Clever Packaging: 1961 Chevy Corvair Rampside

$3K seems like a decent price for a classic Corvair Rampside pickup, one of the more clever classic trucks to emerge from the 1960s. The seller says this one runs well, but it does appear to have some prior bodywork done. While the Rampside may seem small and underpowered by today’s pickup standards, it was a revelation when new. Find it here on craigslist in California, and thanks to Barn Finds reader Terry for the find. 

As you can see, the left rear corner has what looks like some primer and possibly bondo work done. Not the end of the world, but a potential watch area (and definitely worth repairing properly if you intend to bring this Rampside back to new condition). These were impressive haulers in their day, capable of swallowing a payload of a full 3/4 ton.

The raised bed design was another novelty. Well, “novelty” may be a compliment, as it could be seen as an annoyance due to most users of such a truck seeking a flat loading floor. With the rear-mounted flat-six motor, this wasn’t an option, but this is where the “Rampside” nomenclature helped drive a strong argument for this unusual pickup.

The swing-down panel on the right side of the Rampside made it easy to load from the sides of the truck, confronting convention that said you could only rely on a rear-mounted tailgate. This Corvair looks to retain most of the details that made it so unique, and the asking price seems fair for a project. The motor looks fresher than expected, and perhaps the “OBO” mentioned in the listing could net potential buyers a better price. What would you offer?


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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    I suppose that it is cheap enough, and if the bodywork is mostly confined to straightening out the many wrinkles and not dealing with major rust, this might be a fun project. None of the really rust-prone areas are shown, and not even one interior shot.

    There are a lot of questions. I wonder if the transmission is a 3 or a 4-speed? Where did all of the protective shrouding go, which was there to keep junk under the truck from getting into the top of the engine area? Plan to source some proper spark plug wires, as those missing boots allow a cooling air pressure drop which impedes normal engine temperature control.

    Like 4
    • Miguel

      The ad says it is a 4 speed.

      Like 3
  2. That AMC Guy

    Check carefully the unibody “frame” rails especially on the ramp side! (There are no other structural elements there.)

    Like 2
  3. Roader
  4. misterlou Member

    Missing a lot of the shrouding. Could contribute to no interior heating and cause engine overheating as well.

    Like 2
  5. gene

    Replace all the rubber gas lines unless you like fire

    Like 2
  6. mikestuff

    I got a part time job with a janitorial service, January 1971 and I would go with a couple of different guys to clean banks and offices etc. The company had a couple of trucks. That January was particularly cold and one of the trucks they had was one of these, in a mottled gray color. The dash was metal, the floor was baremetal with no carpet and holy crap that thing was cold inside. Don’t remember what kind of heater it was supposed to have but it didn’t work. I only worked there about 4 months. But it was COLD.

    Like 1
  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Cool….loooks like a saver at the price !

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