Most pickup vehicles comply with a well-known template: engine within the entrance, mattress within the again. That is not the case with this 1961 Chevrolet Corvair pickup, featured on a latest episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage.”
This truck is one in all a number of variants of the rear-engine, air-cooled Corvair, conceived by General Motors to satisfy rising demand for smaller, extra reasonably priced automobiles. Chevy supplied the Corvair in almost each physique type, encompassing sedan, coupe, convertible, station wagon, and van variants, alongside the pickup truck. Yenko even created a efficiency model of the Corvair coupe, referred to as the Stinger.
Today, the Corvair might be finest identified for being focused by shopper advocate Ralph Nader in his 1965 e-book “Unsafe At Any Speed,” which held up the automobile’s swing-axle rear suspension for instance of automakers placing value chopping forward of security. Fallout from the e-book, and Nader’s congressional testimony, laid the groundwork for at present’s automotive security laws. Chevy launched an up to date Corvair with redesigned suspension, and continued promoting the mannequin till 1969.
1961 Chevrolet Corvair ramp side pickup truck on Jay Leno’s Garage
In the pickup truck, the Corvair platform allowed for a van-like cab-forward configuration. However, not like the same Ford Econoline and Dodge A100 pickups, the motive force and passenger did not need to share house with an engine. In the Corvair, the engine is situated underneath the mattress on the rear of the chassis. That 145-cubic inch flat-6 produces 80 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque, which is distributed to the rear wheels by way of a 4-speed handbook transmission.
The unibody truck rides on a 95-inch wheelbase, in comparison with 108 inches for different Corvair variants. As for this specific Corvair truck, it’s a ramp side mannequin, which had a ramp on one side of the mattress along with a conventional tailgate. The truck can carry 1,500 kilos of cargo, in keeping with Leno, nevertheless it would not have a flat mattress flooring, limiting utility.
Leno stated he discovered this truck lower than a mile from his Santa Barbara-area store. It was in tough form, however that meant it solely value $600. Watch the video to see it in its fully-restored glory.