Convertible Quest

So how about a little bit of introduction?

I have always wanted a convertible, ever since I became a gearhead back in the day, but I have never owned one. On our honeymoon (all of which was a surprise to my wife), we rented a 1960 Cadillac Model 62 convertible from National and drove it up the Pacific Coast Highway.

Cars came. Cars went. Kids came. Still no convertible.

The year I met my wife, I also met my first Corvair and both have held a fascination for me ever since. Last year I turned 40 years old, and I have a good life. But I have decided that if I don't do something I will never have the convertible I always wanted.

Not that this issue is anywhere near as important as the starving people in Nigeria, the North Korean gulags, or the upcoming war with Iraq (brought to you in Dolby Digital). But it matters to me.

My dream convertible would be a '65 Corsa 140 4 spd., either Cypress Green with a beige interior and top, or maybe light blue with a blue interior and top.

I am willing to accept other choices. The goal for this car is not to have something perfectly restored, but to have something presentable, solid and pleasant to drive most days in the summer.

The first car I looked at was on eBay. It looked like this:


The seller was willing to accept $550 for the car, a '66 Monza with a power top. It was solid, but with no top, no interior, for all practical purposes no power train, and no paint. My wife and I discussed the cost of shipping the car from California to Michigan and the time I would have to spend restoring it, and I said no, thanks.

And so the quest is formed. Our gallant hero, accompanied as always by Jeff and his barking dogs, and maybe a child or four sets out on his quest to find the car that will assure him of that perfectly roasted pink bald spot next summer. If you, gentle reader, are not a subscriber to the Virtual Vairs e-mail list, be aware that this page first appeared as posts to that list in an effort to get better judgment than I would exercise on my own. A valid concern, you must admit.

If you are reading this chronicle because you are on a similar quest, I highly recommend Steve Serenska's pre-purchase checklist, which can be found at his excellent website. I would also strongly encourage you to discuss your inspection and what you find with the VV list.

Here we go!



Part 1. January 18, 2003: Mint with Some Rust

Part 2. January 19, 2003: Negotiations

Part 3, January 27, 2003: Rejection

Part 4, February 8, 2003: My Blue Heaven (Not)

 Conclusion, February 23, 2003: Mission Accomplished

 Norman C. Witte Personal Web Page