Electric Corvair Drains Batteries, Wallet; Blows Fuses, Minds

1966 Corvair Convertible Electric car for sale
We were about ready to feature this drop-top Corvair because it was just so freaking gorgeous. The four speed and 4.11:1 posi rearend complement a spruced up suspension and front disc brakes. Then there’s the small matter of the stonking 144 volt electric motor powered by 18 8 volt batteries…

1966 Corvair Convertible Electric car for sale
The rest are in the frunk

The conversion kit comes by way of electroauto.com (a site deserving a feature of its own). From what we can tell, it’s the high-end AC motor kit, which allows for regenerative braking leading to longer ranges. It charges off of a standard 120V wall jack. The irony of an electric version of the Green Party candidate’s nemesis is not lost on us.
1966 Corvair Convertible Electric car for sale
What’s the catch? Right now the bidding’s at $10.9k with the reserve not met and the $39,000 buy it now suggests it’s got a way to go.

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  1. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

    It's electrifying!

    1. Ambersand Avatar

      But would it burn up the quarter mile? That is the question.

      1. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

        I herd it takes off in a flash

  2. acarr260 Avatar

    Wait… I must have this confused with some other type of blog entry.

  3. CptSevere Avatar

    With a bunch of batteries up front and in the rear, I'll bet it has pretty good weight distribution, and handles pretty well. This is interesting (what Corvair isn't?), but it doesn't hold a candle to the Jagvair.

    1. muthalovin Avatar

      Now, that would be a awesome match-up. The Jagvair and the Electravair! Oh, I think I blew my mind.

  4. engineerd Avatar

    While I'm not generally a fan of electric vehicles, there are some very interesting applications and when used for a performance reason makes sense (assuming you can finish the race).
    I can't help but thinking, though, that with that much potential energy just looking for a path to ground that maybe Nader needs to write a new book. Call it "Unsafe At Any Amps".

  5. tiberiuswise Avatar

    Oh the fist figt between AlGore and Ralph Nader this would provoke.

  6. dmilligan Avatar

    Thirty-nine grand for an electric Corvair? They're freakin' nuts. Total crackpipe.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      I'd be curious if they can get it.
      Still, an A- condition Corvair convertible might be worth $10-15k, and the conversion kit is ~$15k, that's still nowhere near the asking price.

      1. dustin_driver Avatar

        You should not have told me that an A-condition Corvair convertible can be had for $10-15k. Yes, I had suspected as much, but I was lying to myself to keep my bank account safe and sound.

  7. Tomsk Avatar

    I saw this car in person at John Force's car show in December, and it is pressed out. Not sure it's $39k pressed out, mind, but it looks bitchin' and the powertrain is cool.
    Also, it's worth noting GM actually built an electric Corvair 4-door hardtop concept in '66.
    This was the same year they built a fuel cell powered Chevy van. That's right, GM was toying with fuel cells 44 years ago.

  8. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    At least with the silent motor, you'd be able to hear every single bit of gear carnage as the transaxle ate itself.

  9. Derek X Avatar
    Derek X

    Smells_Homeless, you best keep off the crack pipe … I’ve rebuilt well or 60 Corvair transaxles, and all the years are quite robust, and in 1966 the Saganaw transmission was adopted, and with the exception of the case and clutch gear it was exactly the same Beefy transmission used in the Corvette at the time.
    In 1982, I got the use for a year of a 1966 Corvair Corsa with a Crown V-8 conversion (Chevy 327, 325 hp), and all that sweet V-8 torque was routed right through the nearly stock Corvair transaxle (4 spider gear conversion) without any problems what so ever, and I Hooned the ‘ell out of that car, you are soooo wrong.

  10. cell phone shop Avatar

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  11. Caitlin Baker Avatar

    AC motors are more efficient than DC motors and requires less maintennance `

  12. Barron Avatar

    I love it! Where did you get those mag style wheels?? Are they 14 inch or 13?

  13. charley Avatar

    have been associated & driven vairs from the first-to-last, am qualified vair mechanic and i have never heard such problems.
    two comments are special for the corsa: i- 1966/67 had a flock of improvements that was for the 2-year models ==only==.
    2- some of the carb & fuel pump problems are a direct problem with the formulated "epa" gas===== the fuel pump is capable of ruining the entire engine=== electric is the safe way.
    dedicated to my mentor -pete.