Rear Engined Beauty: 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood

While some of us are satisfied with more mainstream classics, sometimes a lesser seen borderline oddball really hits the “spot.” Absolutely stunning, this Corvair Lakewood is definitely pleasing to the eyes, having undergone a light restoration. Beautiful and ready to drive, this Lakewood is offered for $7,500. Take a look at this rear engine wagon here on craigslist out of Athens, Ohio.

Stunning from the exterior, the engine is tidy as well. The flat 6 dual single carb engine is mated to a powerglide automatic which is a rather rare option being that only a little over 2,300 Lakewoods were fitted with this option. Despite the powerglide option, it is thought that only a little over 32,000 of these wagons were built in total. Described as running and driving great, the only thing to point out about is a tiny bit of surface rust on the edge of the trunk floor leading to the engine bay. Otherwise, there is little else to acknowledge.

Crisp and clean, the interior is like a dream. The seller had the interior “restored” and it looks fantastic. An aftermarket center console has been added, but appears temporary and easily removed. Glossy as if is still wet with fresh paint, the dash is phenomenal. The gauge cluster is clear without a cloudy appearance, or cracking.  All new carpet is fitted to the interior all the way back to the cargo area. The only thing that is a bit off inside, is the rear carpet for the cargo space. The hue is off, clashing with the rest of the interiors “lipstick” red coloring. I would simply replace that carpet with a more appropriate hue, and call it a day.

Perhaps not for everyone, but this Corvair took my breath away with these stunning pictures, and the subtle red pin striping. With a new two stage paint job, this Lakewood appears without fault. The glass is almost mirror like in the images. The body work is flawless, and the panel fitment is excellent. All of the chrome and trim accents are wonderfully clean and straight, really making this Lakewood difficult not to fall in love with. I am assuming this wagon was a nice surviving example before its restoration. Hopefully the seller can elaborate on this Corvair’s past, with paperwork and images. With fresh paint, interior, and brakes, this Lakewood is gorgeous. Are you a fan of these Corvair Lakewood wagons?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Mark Lawson

    Wow, is this ever a trip down memory lane. My mother drove one of these when I was a kid. Same color, auto transmission–this could have been ours!

  2. MathieuB

    I want it!!!
    Oh, too far…
    Great find!

  3. Pete

    Beautiful

  4. Fred W.

    This is a good example of why, if done right, a restored car is the way to go for many VS all the blood, sweat, tears and parts finding (but for others this takes all the fun away). Everyone should remember when buying a Corvair that Ralph was right to some extent. Inflate the tires properly and drive carefully or you will find yourself swapping ends, as I did twice at age seventeen. Add heavy sway bars and you’ll be a lot better off. Also, while the ’60 had a gasoline heater, the later models simply took the cooling air and piped it in the passenger compartment (VW used a heat exchanger box). One gasket leak and you are breathing pure carbon monoxide. Fortunately , even as a high school kid I knew all this and kept the windows cracked until I could get to a junkyard, buy a heater from a ’60 and retrofit it. Then I was the toastiest kid in the parking lot with the engine off.

    • KEN TILLY Member

      I dropped a 94 pound bag of cement in the front and never had a road holding problem.

  5. RayT Member

    I dig it, but this one — like every other car BF features — needs a thorough inspection before writing a check. The poor panel fit/alignment is a red flag for me, as is the slightly lumpy appearance of the lower driver’s door (which could be a trick of lighting or reflections in the paint, but worth checking). All those things are quickly fixable, of course, as long as they’re not hiding bigger issues underneath.

    If everything checks out okay, this could be a neat little car. My memories of early Corvairs tell me they are sprightly little cars, even with the Powerglide.

    For me, $7.5K is a bit ambitious, but if it were closer, I’d take a long, hard look at it.

  6. Oingo

    I like it.

  7. Ben T. Spanner

    I never iked four door Corvairs. My fraternity brother had a Ma Bell green 4 door 1961. But Lakewoods are the exception. My third favorite body style after the convertble and coupe.

    My Cousin recently paid a lot more for a Coupe with a poor restoration; including bondo at the base of the windshield, rattle can paint on the inside of the engine cover, and a poor enamel paint job. He saw the new seat covers and Chinese whitewalls, and fell in love.

    This looks much nicer. Pending the usual inspection for rust, I think it is fairly priced.

    • ICEMAN from Winnipeg

      Chinese whitewalls?

  8. JW

    I would love this for a daily commuter car. Got to be different is my motto along with you gotta drive them.

  9. GearHead Engineering

    White with red interior is a favorite of mine. Too bad they don’t do that anymore.

    This is one of my bucket list cars, and looks pretty good (at least on my tiny phone screen). I’d prefer a manual trans but this is still tempting.

    – John

  10. Ed

    I’ve had several Corvair wagons in the past including a “62 Monza wagon (2362 made). Some flaws in this one, It has a car engine,wagons and trucks had the dipstick/oil fill in the back of the block behind the fold down door,engine compartment should be body color,upholstery on the seats is wrong should match door panels. On every wagon but the Monza the rear load are was either painted metal or a rubber mat on 700 series wagons.

  11. Skip

    Very nice. First Corvair wagon I’ve seen in quite some time. I worked at an ambulance co. years ago that had a ’65 Corvair van ambulance: something very unusual.

    The price tag on this one is a bit too steep for me, but it’s one nice looking little wagon. Somebody’s gonna get a good deal on this one, for sure.

  12. RoselandPete

    You certainly don’t see one of these every day.

  13. Jim Jimenez

    I see the car has a replacement engine, probably a 164 engine out of a 1964.That being said, I’d still park it in my driveway along with my other Corvairs–

  14. Howard A Member

    Hmm, remember Pugsly? I wonder what this car is named? ( sorry, Steph, couldn’t resist). :)

  15. charlie Member

    And, back in 1960 some car magazine did the 0-60 in a PowerGlide and a stick and the PowerGlide was faster (by a fraction), and it got better gas mileage (by a bigger fraction). My mother had a ’60 and yes, with proper tire inflation it was a great car, but the underhood gasoline heater was no champ either – fumes from that at least were clearly evident unlike the CO from the rear heater.

  16. Sam

    I have a 62 Monza Wagon and can tell you that these are very fun cars.

    Not sure where they got the info that only 2300 wagons had a PG. That seems way off.

    Nice looking car!

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