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Matt Harwood

1961 Chevrolet Corvair Greenbrier Sportwagon *SOLD*

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SOLD!

OK, if you can't have fun in this 1961 Corvair Greenbrier, get out of the hobby right now. Chevy's answer to the VW Microbus is bigger, faster, more powerful, more rare, and a heck of a lot of fun, and when was the last time you saw one? This one has been restored "appropriately" along the way, but I don't think it's ever been apart. The bodywork is straight, the paint is decent, the interior is clean, and it runs and drives quite well. Obviously it's always had loving owners and it's easy to see why this little van was so beloved--my wife and kids adore it, and at this price it's quite possible we'll end up keeping it. How cool is this for Hershey or hanging out at car shows or your next medium-distance road trip? Efficient, easy to repair, reliable as a hammer, and unusual enough to make people stop in traffic to gawk. I like it a lot more than I expected when I acquired it in a package deal.

Anyway, the last owner spent some money touching up the paint, which was apparently two different shades of red when he acquired it. It's all uniform now and while it isn't show quality work, it's just right for this Corvair's personality. Bright Roman Red and Ermine White are apparently its original colors and they work perfectly on the cheerful early '60s shape. It doesn't look like it's ever been rusty or wrecked, and while there are plenty of bumps and bruises, there's no evidence of rust, panel replacement, or hack bondo work under the surface. There's some very minor bubbling on the lower leg of the rear side door, but I'd ignore it if it were mine, it won't be getting any worse and isn't an issue. The weatherstripping is in decent shape, some original and some new stuff, and the chrome is probably all original so there's some light pitting on the cast pieces but the bumpers and grille are very good.

The interior is awesome. Bright red vinyl benches seat nine and my kids love the table in back where they could easily hang out for a few hours on a road trip. No splits or tears, just some light soiling that only shows up under the harsh flash of my camera, but looks better in person. Is it original? Maybe, although it appears that perhaps the pleated areas were replaced on the front seat, hard to say--why would someone replace just that area? The front carpet is an off-white deep pile that belongs in your living room, not your Chevy, but it's professionally done with bound edges and doesn't look too bad. The rear area is black carpet that may also be homeowner-grade, but it's a close nap and easy to maintain. And as far as I can tell, everything works: gauges, lights, AM/FM/cassette radio with '70s 8-track underneath (untested because I have no 8-track tapes), and even the little spotlights in the rear area. Windows go up and down easily, and there's a manual switch for the auxiliary fuel pump which is only needed for cold starts. Cargo area is neat with a custom tool box (jack inside) and a rubber mat over the engine bay.

Someone modified the engine cover to use latches instead of the original screws, so access is easy. Underneath, there's a familiar air-cooled flat six, with this one displacing 145 cubic inches and making 90 horsepower (I think). It's not super clean, but it's not neglected, either, and given the decent paint in there, I'm guessing it was out of the truck when it was painted. It starts easily and idles smoothly, even when it's cold and never gets cranky. It takes a few revs of the engine to get the generator online, but that's the only quirk. The 2-speed PowerGlide automatic shifts properly and is probably a good choice with the modest little six. Brakes are firm, the unassisted steering feels pretty good, and the ride is surprisingly floaty and land-yacht feeling, not trucky. Nice! Sits on a set of recent 14-inch whitewall radials and those are original wheel covers with some pitting and one of the spinners is missing an ear, but I bet they're not too hard to find.

You guys want entry level fun? This is it! We're only asking $15,900 for this cool little trucklet and like I said, there's a very good chance I'll simply keep it for my family, so don't delay if you're interested. Don't fret about perfection, just jump in and have some fun--you can't help but smile when you see the Corvair that my kids have named the "Funky Bus."

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Edited by Matt Harwood
SOLD! (see edit history)

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And people think Chrysler Corporation was a pioneer with their

minivans! Nice vehicle, and certainly an interesting item.

I know Corvair fans who seek to get one of every model,

including the trucks and vans.

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I am into long roofs and that definitely has one. Unfortunately I am out of room. Nice Van!

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Nice van and has later Corvair features such as a Spyder (turbo) dash,65 only horn ring and a car sourced engine. Truck engines had the dipstick out the back of the engine. Engine has 64 only fan belt guard and alternator. Looks pretty close to a deluxe interior. 1961 was the only year vans did not have a windshield post drip molding and the ash tray handle had "ash tray" written on it. Love to have it but just bought a 63 convertible. Good luck. Ed Dade City,Florida

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Thanks for the extra details, guys! I'm not really an expert on these, so your insights are most welcome. I will admit that my wife loves driving the Funky Bus and it sure works well for being 55 years old!

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Matt,i have a simple solution for you KEEP IT!!!! There are some Corvair clubs in your area hook up with them and have even more fun. BTW the Corvair national convention is in Knoxville TN June 23-27,if you decide to sell it this would be the place. Ed Dade City,Fl A certified Corvair "nut" for 30 years"

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Well, it didn't last long and my wife is crestfallen, but the first guy to call bought the Funky Bus. I may have to find another, she had all kinds of plans for the summer with this neat Corvair.

Thanks for the advice, guys!

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