VanDweller Community Forums

Full Version: Corvair Ultravan???
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3
I have never seen one in person, but have heard brief blurbs about them on occasion, now here is one for sale?
I'm not condoning anybody buying this, and I doubt it runs. Probably not very practical either.
One thing I do know about folks in general that frequent this forum is we seem to like things that are not usual or normal.
Having posted my disclaimers, here is the CL posting.
After a quick search I found a little information about this. It was meant to be a motorhome. Tongue
My family owned **3** Corvairs during the sixties.  My mother had a blue 62 four door sedan, My brother owned a red 65 (second body style) and I owned a blue 64 turbocharged Spyder.

I loved those cars.  I've often thought, if I only had had the money, I would have put together a collection of all years and types.  The early station wagon, the rampside and regular  pickup, the Corvan, a Fitch Sprint and a Yenko Stinger.  I would have HAD to have one of these motorhomes, as well as a Manx dune buggy using Corvair running gear.  Corvair engines were also converted for aircraft use, and I've seen pictures of those Everglades airboats using them.  Would have had to have had one of those, as well.

Ah, if only . . .

I certainly hope Ralph Nader rots in Hell.  Bastard didn't even have a driver's license, so how would HE know if the car was any good or not?
Agreed, I hope Nader is hanging by a certain part of soft anatomy over a roaring fire, surrounded by Corvairs filled with cool water.

The vans were really cute, like a VW van with American styling and decent power.
A buddy's older brother had a corvair car in our high school years. He cut the body off, and ran it around the forest roads like an overweight dunebuggy. Fun!
It was an intriguing system, that could have gone far if that damned Ralphie hadn't gotten a burr under his saddle for it. All the Corvair car needed was a little more weight up front.
That Ultravan in the ad looks like a gutted hulk, from what little we can see. It would be an expensive "labor of love" to put it together. I suspect it was a parts donor.
Very cool. Reminds me a bit of Bucky Fuller's Dymaxion
I had a 65 110 two door and a 65 four door corsair. Nader may have rallied against the Corvairs but the truth was they dropped in sales long after the Unsafe at any speed book was released. America wanted bigger and faster, other cars like the Falcon had the same issue. I had a 61 and a 65 of those too.

A interesting fact is the original design that ended up in the Vette was intended for the corvair. You can see it in the second body style. I stopped driving them because even in the 80's the parts were expensive as hell.
Yes, there have been a couple in my area.  One below me a few miles that was parked in an old Barn, until the Barn caved in during high winds and totaled it.   People came in from all around to "pick it's bones".

A fellow who is a Corvair connoisseur in the University district down river from me has one of these about like this one:

[Image: new.jpg]

he owns several Corvair's of different types.

He tells me that the guy who developed this vehicle was a Airplane Pilot
who wanted something like this to keep at the airport where he was based.
It provided for his needs.  Lightweight aluminum, air cooled, bed over engine
would assure a warm bed within a few minutes after he arrived and made a pot
of coffee and fixed something to eat. 

The interior was stark as RV's before the 70's which were wood paneled and carpeted
with shag carpet. (basically to appeal to women's they influenced so much of
the family purchasing decisions).  

But the 110 hp dual carbs,  power glide 2 speed auto transmission could push the rig
along at a decent clip with decent fuel cost for the day.

The bed was hinged and lifted from the front facing side to expose the engine.  To heat the rig quickly when arriving to it on a cold night this raising of the bed was often done to let the started engine heat the interior for a few minutes until the heating system could sustain the heat that would make it comfortable. 

Over the years I've noticed a lot of small Class A and Class C RV's sitting around Airports.  I guess the
Pilots who fly on contract  or have to be based at a particular Airport choose to save their Per Diem
money and live like those who boon dock with a self contained rig.   They wouldn't have to fool with missed
reservations at Motels when bad weather interferes with their flight schedules etc.  I would imagine the Airport would allow them to use the Pilot's Lounge restrooms.   They may have to use the shower in their RV but they can probably take on water for free while there and possibly make a shore power connection where they park.  But that's cheap rv living too, where the Per Diem could be used to pay for the RV.
I really like these RVs I am not sure why more of the newer ones are not focused on the aero like this one was. I always like the looks of Corvairs but was under the impression that the engines struggled (overheated???)and they were prone to rust out prematurally. Didn't the a Corvair just metamorphe into the Camaro,
(02-19-2017, 03:16 AM)flying kurbmaster Wrote: [ -> ]I really like these RVs I am not sure why more of the newer ones are not focused on the aero like this one was. I always like the looks of Corvairs but was under the impression that the engines struggled (overheated???)and they were prone  to rust out  prematurally. Didn't the a  Corvair just metamorphe into the Camaro,

I think you're remembering that the Falcon metamorphed into the Mustang.

As for why more RV don't look like this, it reminds me of the Airstreams.  People who AREN'T Airstream fanatics complain that there is not enough storage space in them, the roof shape does not accommodate upper cabinets easily.
The Corvair connoisseur that I know tells me that the Corvairs that still exist today have cult following.

He compares them to the Zeppelins of the 20's and 30's in that they were ahead of their time in a lot of ways.
Most notably materials that were used as seals were grossly inferior.   The materials then weren't capable of taking the heat if the engine was ran low on oil.  Today's silicon "O rings" are what are used and other better grades of sealing materials that they didn't have back in the day.  With air cooled engines,  your oil not only lubericates but it also cools.  Original engine oil coolers were just too small which led to overheating problems.   Many of today's Corvairs rebuilds use auxiliary oil coolers as well to better control the engine operating temperature.

Other under grade components caused failures too.  In the 60's GM used to install 2 ply tires on many of their cars.   On the early Covair models this was a disaster,  as rear tires low of air pressure would allow the wheel rims to dig into the road and cause the car to flip.   The Corvair was inherently rear end heavy so if the car lost traction on a slick road the rear end would swing around and a lot of new drivers found themselves in "rear first" collisions when it happened to them. 

Today the Corvair could probably be built properly as many of the restorers have shown given the better grades of components.   But in the day the seals failed quickly making "Leakers"out of them and in time "fire hazards".  It was nearly impossible to clean the engines without removing them from the car and that would have been cost prohibitive.  And this is why the car was deemed an inferior product.
Pages: 1 2 3