From Field To Road: 1961 Corvair Rampside

1961 Chevrolet Corvair Rampside

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Looking at it, you wouldn’t think this Corvair would make it down the block and back, but looks can be deceiving! It was found in a field where it had been parked for a number of years. Time, weather and sun haven’t been kind to the paint, that’s for sure. The seller took pity on it and after getting it home, decided to fix it up to take a 3,400 mile road trip in it! Well, they made the drive from Denver to Northern California and back without any issues. Now that they have completed the road-trip of a lifetime, they have decided to part ways and it now can be found here on eBay in Parker, Colorado with a current bid of $8,400.

1961 Corvair Engine

Taking a field find and making it a dependable and safe long distance traveler isn’t easy. They had the engine checked out and all new seals installed. You don’t want dirt and debris making its way into a nice clean engine, so the carbs were rebuilt and the rest of the fuel system was gone through.

Patinaed 1961 Corvair Rampside

Once they had it running, they decided being able to stop was probably of importance, so they replaced most of the brake system and upgraded the brake cylinder to a dual master.

1961 Corvair Rampside Interior

Getting it running and stopping were obviously of key importance, but the trip wouldn’t have been much fun with worn out and nasty seats, so new seat foams and covers were installed. They also picked up a topper built specifically for the Rampside along the way, so they had a nice place to sleep and store stuff. It isn’t pretty either, but looks like a neat piece to have and is included with in the auction.

1961 Corvair Rampside

I’m a bit jealous of this seller. What a great project and experience. Few of us can say we’ve pulled a classic from a field, made it safe and dependable enough to make a several thousand mile trip in with our significant other, and lived to tell the tale. It makes me want to find a bus or truck like this to do the same with, I just have to convince my wife making a road trip in a rusty field find would be fun! I guess I could buy this one and save myself the headache of making it road worthy. Nah, I’ll go with finding one still in the field. How about you?

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  1. fred w.

    A 3400 mile trip is impressive. In the 70’s my Corvairs left me standing beside the road so many times, I left the marque (GM in general) and never looked back.

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  2. JW454

    In 2003, I pulled a 1993 Chevrolet Lumia from a field that was placed there with a leaking water pump in 1999, with 243,000 miles on it. I replaced the water pump, all 4 tires, and the muffler. I gave the car to my sister and she proceeded to add an additional 146,000 miles over the next 9 years. That included two trips to Florida and back from central Ohio. Of course, there was a few repairs necessary along the way such as a new fuel pump, tires, brakes, and an ignition module but for the most part it turned out to be one of the best cars she ever had. It met it’s doom in 2010 when the steering rack went bad along with every other front end part. 15 to 18 hundred bucks was the estimate to repair it. It went back to the same friend’s field where I got it and it is still sitting there today as far as I know.

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    • charlieMember

      Good reliable cars, those Luninas, but in the salt of New England the McPherson strut towers rusted out, (as it did in the 80’s and 90’s Saabs and BMW 2002’s) while the rest of the car, mechanicals, and body were still just fine. You hardly ever see a Lumina on the road here anymore.

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  3. Joe Howell

    Only trouble I ever had with my 63 Turbo Spyder was the fan belt would come off now and then. I made up my own spring tensioned idler and cured the problem.

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    • gorzor

      I had one of those too. Great and reliable fun car. Had the 4-speed and metallic brakes..

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  4. sparkster

    My roommate had a van like this in college. It was fast and would throw the belt if you ran it a little too hard. The first corner I went way too fast into was when I found out what Ralph Nader was talking about.

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  5. JW

    These ramp sides are getting hard to find in any condition, I wouldn’t mind having one for a parts hauler or a Lowe’s / Home Depot honey do hauler.

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  6. ben

    had a bunch know cal clark pern I used to own corvair and classics in ct where iam from sold out to clarks when I came to fl I rember when his dad started the bun in his basement o the days ben in fl

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    • Jim Ely


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  7. Little_Cars Alexander

    Ben! Spellcheck! Not interested in reading shorthand😜

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  8. Jim Ely

    I’ve owned about a dozen Corvairs over the years and I’ve never been stranded by one of them. OK, we did have a tire blow out on us at about 70 mph crossing Ohio on the way home to suburban Philly from (ironically enough) Denver where I’d bought it sight unseen on eBay. The car had no spare tire due to the area where the spare should’a been being taken up by a K&N racing air filter. I learned to carry a spare fan belt and a rudimentary tool kit in the car, but that’s common sense for ANY old car used on a daily basis. A blown tire isn’t the car’s fault. I just wish I were in the financial position to have a Corvair in our household now. Just a fun, economical little car that, when set up right, also happens to perform real well!

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