Alan Cesar Associate Editor
April 9, 2012 4:49 p.m.

My girlfriend's younger sister is shopping for a car, but she doesn't have a whole lot of money. We recently found this ad, a '63 Corvair for $1300. It's an interesting car: attractive, plenty of character, easy to work on, ripe with adventure (from the inevitable thrown belts and breakdowns).

Here's the question I pose for debate: Would you put a friend's 18-year-old daughter in a 50-year-old car with drum brakes, lap belts, and so on? Is it worth the potential adventure and good looks involved with an older car?

e_pie Reader
April 9, 2012 4:53 p.m.

18 year old son, yes

18 year old daughter, no

Though this also entirely depends on the daughter.

aussiesmg PowerDork
April 9, 2012 4:59 p.m.

Can the 18 year old drive and does she show the maturity to drive the car like a 50 year old car on drum brakes?

Or is she a normal 18 year old?

Greg Voth HalfDork
April 9, 2012 4:59 p.m.

That car has been for sale for around 6 months to a year. It's been priced around there for a while also.

It was out at the Turkery Rod Run and again at the spring one two weekends ago. I imagine there is something wrong with it or the seller if it hasnt sold yet. Price doesn't seem awful.

MG Bryan Dork
April 9, 2012 5:00 p.m.

Probably not. Is she mechanically inclined? Does she have classes or a job she won't make it to if the car fails her?

Is she attractive? Do you think she'd be safe on the side of the road in Florida waiting for help?

Is she going to be on the cell phone and crash the damn thing?

April 9, 2012 5:45 p.m.


I had a member in my Corvair Club that bought his daughter a "new" Corvair every six months because she kept wrecking them. Mainly because she was a E36 M3ty driver.

At that age any normal teenage girl should be driving something with as many drivers aids as possible. I grew up with classic cars, so things like drum brakes, no power steering, no power assisted brakes, etc. was nothing I couldn't handle. It may however be too much for a 18 yo girl.

icaneat50eggs Reader
April 9, 2012 5:51 p.m.

It is hard for me to imagine a worse car for a typical 18 to girl.

Graefin10 Dork
April 9, 2012 5:53 p.m.

As long as the car is in decent condition they are fairly reliable. I have owned 3 of them and never had a thrown belt or a major problem with any of them.

ransom Dork
April 9, 2012 5:54 p.m.

As others have said, it depends on the 18 year old girl.

On average, that sounds like a deeply terrible idea.

For the the right unusual person of that demographic description, it might be awesome. If it's not obvious that it'll be awesome, it's a deeply terrible idea.

jrw1621 PowerDork
April 9, 2012 5:56 p.m.

And, as a '63 it's a swing axle car. Pass.

93EXCivic UltimaDork
April 9, 2012 5:58 p.m.
e_pie wrote: 18 year old son, yes 18 year old daughter, no

I would switch that. The girls I knew in HS were much safer drivers then the guys.

I would say it depends on the girl.

rotard HalfDork
April 9, 2012 6:10 p.m.

I want a Corvair. Talk me out of it.

LopRacer Reader
April 9, 2012 6:13 p.m.

I wouldn't put my 21yr old Fiance in my 67 Bug nor a 63 Corviar that cost 1300 without me or one of my mechanic buddies. That puts it in perspective. I just don't like the idea if her stuck on the side of the road. Same reason my parents decided in 1992 to put my little sister in a 1982 320i instead of my 1974 VW Thing. No much difference in age but worlds of difference in safety and reliability.

ShadowSix Reader
April 9, 2012 6:16 p.m.
jrw1621 wrote: And, as a '63 it's a swing axle car. Pass.


Is this girl going to be very vigilant about tire pressures? More worthy commentators than I have noted Mr. Nader's hyperbole on this point, but he certainly didn't concoct the problem out of whole cloth.

Honestly, there is a very strong inverse relationship between age and general crash-worthiness.

stroker HalfDork
April 9, 2012 6:17 p.m.

Prior to my T-boning a S-10 in our Forester I would probably have said no problem. Now, I'd say NFW.

April 9, 2012 6:19 p.m.
Graefin10 wrote: As long as the car is in decent condition they are fairly reliable. I have owned 3 of them and never had a thrown belt or a major problem with any of them.

I have never thrown a belt either and Corvairs can be just as reliable as any other 50 y.o. car, but the issue at hand is the fact that this is an 18 y.o. girl.

Alan Cesar Associate Editor
April 9, 2012 6:25 p.m.
MG Bryan wrote: Do you think she'd be safe on the side of the road in Florida waiting for help?

This is the clincher. Nope.

Thanks for the lively debate, folks.

Woody UltimaDork
April 9, 2012 6:32 p.m.

No. Hondas are made for 18 year old girls.

April 9, 2012 6:34 p.m.
Woody wrote: No. Hondas are made for 18 year old girls.


Argo1 Reader
April 9, 2012 6:38 p.m.

I am a Corvair fan and have owned many but I would not put a teenager in one. No modern safety gear. Handling in an emergency can catch them out. Keeping them running takes more than just adding gas when it runs out. Rust is a big issue on most of them.

irish44j SuperDork
April 9, 2012 7:09 p.m.

sounds like the worst idea ever. Go find her a $1300 older accord, civic, corolla, focus, etc........

do not live vicariously through 18-year-old girl drivers. If you want a corvair, go get it for yourself. Don't make the road more dangerous for everyone by putting a young female behind the wheel.....

also, if she doesn't have alot of money, buying a 50-year old car will result in YOU doing all the repairs on it for free, since she can't afford to have anyone else do them :)

Rufledt Dork
April 9, 2012 7:31 p.m.

If I had a daughter, or a son, I wouldn't put her in one. Swing axles, no ABS, not excellent in a crash, no thanks. I didn't have anything with driver's aids until just recently, but at least I had airbags in one of my cars. The other was a giant van, so crash-worthiness was a little better than a corvair.

emodspitfire Reader
April 9, 2012 7:34 p.m.


+1 to Woody. Get her a Civic.


Rufledt Dork
April 9, 2012 7:41 p.m.
e_pie wrote: 18 year old son, yes 18 year old daughter, no Though this also entirely depends on the daughter.

I would also disagree to the gender difference. Looking back, I didn't know many 18 year old girls who I would've called great drivers, but I also don't know many who did stupid things like my guy friends. I had a friend who couldn't keep a late 80's toronado on the road due to stupid stunts. If he were in a corvair, he'd have hit a tree in no time.

I would agree, though, that it depends on the person.

noddaz Reader
April 9, 2012 8:07 p.m.

Don't do it...

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