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How a rusty 1963 Corvair turned into a slightly less rusty 1977 MG Midget

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How a rusty 1963 Corvair turned into a slightly less rusty 1977 MG Midget

Post  rsv1cox on Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:58 pm

Remember this: (The rest of the story)



Seller, a friend of my daughter-in-law wanted to sell her long term Corvair for a reported $500. So I took a look at it discovering that there was nothing left of the floors, the interior was almost completely gone and it had not been ran for about 20 years. So I slept on it and called her the next day with an offer of $300. Instead of a counter-offer which I expected, she said that she would have to think about it. I would have paid the $500.

Next thing we knew she listed it on her Facebook page and on-line locally as "Free or Best offer". What? Free or best offer, what does that mean. So I forgot about it.

Enter a craigslist ad for a "very rusty but complete 1977 MG Midget" for $300. No phone number but an email address. No response. So for the next three weeks I sent off emails offering to buy. Nothing. Then I noticed he had dropped the price to $250. Ok! More emails, more no responses. The I got a call...........No title but a bill of sale, no problem all I want is a summer time project fixer-upper. Made a deal $300 delivered. Should be here tomorrow.



I still have scads of Midget parts left over from my 1974 MG Midget + a spare engine. I sold the '74 for $5400 so I figure I'm ahead of the game. Smile
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Re: How a rusty 1963 Corvair turned into a slightly less rusty 1977 MG Midget

Post  GallopingGhostler on Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:38 pm

Bob, nice find. I had a friend in our band in 1974, who had a new MG same model in pleasing mustard brown. Back then it wasn't about brute horsepower but zippy acceleration with twin SU carbs, reasonably free flowing exhaust and great cornering capability.

I'd understand the pass on the Corvair. Love the body styling and felt that overall didn't get a fair rap. So far I gather that those who own them love them. Rust work, ugh, very time consuming to do right. If found in a place like Phoenix or Tucson where it rains 3.5" (89mm) a year, might have been a different story.

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Re: How a rusty 1963 Corvair turned into a slightly less rusty 1977 MG Midget

Post  RknRusty on Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:42 pm

Good going, Bob. Sounds like you made the right choice for a project, I bet that Corvair would've been nothing but headaches.

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Re: How a rusty 1963 Corvair turned into a slightly less rusty 1977 MG Midget

Post  Cribbs74 on Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:57 pm

Bob,

The Midget and I are very well aquainted. I have owned a '71, '72, and two 74's. Yours has the 1500 Triumph engine I believe. My favorite years are the 72-74 because of the round rear wheel arches and chrome bumpers

The last '74 I owned I rebuilt the 1275 and warmed it over with high compression worked SU's and a good street cam, along with installing a Datsun 5 speed transmission. If you can swing it, the Datsun unit really makes for a very comfortable little cruiser.

Have fun with it! If you are so inclined a chrome bumper conversion is easily doable. Lot of weight savings as well.

Ron
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Re: How a rusty 1963 Corvair turned into a slightly less rusty 1977 MG Midget

Post  rsv1cox on Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:00 pm

RknRusty wrote:Good going, Bob. Sounds like you made the right choice for a project, I bet that Corvair would've been nothing but headaches.

Yes, that Corvair was bad news, but I would have loved to own it for the simple reason that I never have. In fact I had never even sat in one until last week.





At least the Midget has floors. Seller collects cars, has a garage full of old timers.

Bob
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Re: How a rusty 1963 Corvair turned into a slightly less rusty 1977 MG Midget

Post  rsv1cox on Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:37 pm

Cribbs74 wrote:Bob,

The Midget and I are very well aquainted. I have owned a '71, '72, and two 74's. Yours has the 1500 Triumph engine I believe. My favorite years are the 72-74 because of the round rear wheel arches and chrome bumpers

The last '74 I owned I rebuilt the 1275 and warmed it over with high compression worked SU's and a good street cam,  along with installing a Datsun 5 speed transmission. If you can swing it, the Datsun unit really makes for a very comfortable little cruiser.

Have fun with it! If you are so inclined a chrome bumper conversion is easily doable. Lot of weight savings as well.

Ron

Yes, my '74 was a better looker. I did quite a lot of work on it, mostly engine and engine bay.





Took me about a year to get to this stage.



I figure about 10 years for the '77 to get to the same point. Smile Yes, I think it has a single Stromberg.

Bob
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RE: Rusty 1963 Corvair

Post  66 Malibu on Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:28 pm

Bob,  
Believe me when I say you got the best deal by missing that Corvair !!!
In 1965, a college buddy owned a 1963 Corvair and he wanted us to go to Daytona Beach, FL for Spring Break in it. He and I and another buddy drove the 500 miles from Charlotte, NC to Daytona in that thing. I had been in it for short around trips around town and such but never a long road trip.
When we got there after 10 hours, I fell out of the passenger seat onto the hotel parking lot and he did the same out the drivers door.
We had to help our buddy out of the back seat too !!!
I'm not talking old geezers like me now but 19 year old kids.....After the 500 miles back home I never rode in another Corvair again !!!
Only other Corvair, I ever saw worth owning was a road racer at the local gas station in Ft.Lauderdale where I lived at the time.
He put the 180 horse turbo charger unit on a high compression 4 carb 140 horse engine. It had 6 aircraft cylinder head temp gauges on the dash for the air cooled heads.
He lead almost 3 laps in a road race heat at Miami /Hollywood Speedway Park pulling Corvettes and Ferraris down the straights.
At the end he said all 6 head temp gauges pegged and the engine grenaded !!!
It ran good for a while  apparently !!!
Steve..............
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Re: How a rusty 1963 Corvair turned into a slightly less rusty 1977 MG Midget

Post  rsv1cox on Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:16 am

Quite the story Steve, reminds me of the time a group of teen age buddies and I......well, I better not go there.  Smile

Looking again at that finished engine compartment brings back memories of all the work I put into that car.  Maybe the buyer got a deal, in fact it was the engine compartment that sold him.  Crazy guy that actually gave me more than my asking price.

But this one will be more of a challenge, toxic mess. Gloves, coveralls, respirator for starters.





I think I can get a title for it and antique tags (25 years old and older in WV). If I can't, I have 6 acres here and could use a farm vehicle. Cut it down and make a pickup truck out of it.

Bob
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Re: How a rusty 1963 Corvair turned into a slightly less rusty 1977 MG Midget

Post  GallopingGhostler on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:12 am

rsv1cox wrote:Looking again at that finished engine compartment brings back memories of all the work I put into that car.  Maybe the buyer got a deal, in fact it was the engine compartment that sold him.  Crazy guy that actually gave me more than my asking price. But this one will be more of a challenge, toxic mess.  Gloves, coveralls, respirator for starters.

Curious Bob as the need for "hazmat abatement", mold? Lead paint?

I think I can get a title for it and antique tags (25 years old and older in WV).  If I can't, I have 6 acres here and could use a farm vehicle.  Cut it down and make a pickup truck out of it. Bob

Had a friend title a motorcycle by going to one of those title insurance places or whatever they're called here in NM. They do a certain amount of research for a fee, after discerning facts, supply sufficient paperwork acceptable to the state for getting the title. Had it explained to me, don't remember all the details, cost him less than a couple hundred bucks to do.

Speaking of major work, I've replaced clutches, overhauled engines, brakes, replaced fried bearings, axles, seals, dent repair work, painting, etc. Worst job I've done to date is replace a heater core in a 1999 Chev. S10 pickup. Glad I had the simpler 2.2L 4-banger and not the 4.3L V6. Then I would have had to remove the front bumper, right fender and hood to get at one bolt on the evaporator/heater core unit.

Removed the steering wheel and dash to get at the heater core. Took my time so it took a week.






Sweet little basic truck, 5 speed wide ratio manual, no AC, 165,000 miles still runs strong. When I retired from civil service hauled all my household goods from Alamogordo, NM to back to Clovis making 5 trips. Trailers were 2 ATV and box from Holloman AFB Rec. Services for $20 rent per weekend. After the 3rd trip with 3/4 of our furnishings back at our old house in Clovis, wife told me, "It cost the government $6,000 to move us from Gallup, NM to Alamogordo. You did it with $60. Laughing

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RSV1COX conspicuously absent for a few weeks..

Post  fredvon4 on Wed May 24, 2017 2:06 pm

I suspect he is nursing rust scrapes and frustration with endless rust / cancer removal and endless cutting and sanding....


I sort of expect the rats nest dinky car to be adapted to a yard n garden back woods Red-Green duct Tape field plow and tiller


grin

Or Bob is saving his energy and $$$ for more and more from one of several restore web sites


maybe he is going to powder coat the entire thing in Cub Yellow
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Re: How a rusty 1963 Corvair turned into a slightly less rusty 1977 MG Midget

Post  rsv1cox on Thu May 25, 2017 7:10 am

Hazmat suit George, an attempt at humor but not far fetched. Mold, mildew, rats nests, snake skins and an assortment of insects were found in this thing.





An yup Fred, rust never sleeps and I lose some worrying about it. Not much left in the engine compartment. Engine was seized and is coming out. Restoring Enya's and building balsa models was so much cleaner. My coveralls cover me from chin to ankles but I still get filthy.



Not much left in there.

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