a lively performance by the standards of the compact car class. For years, Corvairs and Monza turbo versions have been out of the limelight of serious classic car collectors. Most people tend to avoid them for their weirdness, but the prices are slowly rising. That turbocharged Chevrolet Monza compact might be the next big thing.