Needs An Engine: 1962 Corvair Loadside

It’s hard to deny the clever packaging of the Corvair Loadside, and to this day it blows my mind that such a design did not catch on long-term. To me, the golden era of pickups was right around this time and perhaps into the late 70s, as there was no shortage of body styles and configurations to choose from (unlike today). You’ll find this rust-free Loadside here on craigslist in need of a new engine (included with the sale) for an asking price of $4,000 OBO.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Pat L. for the find. The Loadside is located near Sparks, Nevada, and I hope it remains on this desert plot of property and not the nearby Pick ‘N Pull yard. I doubt it will be scrapped, considering the seller has a few different Corvair trucks and vans for sale and seems like a bonafide enthusiast. Plus, there’s no rust to speak of and the bed looks damn near perfect.

The seller does note that the bench seat above will need to be reupholstered, but who cares when the cargo bed floor looks this good. The paint is also so consistent that I have to believe it’s original. The period two-tone would make this an ideal marketing gimmick for anyone specializing in the business of selling creamsicles, but even without that killer business plan, I think you could still enjoy this Loadside.

While not conducive to bringing lots of friends with you (at least the kind that enjoy seatbelts), who cares? You should be taking stuff to the dump or picking up spare engines or driving around your property spreading mulch with a truck like this. While you may disagree with me that this represented the golden era of pickups, I’d take this Loadside over anything an aluminum bed and EcoBoost under the hood.

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Comments

  1. Chebby Staff

    re: “Clever packaging” you may be thinking of the Rampside, with its innovative fold-down door that has yet to be repeated on newer cars. These Loadsides lack the ramp and were not popular because you have to load your stuff in over the engine compartment to get to the dropped part of the floor. It’s kind of a dumb design actually, but these are the rarest of the Corvair trucks.

    Like 16
  2. David Zornig
    • local_sheriff

      Nice of you to include the above link; being made for 2 years in LESS than 3.000 examples makes it darn rare!
      I like H6’es , however I’ve seen Toronado driveline conversions in regular Corvairs,and with an entire bed available there should be some spare space for a radiator…?

  3. Peckstar the Supercar Stooge

    I’m thinking a SBC in the ‘well’ driving through a transaxle. Or perhaps a modern FWD engine & transaxle driving the rear wheels. Or a flat 4 from Subaru?

    • Rock On

      Why not a 455 cubic inch Oldsmobile engine and transaxle out of a Tornado. That will really improve the performance.

      Like 6
      • Daniel Mar

        Yes but where would you put the Liquid cooling system for that engine?

      • Dave

        Dan, there’s a saying in engineering that if you haven’t solved a problem you haven’t thrown enough money at it…

        Like 3
    • Andrew Eldritch

      @chrlsful. Corvair Rampsides came with rubber bumpers on the outside of the ramp to prevent damage to the finish. No need for ‘aftermarket pads’.

  4. On and On On and On Member

    Chebby is right, was a dumb design and it failed. But looking at general Corvair engineering, they were extraordinary cars, way ahead of their time and never reproduced. The engines were a marvel, but America at that time was not ready for different. Everyone wanted a powerful V8. I had the opportunity to drive and work on one in H.S. I’ve been researching and reading about them recently and may invest in one. People seem afraid of them because of the poor and actually false press generated by Ralph’s book. I find them very interesting and a real bargain.

    Like 11
  5. That AMC guy

    Less practical than the Rampside but the body should be more rigid without the big hole cut in the side. I have to admit I didn’t even know about this model. You learn something new every day, sometimes two things.

    Like 4
  6. brettucks

    Like Chebby said- I immediately started looking for the side ramp. For someone with the time that is a decent price- very little dirty work here.

    needs a windshield. Thank goodness for the southwest- keeping obscure time capsules safe!!

    Like 2
  7. michael

    At first I thought oh wow, cool truck. But I thought it had a gate that opened to the side???
    Maybe I was wrong. This then is a severe design flaw .. ‘hard to deny the clever packaging’ . maybe in a different dream world. No wonder it flopped.

    Like 2
  8. chrlsful

    like the vee dub a lill trouble due to rear engine (space reduction). This is not a ramp side as I don’t see the ‘drop side’. VW solved it w/the 3-side-drop. Some after mrkt guys develop a ‘pad’ for the ramp on the corvair reducing curb rash…

    Smart Chevy used the rear motor to make a sales point in their TV, mag adds (“no 160 lb weight to avoid nose heavy like 2 dodges & ford, won’t get stuck w/rear engine, etc”).

    Thnx Jeff !

    Like 2
  9. RJ

    Not interested in this but I am looking for a Dodge A100 pickup, or an Econoline Pick up.

    Like 1
  10. Gaspumpchas

    can’t the beautiful condition of this Corvair. Amazing. Grab an engine and go!! Good luck to the new owner!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 2
  11. Wayne

    SBC, turbo 350 and a C2 rear diff. This makes a fairly quick, great handling, cool hot rod. An engine cover that duals as an extension of the rear floor and you still have useable truck space with a rear tailgate. ( not very deep, but with a multitude of classy tie downs you could still have a “useful” vehicle) This vehicle is too close to me so, the desire is great, but the current room is not. Now I am bummed for the next few days!

    Like 2
  12. striperon

    Saw one at the nearby Dragway in the 60’s. Converted to a mid-engine funny car. I can only imagine the view from the driver’s seat when it stood up doing a wheelie. :-)

    Like 2
  13. Andrew Franks

    Jeff, I’m with you. This is a good truck for its unique quality as well as it s rarity, and it was a failure but part of the obscure aspect of the Hobby. If the engine is good and included it could be a good buy.

    Like 2
    • On and On On and On Member

      FYI……Corvair truck engines were slightly different from the ones used in cars. The exhaust valves were harder metal, had rotators to keep them moving for less wear and had lower compression. Carburetor jetting was richer also.

      Like 2
  14. Del

    Rare.

    Hope it gets the resto it deserves

    Like 1
  15. Wayne

    Radiator get’s laid horizontally where the original engine sat. It already has the air intakes for the original engine. Electric cooling fan blows/draws air through and exits the same way the the air cooling the engine did. Toyota has done that for years on some of their vans.(Previa for example) I’m not saying the the mid-engine swap is easy, just doable.

    Like 1
  16. KKW

    These represented the golden era of pickups? There’s a reason why they’re rare, their underpinnings came from one of the worst cars ever made. Just another failed attempt to compete with VW. Btw, in response to the bashing, I’ll take the aluminum bed and eco-boost. Good Lord Almighty

  17. Bobby Merl

    Is this Loadside for sale? How much? Location? Any more pictures?

    Like 1
  18. Pedigo

    I’ve known of this very rare Loadside since it became available last year.
    It has issues…
    It is not as “rustfree” as an unsuspecting buyer might assume.
    It actually came from the Susanville,California area and this seller is the person that bought it from there.
    It is not the “dry desert truck from Nevada” as might be suggested.

    That being said: this is the third flip in a year on this very rare truck and caveat emptor.

    You’re welcome

    Like 1

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