HomePick of the DayLittle old lady Corvair coupe named Rosie in as-new condition

Little old lady Corvair coupe named Rosie in as-new condition


“The little old lady from Pasadena (go granny, go granny, go granny, go).”

Little remembered nowadays are the roots of this song originally recorded by surf-rock duo Jan and Dean in 1964.  As the story goes, used-car salesmen in Southern California way back when would tell a prospective customer that the vehicle for sale formerly belonged to “a little old lady from Pasadena who only drove it to church on Sundays.”

A Chevy graphic decorates the car’s flanks

That became a joke and a cliché, which the writers of the song turned on its head by portraying The Little Old Lady from Pasadena as a street-racing hot rodder.

All of which leads to the Pick of the Day, a 1965 Chevrolet Corvair two-door coupe, said to be in pristine condition after being driven only 12,000 miles by a little old lady who stored it away after having a stroke.

The car is named Rosie, the original owner was named Rose Ruse and the Corvair is being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a California dealer located in Roseville, of course.  Quite a bouquet of roses.

The interior looks about perfect

The coupe is a standard-issue Corvair, the kind of compact car that a little old lady might own in the 1960s, with the flat-6 engine hooked up to an automatic transmission, with blue metallic paint, a blue interior, chrome trim and wire-wheel hubcaps.  Incongruously, there’s a Chevy graphic on its sides, which is not mentioned in the ad as being original or not.

What makes the car special is its exceptional preserved condition, supported by “lots of documentation,” the seller says.

“Rose suffered a stroke in 1969 and refused to sell Rosie and kept her in storage until 1986,” the dealer says in the ad. “Rosie was sold to a collector after that and… won over 25 awards and trophies over the years. Truly a special car.”

The rear-mounted engine compartment looks very clean

As always, the question with such a time-warp perfect collector car is what to do with it.  Store it in bubble wrap and only trailer it to shows?  Or drive it, knowing that every mile you put on the car lowers its value precipitously?

As it is, the dealer is asking a strong $25,000 for this unusual Corvair presented in what appears to be showroom condition.

Ideally, it will be purchased by another little old lady who’s also a classic car buff, and who will keep it and maintain it as is.  Go granny, go!

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.


Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. This was one of my cars I owned when I was in highschool. It had a 3 spd manual and a manual convertible top. Leaked and used more oil than gas. The memories are priceless.

  2. Maybe it is time for GM to bring back the Corvair, albeit with modern day safety. The platform can be a bare bones, good fuel economy, water cooled, naturally aspirated, boxer with six cylinders, the vehicle will be a starter for young consumers; for people that want to own! No frills.= low cost.

  3. Do you remember how many people had toxic CO death from this mutant. A black mark on the wonderful Chevy’s that were built in that era.

  4. While any time capsule is worth good money, that’s tall cotton for a Corvair, for $25 (or less) I can find other, potentially better cars. The market interest in Corvairs just isn’t there to pay a super premium. It is super cool though. Dad had a ’64 Corvair convertible w/a 4 speed. I hope a Corvair person does get it and enjoys it.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts