To have a full look at utilitarian Corvairs, you can’t omit the Lakewood station wagon. Only built for the 1961 and 1962 model years, they’re a fairly rare version of the Corvair, yet a look round online listings turns up two of these interesting cars within budget. The styling of these is quite interesting, like a checklist of early 1960s GM design cues minus the gaudy chrome grill, and a dash of VW Type 3 thrown in when you consider the proportions and rear fender vents. Check out this 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood for sale for $3500 in Belmont, CA.
Said to run and drive well, the seller has been using this car as a weekend driver and occasional commuter. It still needs a headliner, but the seller does not say whether the original piece is still installed, or whether you’re on your own for the metal ribs and finding original style fabric. The car has had a basic service on its powerglide automatic transmission, together with a new brake master cylinder and wheel cylinders, and a rebuilt steering box. The body shows some rust on the lower extremities and at the leading edge of the frunk lid, but that’s not unexpected for a car this age.
Paint is clearly aged, but that doesn’t detract from the look. What is subject to personal tast, though, is the interior – seats and door panels have been simply recovered in a light blue, modern-looking velour, while the trunk has been refinished in black carpet. That seems rather plush for a wagon of the time, and sure enough, a quick review of other Lakewoods shows painted metal in the rear. If this seems a bit too rich for one of the less-popular versions, you should definitely check out this 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood for sale for $2000 in Lodi, CA.
This car is not as well-photographed, and the interior seems to feature modern seats, but the body is straight and those Corvette-aping hubcaps add a sporty feel to this little wagon. It seems to have a similar amount of rust to the above car as well. Unfortunately, it also has the two-speed powerslide, but it comes with an apparent $7000 in new parts, which are presumably installed on the car.
And some of the new parts are visible here, including the alternator, plug wires, and distributor cap. Missing air filters suggest the seller did not finish tuning the car up and is still trying to sort out some fueling issues. That said, this looks like a really good foundation for a car that would surpass the one above pretty easily. With significantly more storage space than a VW Type 3, these cars seem like they would make a great practical classic.