Useful Rampside: 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Pickup

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We don’t know much about this 1961 Corvair Rampside pickup, but we do know a few important things: it is rust-free, it runs, and it’s for sale here on eBay. It’s located in Wilmington, California, which along with it’s previous history on a hay farm in Nevada probably accounts for the lack of rust.

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This picture shows off the unusual bed on these rampsides. While the side entry may be fabulous for some particular purposes (for example, this would be great for a landscaper to unload a mower from), the raised rear of the bed floor that covers the flat six engine reduces the utility somewhat.

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There’s still some useful depth to the bed, though, and I think it would be a worthwhile challenge to figure out how to best utilize it. The German sticker on the back bumper is interesting, if only that the only similar vehicle would be the bus-based pickup offered by Volkswagen. The paint job is described as “amateur” and based on the masking, or lack of it, I’d agree, but at least it’s kept the truck from rusting as most have by now.

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You can see some differences in the paint color on the side here, and possibly some un-repaired dents in the upper side panel. I really like the color scheme and the painted wheels, although all the ones I was able to find online with this style of center cap were stainless steel or chrome. I think the painted ones are appropriate, though, and I’m not an originality freak.

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The very plain interior would be appropriate for an unassuming truck like this. Like the paint, it’s not original but perfectly adequate for what I’d want to use this truck for. The rubber matting would mean I could hose it out when it got muddy. I really like this truck and hope it goes to an enthusiast who will use it. Would you leave it “as-is” or refurbish it to a higher standard?

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Comments

  1. van

    Ahead of its time
    Perfect to load miniature horses
    Or I suppose big dogs

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Van, I hadn’t thought of that — I think our three dogs would love hanging out in the bed. I’ve got one that would undoubtedly try to jump out, though.

  2. Howard A Member

    I think of all the forward-control, I mean, cab-forward, I mean, cab-over pickups, this was the nicest mostly because the weight was more evenly distributed and you didn’t have a hot engine next to you. You’d think they’d bend in the middle ( and I’m sure some did as they rusted) Very nice find here.

  3. piper62j

    Nice find.. I like it.

  4. Rick

    Wow this one even has the correct original hubcaps. Back in the mid 70s I had three Corvair vans, two were passenger models with all windows, but one was the extremely rare version with windows on only one side but doors on both sides, weird. One of the passenger vans was a red and white one-owner driver with two rows of seats behind the driver, and when I got it had only 63K miles. It had the dashboard shifted Powerglide, was economical but the handling was a bit twitchy when two people were sitting in the front. I put another 60K on it and sold it to a collector who restored it. Scrapped the other two because nobody wanted junk Corvairs in those days. Never did have a Rampside, always wanted one, thought they were cool, remember the first time I saw one was in a TV commercial during Bonaza, Chevrolet was a prominent advertiser on that show, anyhow talk about hauling miniature horses, in the commercial, the Little Joe character (played by Dan Blocker, who died way too young) was leading either a pony or calf up the side ramp and into the cargo area of a brand new Corvair pickup.

    • PaulG

      Cool truck. Little Joe was played by Michael Landon, and Hoss was played by Dan Blocker. Both died too young, and I too remember the Chevrolet commercials during that era, and especially Bonanza.

  5. Slim Chance

    Summon the spirit of Bill Golden and build a Chevy “Little Red Wagon”.

  6. dave

    I had the van with 12 guys going to Woodstock from Detroit in 69. Loved it and after coming across the Ambassador bridge, the post tore up the van looking for drugs on the American side. Thank god that we used them up in Woodstock. PRICELESS!!!!!

    • dave

      Revised version of our Woodstock trip.
      Don’t think anybody can beat this one for the memories in a Corvair van.

      I had asked my dad to use the family van. He asks, what’s wrong with your car? I said a couple of guys with a bunch of camping gear are planning a trip to go to Northern Michigan. He bought it Sucker!! Got to love our dads!!!. Well, I picked up 12 of my friends with little camping gear and other stuff. We left Detroit and made it to Woodstock through Canada with no problems. Coming back was a different story. Got out of Canada with no problem but the American side has a different story. The border patrol ask where we have been? One of the guys still high said Woodstock MANN!!. Well, the next thing I know, we are all in handcuffs and they started tearing apart the van. They cut the seats and ripped apart the doors and the door to the engine compartment. No way I was going to fix this before I got home. Thank god they didn’t find anything because it was all used up at the big party. Got home and dad came unglued. WHAT HAPPENED?? I said that we went on a trail hike and somebody broke into the van and vandalized it. Well, he bought it. I told him 20 years later and he laughed. I thought he be really mad for lying to him. He said, son! your day is coming when you have kids and look at the bragging rites that you will have telling them what you did. But he said leave the drug story out of it. I looked at my dad puzzled saying out loud, how did you know that drugs were involved? I left that part out. He said, son! I was a kid once. PRICELESS!!!!!!

      I think dad knew the rest of the story!

  7. Jim

    Cute little truck!

  8. RON

    good ole dad. just really glad he got the van back in less than six pieces and you and the van both at the same time with less than 5-7. miss those guys don/t we!!!. mine’s favorite saying was “the next time i will be takeing the bull by the horns” unlike these kids today i knew he meant it and there was no “next time” if so i guarentee my cushion was worse than the van’s!!!

    • dave

      10/4

  9. Tommo

    Hard to believe that no manufacturer since has offered a truck with a sideloading ramp. Seems like it would be a popular (and practical) option

  10. MGA

    Had one. Loved it and with radials it would handle but still go places you’d normally only take a four wheel drive. Wish I never gave it up.

  11. Mark E

    The funny thing is that I heard the rampsides were so popular that the really rare ones are the ones WITHOUT the side ramp.

  12. jim s

    back when these were new there was one in our town with a big welder set up in the bed right behind the cab. the owner made a living with it.

  13. John

    What did this sell for? I see it for sale again.

    • Hoos Member

      Where is it for sale?

  14. J.S.

    What did the other cabover pickup that GM made look like ?
    And what was it called?

    • Roader

      Loadside. It looked exactly like the Rampside but it had a swinging door in place of the ramp.

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