Hooniverse Truck Thursday – Two Corvair Greenbriar Vans… So which one would you choose?

Welcome to Hooniverse Truck Thursday. Last week we highlighted a Chevrolet Corvair 95 Rampside Forward Control Pickup Truck (try and say that three times fast!), so this week, I thought it was time to highlight the passenger van with a Corvair heart, the Greenbriar. I found two Greenbriars that were recently “restored” on Auto Trader Classics; One fairly stock looking. The Other? Well, not so much….

This is a nicely done 1961 Corvair Greenbriar Van with what is essentially non-stock color scheme. According to the dealer:

Have you seen one of these lately? That’s what I thought! WOW MAN!! Great condition in & out. Very original, very clean, runs beautifully and is a blast to drive. Rear engine 6cyl with 2 one barrel carbs. Great driver. She can drive all day without a problem. Many extra parts including new glass, dash parts, speedomter, front grill, Original radio (New AM/FM CD player installed now) and more. Lotsa family fun and lotsa looks!!

This truck has been marked down to $7,990. See the listing here.

On the other hand, here is a 1963 Greenbriar that has undergone some enhancements. The paint is applied only to the outside (door jams are left alone), the Dashboard has been customized, tasteless rims have been used, and the whole van has a 50’s diner feel to it. According to the dealer:

1963 Chevy Corvair “Custom” Van…..Custom paint and interior…custom power windows….custom wheels…..6cyl/ automatic transmission….runs and drives great !! This van gets more looks than Marilyn Monroe !!!….A real head turner that’s a blast to drive !! We believe Woodstock possibly.

Mileage is unknown, and the asking price is $12,800! See the listing here.

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29 responses to “Hooniverse Truck Thursday – Two Corvair Greenbriar Vans… So which one would you choose?”

  1. GTXEliminator Avatar

    The interior looks better on the 63 one but the paint and the wheels ruin it, then I bring in the price and clearly the winner is the 61.

  2. IronBallsMcG Avatar

    Lake pipes on a Corvair. Interesting.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I had a more impassioned response to that particular bit of stupidly obvious fakery.

    2. OA5599 Avatar

      Perhaps it runs the headpipes toward the front, then uses AAR mufflers.
      <img src="http://www.accurateltd.com/assets/images/ta-aar%20diagram(1).jpg" width=500>

      1. IronBallsMcG Avatar

        I considered that possibility, but that needless weight and complexity offended my delicate sensibilities.

      2. Alff Avatar

        Would you care to put some money on that?

  3. muthalovin Avatar

    That is too damn custom for that price. I will take door number one, please.

  4. dukeisduke Avatar

    That blue one looks familiar. A guy in our club has a son that transferred years ago with Kodak to Rochester, and he had a blue one. Hmmmm…
    The other one is waaaay overpriced.

  5. tonyola Avatar

    The blue one is the far better value and is pretty tasteful. The interior scheme on the red one verges on garish and all that checkerboard trim is horrible.

  6. P161911 Avatar

    I'll take the blue one. I would imagine with the 2-speed Powerglide and a not too hot engine the only thing you might out run is a similar vintage VW van. Needs a 4-speed at least, a 4-carb or turbo motor would be even better.

  7. Alff Avatar

    I find nothing appealing about the second one – the interior, paint, pipes and wheels are completely inconsistent with the nature of the vehicle. I prefer the other one. The baby moons + trim rings are a nice touch. Navy blue wouldn't be my first choice but I could live with it.
    One thing I didn't know about until now – those rear facing benches. They look like a recipe for car sickness.

  8. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    Gimme the blue one. The freak show is just too much.
    What I think I really need is a van with a Rampside. Shouldn't be too hard to work that up.

  9. facelvega Avatar

    You people are suckers for the eye candy choice today. Sure, the blue one is tasteful and the white one horribly vulgar. The blue one is also a classic case of respraying a rusty car, you can see it on the door edges and sills, and I bet good pics underneath would be a horror show. It would be way cheaper to get rid of the stupid paint/wheels/trim on the 63 than to fix the basic condition of the 61, even taking the difference in asking price into account. Give me the ridiculous one.

    1. IronBallsMcG Avatar

      Good eye.

    2. Alff Avatar

      <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l02n7vnrXW1qzwy5o.jpg&quot; width=500>
      "You people?"

  10. njhoon Avatar

    I like the blue one better but as Mr Vega so astutely pointed to the rust issue, I think I'd have to take the Red and White Circus Wagon.
    – I noticed the window cranks on the middle windows. Am I to understand that they go down? I nver noticed that on these, that is awesome.

    1. RevPiper Avatar

      "Circus Wagon" I haven't heard that term since my GTR 2 modding days.

  11. Joe_Amador Avatar

    Rust is a normal thing, believe me, I like the blue one.
    Mine at Billetproof: <img src="http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q168/bigjoe94509/My%20Van/2mnbgdc6r.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Cool, an 8-door. There's at least one in our club.
      (sitting in someone's yard, not running)

  12. Jim Brennan Avatar
    Jim Brennan

    I have to admit, my Dad owned a Greenbriar Wagon and if you didn't know that, go and listen to our latest podcast. Anyway, I want to clear up a couple of observations:
    – The seats: The second one can be bolted either forward or backward as shown. The back legs of the seat folds when being used as the third seat. You have to fold it because the seat actually was placed on top of the cover used over the transaxle.
    – The windows do roll down. The only windows that were stationary were the rear ones (in the doors), and the last two windows on each side. The ones housed in the side doors rolled down, as did the Driver Side windows. We used to ride with all the windows down in the summer, because there was no A/C.
    – The original Corvair Powerplant was none too powerful. I helped my Dad install a 1965 engine that was upgraded to 110 HP (The original had 88 HP) and ditched the three-speed manual for a four-speed one. After that engine swap, the van could keep up with any traffic on the freeway, and blowing the doors off the VW Vans.
    – Rust: That little bit of surface rust in the Blue Van should be taken care of, but in reality, the door jam and rocker panel was really stout. The only rust problem we had was at the bottom of the front doors.
    – Why we got rid of it: The side doors didn't have a robust latching mechanism, and on more than one occasion, they mysteriously opened when turning left. And the brake lines let go while backing into traffic. That was it…. and it went to the scrap yard.

    1. facelvega Avatar

      Good to know on the thickness of the door jamb and rocker panels. If the blue one could withstand a close inspection with consideration given to the lower asking price, then it would be the clear winner here. Those very detroit-ish flaws like the doors flipping open in traffic or the brakes going out should be easy enough to sort out these days. The low power is a bigger concern, but I don't imagine anyone buys these now to replace a Sienna or Odyssey.

  13. facelvega Avatar

    The absurd old van I want is a Barkas B1000, in production for 30 years in East Germany with a 45hp three cylinder two-stroke. You still see them around often enough, way cooler and even simpler construction than the VW. Also much bigger. Not too practical landing parts if you don't live in Germany though.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8c/Barkas.jpg&quot; width="600">

    1. Alff Avatar

      Thanks for identifying this. I once hitched a ride in one of these, had no idea what it was.

  14. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    I have a question. How are other states about this? In IL, 18 and under (or maybe it's 17 and under) needs to be in seat belt, booster, car seat, or infant seat based on occupant age unless there is medical exemption. There is no exception for those occupants in a '64 or older car or anything. So when I got my car it had some rear seat belts just plain unsafely installed. I found the intended nuts tack welded and did it right, but that absurdity bothered me. I've seen VW busses that were bordering on ridiculous regarding the seat belts in the back. Do other states have the same laws in place?

  15. coupeZ600 Avatar

    Hey, if you like VW vans,you gotta' go check this thing out tomorrow nite. It was at last month's First Friday Art Walk right by the only bar I could find just off Roosevelt downtown. The guy driving it said they go to almost every First Friday if they're in town.

  16. coupeZ600 Avatar

    We joke around here (Flagstaff,AZ) that now since AzDOT and even the City has started using salt when it snows (yes, it snows in Arizona) instead of the rust-less volcanic cinders we used to put down, because all the knock-kneed-ninny's that moved here during the 10 year Drought never learned how to drive in it, you now have to make the distinction of a "Northern Arizona Car" (Salted), or "Southern Arizona Car" (Sun Rust).

  17. facelvega Avatar

    Yeah I recently did 2.5 hours for a supposedly sorted car where "everything works" that was in fact on its last legs in nearly every department and clearly had rolled over its odometer at some point. The guy immediately cut the price by 70 percent when I balked, but if I had wanted a parts car I wouldn't have responded to his ad. What was impressive is that he hadn't so much as cleaned the car out or even bothered to dry the rainwater that had poured in through the bad hatch seal, yet somehow he had managed to take pretty enough pictures to lure me out there.

  18. Jeremy Avatar

    cool corvair ramp side truck. just thought it could fit in

    1. facelvega Avatar

      Interesting link. I wonder what the going price is for intact non-runner Greenbriers? If that one last week was asking $8950, then this one may actually be worth the two grand they'd probably take. Assuming the engines are good, with a few weeks of hobby-grade work, a few hundred bucks in wear parts, and say another two grand at the paint and body shop and this one would be in at least as good condition.
      Oh, and in comparison to my comments about the rustiness of the blue one above, know your rust. Splotchy surface rust on flat panels is very visible but easy to take care of and doesn't really threaten the vehicle's integrity, while deep rust at seams, in tricky curved bits down where the salt hits, or on rust-through on floorboards and frames, though relatively invisible, is actually much more serious for the long-term life of the car.
      <img src="http://images.craigslist.org/3k03oc3l45Z45P25R3b3246a7cd3f33ca1fcc.jpg"&gt;

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