Rare 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Greenbrier Van

If you want to “make the going more businesslike and more fun” as Chevrolet suggested in a 1964 ad for the same van, this 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Greenbrier may be the one for you. It was sent in by a Barn Finds reader who found it here on eBay in Salem, Oregon. The reserve appears to have been met with a high bid so far of just $2,650.

While the coupe and sedan versions of the Corvair were an all-new model for the 1960 model year, the vanners would have to wait until 1961 to get their variant. Seemingly imitating the Volkswagen Type 2, Chevrolet’s Corvair Greenbrier featured a forward control seating position with a rear air-cooled engine. Greenbrier production was just a drop in the Corvair bucket, but I wouldn’t consider them exceedingly rare — from 1961 to 1965 Chevrolet built 50,965 Greenbriers, 11,993 of those in 1963.

If appearing utilitarian were a sport, this Greenbrier is Olympic-caliber. It was repainted approximately 20 years ago, but the paint has lost its luster. The seller says “the body is pretty straight and the windows don’t have any cracks” and it “doesn’t look bad for the age.” Black steel wheels with poverty caps complete the look.

It is a 6-door model, but appears to be missing a middle seat. An 8-door model would be convenient for letting the yahoos file out of the back, but that 2-door deficit wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for me. We’re given just the slightest peek inside, so it’s difficult to determine the overall condition. The painted surfaces look to be in good shape. The only insight the seller offers is that the “front seat needs some work.”

Open the aft doors and hidden below the raised floor is this 145 cubic-inch H6 producing 80HP. The seller has indicated this one is equipped with the optional automatic transmission, but there’s no photographic evidence to confirm. This Greenbrier’s running and driving condition is where the seller offers the most detail, telling us it “fires up first or second try and will drive anywhere” and that it “runs and drives really good.”

As an oddball myself, I’m drawn to the more oddball vehicles. I think this Corvair Greenbrier falls into that category. Aside from needing some cosmetic touch-ups, it looks to be in pretty decent shape with an attractive price to boot. It also scores points for having plenty of room for the whole family, even if the yahoos have to file in and out of one side. Is this Corvair the one to get you vannin’?


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  1. Little_Cars

    Who is calling this rare? Barn Finds or the eBay seller? Pretty common in Corvair terms but a nice entry into the Forward Control world. Poverty caps are from a much later full size Chevy (1968-69?) and this color combo would have been reversed from the factory. Deep green metallic over a white side insert. Why the seller uses eBay but doesn’t offer a couple more photos of the interior is beyond me. Good price, so far.

    Like 4
  2. Dual Jetfire

    Show it as unrestored with boxes of Fizzies and Lawn Darts in the back for that 1963 feel!

    Like 5
    • Little_Cars

      To bad it’s already passed through too many hands to be considered an unrestored survivor. Preserved, yes, but not a time capsule with that blanket over the front seat and repainted coves. Missing it’s super-easy-to-find license tag light units on the rear.

      Like 3
  3. ACZ

    Appears to have a passenger car engine because of dipstick location. These were fun to drive. All came with Cruise Control (put a brick on the gas pedal and you’d do 72 mph on a flat road).

    Like 5
  4. p t cheshire

    Passenger car engine not the original van, station wagon engine.

    Like 4
  5. steve

    Had one. White with RED stripe. Also automatic which is a powerglide. Two forward gears and it was always in the wrong one….
    I THINK, however, they had a rear pump for the transmission which means you could tow start it. You need a butterfly screwdriver to remove the engine lid.
    It is a 1963 Vanagon….Just sayin’..

    Like 4
  6. C P Murray

    Does have the automatic transmission as the dip stick and modulator vacuum line can be seen in the engine pictures

    Like 3
  7. Bob C.

    Only 80 horsepower with dual carbs? I know their likely 1 barrels, but I would think it would churn out a little more.

    • ACZ

      They are single barrel carbs. The original engine was 80 hp. However, it’s obvious this is not the original engine so who knows what the horsepower really is. If you ever drove one, 80 hp is quite adequate. A world away from a VW.

      Like 7
    • On and On On and On Member

      Geez Bob, It’s a 1963 economy van. People need to look at HP vs weight and torque vs weight ratios to judge power and drivable pull/power performance. Plus these got 20-30mpg, like they were expected to and did do. VW vans of 1963 had how much horsepower? A powerglide 2 speed trans adjusted properly with a set up and tuned engine was great, easy and convenient for all folks to drive and enjoy, these were aimed at moving the family in modern style. Did it do that? Who’s to say…….IMHO

      Like 5
    • stu

      Your right Bob C….only when you push it!

    • stu

      Your right Bob C…only when you push it!

  8. HC

    Yeah you dont see these everyday. Would turn some heads at car shows for that reason. Price is certainly reasonable.

    Like 2

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