Weekend Edition – A 1961 Chevy Corvair Lakewood Wagon on eBay (Wagons HO!)

Fullscreen capture 7202013 21442 PM.bmp

There are quite a few Facebook sites that I frequently visit, and one of the more compelling is the Wagons HO! fan page dedicated to all things pertaining to the Station Wagon. These were one the primary transportation module for families on the go before the advent of the Minivan, and the SUV. And look, here is a particularly tasty compact wagon in the form of a Chevy Corvair, called the Lakewood. Lustworthy or not?

Fullscreen capture 7202013 21501 PM.bmp

According to the rather detailed listing:

“Tina” is a show winning, amazingly original car brought out of the high desert of California less than two years ago. She won trophies at the Mobtown Greaseball, Canton Natty Boh show (she even has a Natty Boh shift knob), Jerry’s Chevrolet, Stewart’s Root Beer…all last summer. She is numbers matching and wears her original paint. When my daughter asked me if I was going to paint her, I said, “No…she has great patina”. That’s when she named the car Tina. She is solid and has no “real” rust…only her patina. No Bondo and the only damage is a crease on the driver’s side rear door that I refuse to do anything with. Her floors had rusted out from sitting on the her bottom in the desert and her previous owner did a good replacement job.

Fullscreen capture 7202013 21420 PM.bmp

She has Shelby mags with new lugs, new fuels lines, tank cleaned too, new battery, new battery cables, rebuilt generator, new choke cable, new rubber on hatch and windshield, new whitewall tires, new heater hoses, all electrics work, numbers matching three speed and 80 HP motor that runs beautifully…has some valve clatter upon start up, but they had that when they came off the dealer’s floor. Mileage is correct! Rebuilt master cylinder and wheel cylinders, new brakes and all brake lines, insulated roof, new front and rear wheel bearings, new rear shocks and springs, new headlights and adjusters, Champion 500 vintage gold metalflake steering wheel (worth as much as $500), new pittman arm bushing, new u-joints, new voltage regulator and some very nice restoration to the rear area of the interior (refuse to touch outside). If somebody DID want to restore her, she’s the perfect candidate with a laser straight body with superior gaps and panel fit. You can find shinier cars out there that have been welded, patched, repainted, cobbled together, etc., but try to find one that is untouched like Tina. You won’t. Her price reflects, in my opinion, that she is a far better find than a car somebody restored, with body repairs and work you have no idea of, that might start rudting again after the first time you wash her. With a car like this, you KNOW what condition she’s in. I’d hate to see her restored.

Fullscreen capture 7202013 21433 PM.bmp

I’ve worked on cars for over 40 years and no car has ever been this cooperative. Guess it’s because of its life in the high desert. I have even been in contact with the original owner and the 2nd owner. I’m only the third in her 52 years. She came out of Roberts Morris Chevrolet in 1960, and was driven to Califoria’s high desert almost immediately. I even have the original owner’s spiral notebook documenting the trip, oil changes, miles etc. This booklet covers a few years. I have both previous owner’s names, addresses, etc. I know her history.

Fullscreen capture 7202013 21527 PM.bmp
Lakewoods were only made for 18 months. Every other person at these shows tells me about their aunt or cousin who owned a Corvair, and they ALWAYS say, “Never saw a wagon”. You just can’t find them in this shape, especially in the east.

Fullscreen capture 7202013 21532 PM.bmp

With a little under 24 hours to go until the auction ends, the top bid so far is $3,750 with an unmet reserve. What do you think it will take to sell this rather unique Corvair? See the listing here, [sc:ebay itemid=”281136204689″ linktext=”1961 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood Station Wagon” ], and let me know what you think.

16 Comments

  1. I need that shift knob! A "Mr. Boh" head! He was the long time mascot for the advertising of National Bohemian beer, a well known libation in Baltimore, Md. Best described by a friend of mine as "If cheap had a flavor".

  2. Now that is an easy car to like. Classic American Cruiser. Have always liked vans and wagons for the space. Lots of Rooom.

  3. That's a beautiful thing. I'm inclined to take the travel stickers off the windows and give it a nice wax job. Otherwise, don't touch a thing.

  4. Corvair wagon is a new one on me. 100K miles on an engine that had valve clatter ever since it left the dealer? How 'bout some pics of those 'good job' floorboards instead of podunk car show trophies? Great, you won "Best Corvair Wagon" at the East Techumsebumsqueag Regional Beer Bust and Car Show. In a field of one.
    It's rare, it's nice enough, but less bragging pls. Also, aftermarket rims, home made upholstery, …um home made floorboards, aftermarket steering wheel and who knows what other insults keep this in the 'unrestored' category more than the 'original'

      1. I give him props for using "Techumsebumsqueag" in a sentence. Also, Easy box sounds like something you'd say about a dude's mother, if you wanted to insult.

    1. Wagons weren't offered with factory a/c, but you can put a/c on them. One of our club members added a/c to his Lakewood by installing a condenser and electric fan mounted vertically inside one of the rear quarters, and using the underdash unit from the coupe/sedan/convertible.
      And I'd be more impressed if this picked up trophies at CORSA conventions or other Corvair events.

      1. How well does that work? Clark's does not recommend that method; they suggest the method of constructing a raised trunk floor and mounting the condenser in the airflow underneath it.

    2. The "valve clatter" is no big deal, a valve just needs adjustment or a lifter is bad due to someone not changing the oil often enough, both are quick and inexpensive fixes. And really, do you actually believe it left the dealer with valve clatter???
      New factory style (and thicker gauge) floorboards are reproduced and readily available, and any competent welder can install them without problem.
      This wagon isn't nearly as "bad" as you seem to feel it is, it is basically unmolested fairly rust free and has a clean body considering the years it's been around. It's mostly easily obtained cosmetics that are in need of upgrades.
      New factory fit interiors are sold by at least 2 or 3 vendors, so a new interior is a phone-call away. The same can be said for nearly any part this vehicle requires, there are several vendors that make replacement parts that are close to N.O.S. (or better).
      When I had my general auto repair shop circa 1983 (and a Corvair specialist), I sublet space for a Corvair specialty shop, Vairmart, it had HUGE lines on the Saturday and Sundays he was open for business.

  5. I just love these Corvair station wagons, in '65 I used to ride in my neighbors '62 Monza wagon to school on rainy days, I loved sitting in the back over the engine, soaking up the heat and cool vibes form naturally balanced boxer 6.
    The most beautiful Corvair wagon I ever saw, I had a small hand in restoring in 1972 at Batway's Auto in Chatsworth, CA (in "The Valley"), my boss, the owner, Dean Hanson, got a call from a High School buddy just returning from Viet Nam asking him to find a Monza Station wagon ('62) and completely rebuild/restore it for his return.
    One was found being used as a chicken coop in the desert (truly, it was a mess!) and it was completely stripped and rebuilt with new suspension, steering box, drive-line, brake system upgraded to '66 style with dual master cyl, a mildly upgraded '65 Corsa 140 HP engine (4 carbs from the factory!), new factory tinted glass install all around, a complete better than stock, but very tasteful, interior, a beautiful deep blue paint job by Adam at AJK Enterprises, and topping it off were a set of re-trued, re-chromed Kelsey Hayes factory wire wheels (w/knock-offs, lead hammer included), it was a beauty, and you should have seen his eyes light up when he arrived to pick it up.
    These cars are very unusual and quite rare now, so it's nice to see them appreciated here without all the misinformed, incorrect, complete ignorant B.S. that often enters a discussion about Corvairs.

    1. I always wondered how the Mk1 Corvair wagons would handle the mods that Don Yenko and John Fitch used on the Mk2 Corvair coupes. I realize that the rear suspension from a Mk2 probably wouldn't translate to a Mk1 wagon, but I imagine the rest of the upgrades might work quite nicely.

  6. Well, it didn't break the reserve and bidding ending at 5100.00. I think somewhere around 5500-6000.00 should be about right for this. If it wasn't overloaded with the "classic booga booga" updates and surfboard, it would have gone higher, at least IMHO.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here