Hooniverse Truck Thursday – A Chevrolet Corvair 95 Rampside Pickup

Welcome to another edition of Hooniverse Truck Thursday. As many of you know, I have a rather soft spot for old Corvairs, and while doing a little research for a truck posting, I landed on this cherry Corvair Rampside on Auto Trader Classics. This was one of those General Motors innovations during the early 60’s that the public didn’t really get. See if you can “get” it now….

The commercial Corvair Truck series was badged “Corvair 95” for its wheelbase. Three models were offered – Corvan, Loadside, and Rampside. The Corvan was a panel van. The Loadside was a pickup with conventional double-walled box and rear tailgate, while the Rampside added a door on the right side of the bed that folded down to form a ramp. Unique to Corvair, this feature allowed heavy loads to be rolled instead of lifted into the bed, and Chevrolet sales literature never missed a chance to illustrate it. The top edge was covered with rubber to protect it when lowered to the ground or curb. The cargo bed was longer than a conventional truck’s bed, but wasn’t level. The rear half of the floor had to be raised to clear the engine. They were only offered between 1961 and 1964, and there were very few buyers for these unique pickups (around 2,000 per year).

Which brings us to this 1962 White and Black Corvair 95 Rampside. This is being offered by a private seller, and according to the listing:

My Dad bought this truck new in 1962 and it’s been in the family ever since. Not driven very often. Great old truck that is fun to drive & brings lots of comments from on-lookers! Only selling because I’m retiring & cannot drive a stick shift any more. Needs to go to a good home!

It has around 79,000 miles on the clock, newish paint, and the seller states that he has upgraded the engine somewhat. New tires, period rims, and new upholstery complete the package. Selling price is $8,950, which seems to be an OK buy considering the condition of the truck, but what do you really think of this Pickup from a Van? See the AutoTrader Listing here.

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  1. tonyola Avatar

    It's a bit mystifying. Dodge, Ford, and Chevy all offered pickup versions of their forward-control vans in the 1960s, yet none were successful enough for the makers to carry on the style into later generations. Same is true of VW – the pickup versions of the Transporter never sold well in the US. I guess Americans want hoods on their pickups. At any rate, the Rampside is a cool idea and I think this truck is worth the money if the mechanicals are good.

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      I'm semi-actively looking for a cheap FC pickup in usable condition. I like the styling of the rampside, but the thought of an air-cooled engine taking up a significant portion of the bed is kind of a turnoff, considering some of what I intend to haul. That was probably what many buyers in the 60's thought, as well.

      1. tonyola Avatar

        Good point, but the Ford and Dodge models had forward engines, so they should have lower load floors. It seems that the FC pickup style just wasn't appealing to enough people,

        1. OA5599 Avatar

          But then the cab only held two people.
          I should say the cab "only had two seats." I have vivid memories riding on the doghouse of A-100 vans as a kid–not a seatbelt, car seat, or crumple zone in sight.

        2. Mad_Hungarian Avatar

          The Fords and Dodges did have a level load floor front to back, but GM went to some pains to illustrate the hilarious effects of their uneven weight distribution when empty. The Econoline in this video is an early one; Ford added some dead weight over the rear wheels later on to help keep them on the ground.[youtube rvHEZwIsb7E http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvHEZwIsb7E youtube]

  2. muthalovin Avatar

    Nice enough, but a wee bit spendy for the condition. I like it, however, if it was 2k less, I would take it, and apply a fair amount of elbow grease, then it could be a pretty damn cool truck.

  3. dukeisduke Avatar

    It's in pretty decent shape, but I don't know if it's worth $8,950. There's a couple of Rampsides in our club that are a lot nicer, like this one:
    <img src="IMAGE URL" width="600">
    <img src="http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn299/cepakt/IMG_0493.jpg"&gt;
    And this one:
    <img src="IMAGE URL" width="600">
    <img src="http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn299/cepakt/IMG_0531.jpg"&gt;
    These are closer to $8,950 territory.

    1. dmilligan Avatar

      Those are some very nice rampsides. I just loved those things when they were around. Everybody used bitch about the weird bed, though it wouldn't matter for most hauling jobs from what I could see. I don't know about the heat from the engine being a problem, I was never around one of these long enough to see how hot it got.

      1. dukeisduke Avatar

        No, heat's not a problem there.

      2. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

        The Rampsides were apparently very popular with Bell Telephones, which bought them for their technicians — it made it really easy to roll big spools of telephone cable in and out, stuff like that.

        1. dmilligan Avatar

          I would imagine that they would work well for that. The telephone guys always get the really neat tools. Also just to clarify, when I said 'weird bed' above, I was referring to the multi-level floor, not the ramp. We likes the ramps.

  4. Joe Avatar

    It's a neat rig but truthfully that ramp just offers you an easier way to walk into the back. I wouldn't want to try rolling anything other than a bicycle on such a short steep surface as that.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      That looks to be close to the angle of an 8 foot ramp off the end of a normal pickup. I've used 8' wood ramps (with the aluminum ramp ends) to load everything from refrigerators to riding lawn mowers with no problems.

    2. west_coaster Avatar

      When I was a kid, these were all the rage with gardeners as they could roll their mowers right out of the bed easily. (I'm guessing they were also pretty cheap, as the entire Corvair line had been discontinued and the name was forever tainted.)
      Against a curb, the angle isn't quite so steep, and I'd see small-stature workers shove pretty heavy Toro mowers up and down the ramps with ease.

  5. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    Having been on a hunt for an FC pickup for well over a year now, I can say that that price is right about where all the rest of them I thought were too expensive were. But damn, I'd love one.

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      They should have kept the bed attached and called it the reverse mullet. Party in the front and business out back.

    2. Alff Avatar

      "Stay in forward control. Please drink responsibly."

  6. P161911 Avatar

    This looks like a pretty good idea. I would like to have some sort of folding platform to allow for normal use of a full length flat bed most of the time though.

  7. sudden1 Avatar

    Guess what the "95" stands for. Spoiler alert!
    It's the wheelbase. DingDingDing. So what do I win?

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      A thumbs up. But only because you were at 0.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Even that's pretty generous, because this information is already in the article itself.

        1. OA5599 Avatar

          But then we'd have to read the article.
          <img src="http://www.toonpool.com/user/997/files/primitive_caveman_words_255475.jpg"&gt;

        2. Black Steelies Avatar

          My point precisely.

  8. dukeisduke Avatar

    Corvair FCs are a trip to drive. The "which gear am I in?" shift linkage is the most fun part. I'd rather take mine with a Powerglide.

  9. Black Steelies Avatar

    Can't drive stick shift anymore? What a grave affliction!
    I would like one of these but I don't know if I would want to spend over $5k. Even if this is legit worth that much, I would be happier with a beater I wouldn't be afraid to use. Trucks with integrated ramps just make sense. This is still very cool considering it's a one-owner.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      The FC shift linkage is a Rube Goldberg design to begin with, and once all the parts are worn, it really becomes a challenge to find the right gear, so I'm not surprised that he's giving up on it. I was at a club party one time (our club, NTCA was founded in July, 1975, so we usually have our annual NTCA birthday party at someone's house around the 4th of July – a member with a pool, of course), and I was asked to move another guy's Rampside out of the driveway, so someone else could back out.
      His was a '62, with a worn shift linkage, and after managing to find reverse and backing it out onto the street, it took me several forays into third gear, along with smelling the aroma of burning clutch disc, to finally find first. If I was this guy that's selling the Rampside, I would find another FC with a Powerglide, and swap everything out.

    2. B72 Avatar

      If retiring means you can't drive a stickshift, might as well keep working!

  10. Black Steelies Avatar

    No bike rack for the Chevelle? I think they make racks that work on cars aside from Volvos.

    1. thomasmac Avatar

      While the Chevelles vinyl seats would be ideal for hauling my muddy sweaty self home after a day of riding the thought of welding a trailer hitch on the Chevelle has never crossed my mind haha. The roll in bed on that Corvair is ideal for the 50+lbs bikes though for sure!

      1. Black Steelies Avatar

        Or just put a roof rack on it and throw em up there, hehe. Man, I'm starting to like this idea, I may just have to get a muscle car of my own.

      2. longrooffan Avatar

        I've got a pair of center caps for those Chevelle wheels hanging on the wall of my condo right now. Interested in them?

        1. Black Steelies Avatar

          Oh boy, your Hooniversal Secret Ninjaclaus came early this year!
          That is if he showed up at all last year… because he may just be late.

        2. thomasmac Avatar

          Thanks but I actually have 2 different types of caps for those wheels right now, 67 Police caps and 69 Ralleye caps. This is an old photo from when I first got the car, I appreciate the offer from one Hoon to another!

  11. dukeisduke Avatar

    Mainly because they're Corvairs, and you really have to like Corvairs in order to want them. But to be fair, the values have been going up the last few years. Really nice cars can get $10k or more, and the FCs are headed in that direction.

  12. OA5599 Avatar

    A local group of Shriners bought a fleet of these for parade duty. I saw their sign along the highway.
    <img src="https://mymotels.com/propertyimages/326594/econo_lodge_inn_suites_exterior.jpg"&gt;

    1. $kaycog Avatar

      Oh, those silly Shriners!

    2. dmilligan Avatar

      Ba-dump dump!

  13. sudden1 Avatar

    …hangs head in shame…

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      It's okay sudden1…My fellow Hoons will forgive you your discretion but Don't Let It Happen Again! Oh and a thumbs up to ya.