Ride of the Week: Manny Javier’s Prismatic 1966 CHEVY CORVAIR MONZA!

As with most weeks here, I cover amazing rides owned by our fellow compadres and built to perfection. I’ve been doing this for over six years in The Malibu Surfside News, and I’ve seen some amazing rides.

But today’s Ride of the Week goes to a new friend who came to Wheels and Waves this past month. He’s a passionate enthusiast with a very unique ride that’s been done up in a very unique way. Having been in this industry for over 40 years now, I’ve gotten a chance to see finished results in quite a variety of forms. But this 1966 Chevy Corvair Monza owned by Manny Javier is a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

Javier has been a shutter installer and window cover consultant for around 20 years and his Corvair has a stock engine riding on 16-inch Dayton wheels and Vogue tires.

“I have no need for speed,” he said. “So I’m planning on leaving it as is. It runs slow to show the amazing lines and it picks up when it’s needed. I found this car back in early 1994 in an AutoTrader Magazine in the San Bernandino Riverside section. The guy was asking $3,995 [or best offer], and was in Corona.

“I had no car and asked my girlfriend then (wife now) to take me out to a place I previously never thought existed, and about two hours from home. I ended up paying $3,500 and the rest is history.”

Well, a good deal is a good deal when it comes to what you love.

But Javier’s story isn’t over yet. The ’80s TV show “CHiPs” was a big part of him and he always wanted  a late-model Corvair, he explained. They always ended up crashing them in the show on the freeways, he recalled.

“Ever since I seen one on that show, I was hooked on Corvairs,” he said.

And this is where it gets interesting.

“My car was sitting in my garage for a good 18 years, but just last April, I decided to get it out on the road again and the first thing I noticed was that paint job was shot dead with no hope of bringing it back,” he said. “So I started to sand it down myself and as I worked at it, was surprised on how many times the car had been painted. Same color but different tones. After about eight months of sanding to get it right, I am proud to say that this paint treatment is the best part of my car.”

Did you hear that, folks? Javier sanded this puppy for eight months! And it seriously shows. Hints of steel, aqua, primer reds, marigold and more peek through. You could literally stare at this car all day and still discover new things.

Javier doesn’t call this ’66 his daily driver as it’s had many repairs. But he’ll take any chance to take it for a spin.

“I brought it back to life to be driven … and to show my creative side,” he said.

And Javier’s final story brings it all full circle.

“I was in the Santa Monica Fourth of July Parade,” he tells me. “Having so many young kids looking at my car and giving me thumb’s up while moving along the Boulevard … took me back to the ’80s show where I’d seen my first Corvair.”

But driving in Malibu is a whole different experience, explains Javier. That journey involves getting the car all cleaned up the day before, packing up the ice chest, and hitting the 101 South to the Las Virgenes exit. Once Javier is on PCH, he is able to switch into vacation mode, with his windows down and his favorite tunes on the radio.

The sole reason people come to Malibu is to experience joy.  And there’s no better way than to cruise something cool into town and see all the smiling faces. According to Javier, he can’t wait for the next time he and his wife are out here in the ’66. Be sure to look up his Corvair on Instagram (@JAVIARTS) and see some of the amazing transformation photos.

Thanks Manny for sharing your incredible art with the world. If all of us followed our dreams, the world would be a beautiful place. But for now, Malibu will have to do.

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

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