Low Price Panel: 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Van

Someone back in 1963 definitely wanted something that stood out but wasn’t willing to go all in on it. This base model 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Panel van was the base level trim then, but you can own it now for a buy it now price of $2,000 or the ability to make an offer. That price is close to what it sold for new. It is located in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. It has a clear title and VIN listed. You can view more on eBay.

This rear engine vehicle has a 2.4-liter Turbo-Air H6 engine, which was the only one available in 1963. It was good for a whopping 80 horsepower. The step-up model was the Greenbrier van that had windows and multiple options for doors and the same engine. Power did not increase until 1964. The transmission is listed for this van as an automatic, which would be the 2-speed Corvair Powerglide.

Inside, this is a plain, open to all ideas van. Other than some rust and two seats up front for the driver and a passenger, it is ready for creative juices to flow into it. Unlike the Greenbrier model, which could hold up to 9 people, or the truck model with an open bed, this panel van is ready for work, but with the added bonus of keeping things covered from the elements. It just might not work right away since it is unknown if it runs or drives.

It is so interesting to see how far the Corvair nameplate spread to different types of vehicles. For the price of this van, even though it needs some work, I see it as a Mystery Machine candidate. It should be fairly simple to get it running and driving. Once that is accomplished and it is road legal, throw some teal blue paint on it, get some vinyl graphics you can apply, and you are ready to go solve mysteries!


  1. Mike H. Mike H.

    I’ve always loved the Corvair Van (Cor-van? I’ve heard that before. . .) and the Rampside pickups, and this actually seems like a potentially good buy.

    However, the interloop has had much to say about what sort of van “The Mystery Machine” was, and the Corvair Van almost never makes the cut.

    I agree with the Jalponik article which suggests that “The Mystery Machine” is most likely a Chevy Sportvan. My second choice is the Dodge A-100, but I agree that the headlamp size (less the bright trim rings?) renders that argument moot.


    Like 1
    • Steve Cota

      No … for the sake of argument, I disagree with the mystery van article. The cartoon drawing doesn’t look any more like a Chevy van than it does a Dodge. The shape of the cartoon actually looks more like a Minnie Winnie short wheelbase Winnebago camper than anything else on the road. But if we’re going to make it a van from the 60’s that a bunch of kids would have driven, then my vote is that it is indeed a late VW van. and here’s my reasoning. Since it is just a cartoon drawing, the shape of the fenders, headlights, and wheel openings are rather vague to start with. The main over riding design concept of the vehicle is that it has a bench seat so that they can all fit in front, and a big windshield so we can see them. The Corvair and the VW bus were the only vans available that you could get with a front bench seat. Early VW’s had a narrow two piece windshield, so it has to be either a 68 or later VW, or a Corvair. The only problem with the Corvair, is the dual headlights. So taking into consideration the bench seat, giant windshield, single headlights, front mounted spare tire, and the flower decals, It just has to be a 68 – 75 VW Bus (In my humble opinion ) ;>)

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  2. Hoiman

    Sorry, but this is way overpriced. There are good, running (and even pristine) versions available for $10k-$15k. This is at best a parts vehicle.

    Like 0
  3. Kenneth Carney

    Great choice for a wheelchair van–once
    you get it running and fix what rust there
    might be in the floors. A few months ago,
    several of our readers suggested different ways to go in order to get one
    for my MIL who now needs one in the
    worst way. After checking with our
    healthcare provider, it looks like I’m gonna
    be tackling this project myself. Getting
    this van, or, something like it, would give
    me a great start on building one for a
    fraction of the cost of a ready made unit.
    Looking at the pics provided, this one
    looks pretty promising. Yeah, it’ll take a
    lot of time and money to finish but once
    it’s running and driving, the rest of the work could be done while we used it.
    As for the Mystery Machine, it looks like
    a ’60’s Ford Econoline van to me. Always
    thought that since I’d seen the cartoon
    show in ’69. That’s my use for it, how
    about you?

    Like 1
  4. steve

    Wow..were this a VW van in this condition, it would already be at 20x the price with brisk bidding! With this likely more rare and, even with me being a VW van owner/lover, possibly a better vehicle? (80hp? A 1500 vw could only DREAM!) Dad had a 63 Greenbriar and that powerglide REALLY lets it down. With only 2 gears, it is always in the wrong one..Oil leaks/thrown belts..both can be addressed but..Still..a pretty cool vehicle (insert Corvair heater jokes here) for low money..

    Like 1
  5. Karl Sisson

    It’s never a good idea to leave a vehicle sitting on grass like that. The floors and frame would be destroyed by rust.

    Like 0
  6. stillrunners

    Neat-o……Mr Goode had a low mileage one the same color and at the estate auction it didn’t bring all that much. Had already too many purchases or it would be at my place.

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  7. xrotaryguy

    This will be no easy project. Corvairs were cheap vehicles. Their owners, notoriously low on cash, tended to so half-ass repairs. This poor thing probably has 50 years of bad fixes hideen under it. Love it! But it won’t be an easy fix.

    Like 1
  8. man ' war

    I always thought that the Scooby Doo van looked like a 60s Ford Falcon van.

    Anyway, one of these Chevrolet Corvair panel vans came up for sale recently for $5k, and it was really clean. It even had a the stick shift on the floor. If I did not already have my own cars, I would have went to look at it. Nevertheless, it didn’t last long. A couple of days and the add was taking off.

    Like 1

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