Auction Pick of the Week: 1961 Chevrolet Corvair 95 Rampside


Cute, isn’t it?

This 1961 Chevrolet Corvair pickup represents an unusual chapter in automaking history, when Chevrolet, Ford, and Dodge offered “flat-faced,” cab-forward vans, and modified them into light-duty pickup trucks, a formula made popular by Volkswagen. This example is offered on Hagerty Marketplace.

This pickup’s formal name is the Chevrolet Corvair 95, so named because of the very short 95-inch wheelbase (the wheelbase of a modern Honda Civic wheelbase is a foot longer). This made the Corvair 95 maneuverable and easy to park, and the bed allowed for a lot of cargo room.

This Rampside version, built from 1961 through 1965, is so named because of a fold-down ramp on the passenger side, making the loading of motorbikes, karts, or lawn equipment (the Corvair 95 was popular with landscapers) simple and easy. There’s even a rubberized edge at the top so the paint doesn’t get scuffed. The Rampside was also popular with West Coast surfers, who could just place their boards in back and head for the ocean. There’s a rear tailgate too, of course.

1961 Chevrolet Corvair 95 Rampside Pickup side gate down
1961 Chevrolet Corvair 95 Rampside Pickup rear gate down

The engine is a rear-mounted flat-six-cylinder displacing 145 cubic inches. It has 80 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque, and is listed as having the Corvair 95’s “beefed-up” engine “with more durable exhaust valves, exhaust valve rotators, lowered compression, and carburetors with larger jets for cargo-transporting duties.” It’s air-cooled, and you can see the vents in the rear quarters.

1961 Chevrolet Corvair 95 Rampside Pickup engine overhead

There’s 80 cubic feet of load space. Payload capacity is a healthy 1900 pounds.

The transmission was typically a three-speed, but this example has the more coveted four-speed manual transmission, operated via a floor-mounted shifter.

Inside, the 1961 Corvair 95 is pretty bare-bones, with a vinyl-covered bench seat. Aftermarket accessories include a steering column–mounted tachometer, and a dash-mounted Kenwood stereo. The big two-spoke steering wheel is nearly horizontal, like a bus driver’s, to make ingress and egress easier. Mileage shown is just over 75,000, but it isn’t known whether or not that’s correct.

Baby-moon hubcaps and thin whitewall tires complete the period look. Many Corvair 95s were two-toned, but this one is refinished in a single blue color with a matching dashboard. It wears chrome bumpers front and rear.

It’s a bit unusual to find a classic that is willing and able to work for its keep, but this Corvair 95 is. It’s available on Hagerty Marketplace, with closing bids due Tuesday, November 7, at 3:50 p.m.




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    I love Rampys. One thing the author forgot to mention that can be handy in that bed is to set up a table and chairs, with maybe a large umbrella to sit in the shade while at show ‘n’ shines, sipping a cool drink from an ice chest, and the side ramp makes for easy ingress/egress for wandering around the show or making a pot stop. I see people doing that in their Rampys quite often and I envy them.
    I’ve no room nor budget for another vehicle right now, so I’m resisting the urge to go bid on this one, but I’ll admit that as I scan the photos, my mind is already planning what I’d do to/with it (including trying to remember where my big patio umbrella is stashed)! Lord, give me strength! 🙏

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