The iconic classic people carrier will always be the Volkswagen Type 2, better known as the VW Bus. As other European automakers including Mercedes-Benz (with the O139) and Renault (with the Estafette) attempted to capitalize on the old-school van craze, Chevrolet introduced the Corvair 95 series, an example of which is headed to an upcoming RM Sotheby's auction.
The Corvair debuted as a compact coupe or four-door sedan with an air-cooled, rear-engine layout that was undoubtedly inspired by competition from across the pond. But in 1961, the larger 95 Series launched as two vehicles with a longer 95-inch wheelbase: a very VW bus-like passenger van called the Greenbrier, and a pair of pickup variants named either Loadside or Rampside for their tailgate configurations.
This recently restored 1962 model year is of the Rampside variety, featuring a low-center cargo bed and a side gate that folds down onto the ramp for easy loading and unloading. To mark its a eye-catching orange and white color combination, the owner had the words "Big Orange" painted in cursive inside of the white stripe that runs down the side of the bed.
It's fitted with 1964- and later-model wire wheel covers and the Deluxe exterior trim, which includes chrome bumpers and bright-finished mirrors. Other accessory upgrades include bed rails and a sunroof.
RM Sotheby's didn't mention powertrain in the lot listing, but the consigner's documentation shows that it's been retrofitted with the larger 2.7-liter flat-six engine introduced in 1964, which raised output from 80 to 90 horsepower.
A pre-auction value wasn't listed, but Nada Guides' top retail price for a pristine 1962 Chevrolet Corvair 95 Rampside is just under $68,000.
Visit RM Sotheby's to learn more before the automotive auction company's online-only Open Roads event kicks off on February 19.