Pugsley Is A 1961 Corvair Lakewood Wagon

A very practical classic, as well as a relatively inexpensive one, this Corvair’s life hangs by a thread at the moment due to the obvious rocker panel rust. It’s a shame, because all the body parts are readily available, someone just has to be willing to do the work! This particular car, named “Pugsley” by its seller, is listed for sale here on eBay with an opening bid of just $695 and no reserve. It’s located in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Try to look past those gaping holes for a moment. The Lakewood wagon to me is a really cool looking design, and when is the last time you’ve seen one on the road? They were only produced for two years (this is an entry year model) but can be the beneficiaries of a lot of later parts upgrades and modern solutions to Corvair problems. And if you are worried about handling, I found an article here that mentions someone autocrossing their wagon, so it can’t be that bad! Note: standard Corvair wheel covers will come with the car; personally, I’d push for the wire ones and would even pay extra if need be.

There’s a useful tailgate back here, all the glass is intact, and honestly I don’t see a lot of rust anywhere except in the rockers. Even the spare tire well looks pretty solid, with what I hope is only surface rust!

I’m pretty sure you are looking at the original paint as well, which means you can see all the damage without any being hidden. The interior looks like you could clean most of it up and leave it as-is apart from the carpet. The seller tells us Pugsley has 60,300.5 miles and has been off the road since 1973 or 1974 and has been stored in a barn since then. There have been some previous (non-original type) floor repairs and another small one is needed in the rear floor. There is also some rust in the front cross member that can either be repaired or replaced.

We don’t know why Pugsley was taken off the road; the seller purchased him two years ago from the previous owner’s son. I’m wondering if the generator on the passenger floor and the slack belt are clues. I do hope that the engine didn’t overheat from a belt coming off; the fact that the belt is still here makes me hopeful. Anyone out there interested in giving Pugsley a home?

 

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Mark

    Cool car but did you see the tread on that spare. Someone did not take care of this nice wagon.

    • Spichanator

      How about that orange Rampside in the third pic? 😉

  2. redwagon

    i spy with my little eye another lakewood in the background of the first picture.

    pennsylvania car that was on the road for 12-13 years has a lot of rust. this would not be my ideal restoration candidate.

  3. Howard A Member

    I don’t like when people give catchy names to their cars. Pugsley, in case some don’t know, was the older child in the original Addams Family, played by Ken Weatherwax from 1964 to 1966. Like many child actors, he struggled to find work after he “wasn’t cute anymore”, and joined the army. The car? You’d have to have some fond memories of a Corvair wagon ( if any) to restore this.( I’d think the fumes alone would take you back) They were really pretty well engineered cars. Well worth the $700 bucks to a Corvair nut.

  4. Andy

    I’ve never driven a Corvair, but I had a couple of air cooled VWs and I can see how two extra cylinders could come in handy! Seems like what the Squareback aspired to be–roomier, more powerful, easier to get into. A gas heater would be welcome/scary. Once again living in the city gives me an excuse.

  5. Vince Habel

    The 500 had a rubber mat instead of carpet.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Vince:
      Those rubber mats were the cause of serious floor rot on many cheaper versions of cars & trucks, because they used natural jute padding under the rubber mat, and once wet, the jute never really dried out because the rubber mat trapped the moisture. It’s likely the entire floor assemblies front & rear will need replacing too.

  6. JimmyJ

    Ive always liked corvairs especially later model coupes with a turbo ive never driven one how are they? If anyone has owned one please let me know

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Jimmy, the turbocharger was made available in 1962. I never owned one, but ridden many times. Handling is like any rear engine car, light in the front, and if you like Corvairs, I’d personally go for the 2nd gen ( ’65-’67). A bit more refined. Oh, stock up on oil, they leaked like a sieve. I remember many a Corvair, where you could hardly see the tail lights, covered with oil. :)

      • Vince Habel

        @ Howard A with seals that are available now they no longer leak.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Vince, yeah, now. Those oil stains in vintage highway scenes, the Corvair helped. Funny Corvair story. I was driving down a 4 lane not too long ago, and in my fresh air vents, I smell oil burning. Up ahead, I see everybody moving to the left lane, and in the right lane, an early ’60’s Corvair, doing about 53 mph. As I passed, an older guy with a big smile driving his Corvair.

    • John

      I owned a Gen 1 Monza Spyder Turbo. I loved it enough to trade it for a 66 Corsa Turbo. Both were excellent cars. The 64 had the last iteration of swing axle front suspension. You had to keep tires at the proper pressure to keep them from jacking. It was a bit strange to people who had traded 55 Chevys, but perfectly controllable to anyone who knew how to drive them. The 66 had multi link rear suspension and to most purposes was an American Porsche. They were quick, they handled superbly, and when the turbo kicked in it was like lighting the cans on a jet fighter. Mine had no oiling issues, neither of them. There was no extra pulley, but ther was an extra guide added on the later models to keep the fan belt from riding off of the pulleys. Corvairs had a bunch of understeer and that responded well to weird tire pressures. We used to run 42 in the front and 34 in the rear (I know it sounds wrong, but it worked). My 66 had over 90k miles on it when it got stolen. Corvair motors were in demand for dune buggies. I missed it. But I took the insurance money and bought a 69 Z28. That eased the pain.

  7. Steph

    I am Pugsley’s owner. It’s so cool that he was picked up for Barnfinds!!! Thank you, Jamie!

    We are selling Pugsley because he really needs to be saved and we don’t have time. We don’t know why he was parked or if the generator/belt is the issue or if he was in the process of being converted to an alternator. We know the motor turns free, but beyond that we have not had time to explore anything on him.

    For the record, we give all of our cars names. His sister, another Lakewood which we bought at the same time as Pugsley, is named Wednesday. She is pictured above. As you can see, she looks like a hearse. Their names are homage to the Addams Family, a TV show I love. And it suits them.

    @HowardA., I’m guessing you’re not a lot of fun at parties… :)

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Steph, yeah, I’m a barrel of fun at parties, how’d you know? I knew many old truckers that named their trucks, Miss this, or Miss that ( the funniest was ” Miss Behavin’) but usually, it was because they were very lonely people, and this gave them something to personify. I too, am a big fan of the original Addams Family. I’m surprised you wouldn’t keep the blue one for parts. I mean, if you crumple a fender on the black one ( or whatever) good luck finding another. Best of luck. This site, I’ve found, is the best place to sell a car like that.

      • Steph

        We have 10?11? Corvairs. Including parts cars. Pugsley is very fixable. I’d love to see him fixed.

  8. Howard A Member

    I’m sure the generator was removed for repair, and the engine was not run. The generator completes the fan belt loop. Corvairs were notorious for losing fan belts. I think GM even came up with an extra pulley to try to prevent that. ( not shown here)
    http://www.corvairguynj.com/1961Black/engine.jpg

    • dr fine

      Tightening the belt too much is one of the problems. Stressing it too much breaks the cords inside the belt, especially if they are cotton, and you wind up with a bouncy rubber band.

  9. mike d

    there was a dealer a few years back, that named his cars in Hemmings, apparently some thought it was a cute idea next thing ya know everybody was naming their cars!!

  10. tje

    I drove a Corvair across the country when I was 17. Installed a new fan belt on the side of the road with only a chisel – I kid you not… I think that was somewhat east of Vegas.

    Corvairs are interesting cars – glad I can say I owned one.

  11. Rustytech Member

    Naming goes way back. My dad was naming his cars as far back as I can remember, and I weren’t born yesterday. Never drove or road in a 1st gen wagon, but the spider was a blast!

  12. ACZ

    It’s always amazed me how the people that have all the “answers”, about a Corvair, have never owned one. At last count, since my first one in the 60s, I’ve owned 137 of them. Not all were drivers. A few were parts cars but a large majority were drivers. One of the best engineered cars ever. Just ask a man (or lady) that has owned one.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi ACZ, oh, that was a cheap shot ( although politically correct) You can’t possibly be comparing a Packard to a Corvair! :)

    • Keith

      I often confuse my Corvair for a 1976 Mercedes.
      (now if you get that reference I’m not sure what that says about you! haha)

  13. Nevis Beeman

    A car of my dreams, but I live far far from the USA….and to think my ‘cherished’ registration number (USA 3: issued by Aberdeenshire[Scotland] in 1962) would look so great on this car…..

  14. Marshall

    I never owned a Corvair, but I always thought the Corvair wagons were kind a neat looking. As for naming cars, I can relate to that, as my first car was a 1962 VW sunroof bug I called “Howard”.

    • Howard A Member

      I’m a living joke,,,

  15. MIKE READING

    i few years back i owned a 62 wagon, bought it for $500, the guy said it would run but i bought not knowing if it would. the guy said if it didn’t run with a battery and gas bring it back for a refund, he lived about 10 miles from me. ggot it home and sure enough it started and ran great, but needed oil seals. after putting in seals it didn’t leak or smoke. front windshield are hard to find. i like the bench seat in this one. wish i didn’t have a 58 edsel project in the works, mike

  16. Kelleher Fred

    I love my baby…. and no oil leaks anymore…

  17. PaulieB

    There is a guy in Orange MA..Dick Martin is his name and he had over 50 Corvairs in his collection. They all ran too. He had some of every year..various models. A ’67 convertible with A/C, a ’63 turbo with a see-thru engine cover. Corvans, Rampsides, you name it he had it. Great guy. He helped me with my ’69 Monza waaay back when.

  18. Steph

    Well, after a Jim Alexander from Madrid, Iowa stiffed me for payment, a nice fellow from the Czech Republic will be Pugsley’s new owner. He is looking forward to restoring him.

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