Instead of fighting off the invasive Volkswagen Beetles that kept swimming across the Atlantic in the 1950s, the folks at Chevrolet decided to just rip them off instead. Their efforts resulted in the first mass produced air-cooled American car, the Corvair, which first rolled out for the factory 1960 model year. Taking another page out of the German’s playbook, Chevy turned the vehicle into a van and a truck, which gives us this 1962 Chevrolet Corvair Rampside. This one is available on Craigslist near Rochester, Minnesota, and is 1 of about 4,100 Rampsides produced for the year. Does the $3,650 asking price for this so-called barn find truck ramp you up?
The owner states they haven’t checked (whatever that means) the six-cylinder Turbo Air motor in the engine bay, which means they have and it doesn’t run. This is obvious because they precede to tell us it doesn’t run. Oh, well, at least it comes with a bunch of extra parts for the engine, as well as a second block. The 145 cubic inch motor that may or may not (doesn’t) run would have made 80 horsepower when new, plenty for hauling lawnmowers. This one is supposedly connected to a four-speed manual. Other options would have been a three-speed stick or the two-speed Corvair Powerglide, which is not the same as the normal Chevrolet Powerglide.
The entire Corvair family is a great for new collectors or first-time restorers. There’s a swath of parts available, even for the more rare models, such as this Rampside, since the mechanicals are generally identical. That doesn’t mean it won’t cost you a bunch of money to get it done without a little expertise. This one does look relatively complete, minus a few headlights, but it appears to have a radio. If that doesn’t turn your knobs, then move along. We can assume it rolls, seeing as there are photos of it in different spots. Chances are that someone with a bit of mechanical know-how could have this cool paint job running and driving for a couple thousand more than they snag it for.
With prices rising on these trucks, this could be a survivor (not a victim) of neglect that deserves your immediate attention. Of course that all depends on the actual condition of it. The seller is fairly vague in their overall description, but at least they’ll trade it for a lawnmower — but keep the lawnmower, so you can show the truck really hauls grass!