Even at first glance, you’ll notice that there’s something different about the Pick of the Day, a 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Rampside.
You might notice the unusual color scheme, or the aftermarket wheels or the lowered stance. What I noticed was that big air scoop hanging off the driver side of the vehicle between the front and rear axles.
As if any ’61 Rampside doesn’t draw attention, “this one is upgraded to a Pro Street custom machine with serious V8 power, an upgraded suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes,” notes the Lutz, Florida, dealership advertising the originally rear-engine but now mid-engine pickup truck on ClassicCars.com.
“So while people might want to get a nice look at this rare pickup, it may be hard, because it has the power to be a blur as it rockets on by.”
It was for the 1961 model year that Chevrolet introduced its Corvair-based pickup truck; think El Camino based on the sporty, rear-engine compact car.
In place of the Corvair’s 144cid 6-cylinder engine and its 80 horsepower, the Pick of the Day carries behind that air scoop a Chevy 350cid small-block V8 with an Edelbrock 4-barrel carb, hi-rise intake, aluminum radiator with dual electric fans and wrapped headers.
The 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission has been redone with a trans brake, 3,000-rpm stall and reverse manual valve body.
The rear end has been bolstered with boxed steel reinforcing and also tubbed to accommodate larger rear tires. There’s also a 4-link rear suspension setup with adjustable coilovers and disc brakes, as well as a Dana 60 rear with 4.10 gearing for quick acceleration.
The body is colored Flame Orange with gold center tripe, brightly chromed bumpers, a custom bed cover, wood-floor pickup bed and, of course, those Weld-style racing wheels.
The forward-control passenger compartment has a full roll cage, bucket seats with racing harnesses, ProComp ratchet shifter, AutoMeter gauges and a dash-mounted tach with shift light.
“This unique Corvair is your Hot Wheels fantasy come to life,” the dealer suggests.