A Corvair! The Next Woody Boater Tow Vehicle?

Quaker State says the Oil will survive. OK, since its air cooled good to know. Maybe the trunk is filled up with a semi oil cooler?

Quaker State says the Oil will survive. OK, since its air cooled good to know. Maybe the trunk is filled up with a semi oil cooler?

While the hunt is still on here in Woodyboaterville, Ford F150, Chevy or Dodge, I saw this ad. Mmmmm A Corvair? I loved my old Corvair. Actually I had several, including a speedy Spyder.. I had no idea that they would make a great tow vehicle. Is it just me?

mmm whats that set of wheels right behind the car?

mmm whats that set of wheels right behind the car?

Should I bag the Ford Chevy truck thing? I mean the boat in the ad is about the size of Suzy. Heck even the sales accessory catalog says it can do it.

OK, it's A Corsa? Turbo, or 4 carbs.. Never has 140HP worked so hard..

OK, it’s A Corsa? Turbo, or 4 carbs.. Never has 140HP worked so hard.. She may want to move cause those white slacks are about to get some mud on them.

I will add, that the rear wheel drive over the air cooled engine does have nice traction.. Never mind the weight thing. Or breaking.. The good news is that you won’t flip with a 2 ton boat on the aft end. But if the ad says it can do it, that’s good enough for me!

Ya, I can see it.. Maybe if the Corvair is in the truck bed.

Ya, I can see it.. Maybe if the Corvair is in the truck bed.

27 replies
  1. Ed F.
    Ed F. says:

    I had 3 Corvairs in my early years and my brother had 2. Not a turbo in the bunch. I coveted the Spyders and Corsas. My brother had a ’66 Monza 110hp with a hitch and towed a couple different boats including a ’67 16′ Sea Ray with a 125hp Merc. It worked pretty well until one day when he tried to pull the boat up the ramp, accidentally in 3rd gear. The car stalled, rolled backward and drowned the engine before he got stopped. A ’67 GTO pulled us up the ramp. We relaunched the boat and did some skiing while the car dried in the sun then loaded up and drove home. All was well. On a different note a friend recently purchased a new F150 crew cab. It has a horrible vibration in the drive line on acceleration, especially when towing. Ford has told him they may not be able to fix it. Anybody else having the same problem?

    • Kevin
      Kevin says:

      Sounds like the drive shaft is out of balance. My family has switched over to all ford. We have a new F-150 that has had no issues. My chevy 2500 had tons of issues from new. I’m a mechanic have been under tons of vehicles and honestly there is no better built truck out there than ford. I’ve owned them all dodge, chevy, ford, & Toyota. I would never but another Toyota. Worst truck I’ve ever owned. Dodge wasn’t much better and started to rust out after 2 years. Chevy had a host of mechanical issues. My did is on his 3rd ford and I’m on my second. Absolutely love them

  2. donald hardy
    donald hardy says:

    I had a sandrail 4 seater that had a corvair motor and would do over 120 mph with the front tires of the ground, in third gear, it never let me down in the 8 yrs I owned it. The passengers would freak out when we were air born. The closest I came to a corvair. Good memories.

  3. matt
    matt says:

    Rampsides are very cool and well designed. I owned 1964’s The last of the original design but with the indipendant rear. That thing would eat Porshes for lunch.. Until I had to stop or turn. Or pick up chicks. Infact I sold my Corvair for a 356 Porsche and theeen I met the Boatress.. mmmmmm

    • Kevin
      Kevin says:

      I love Porsche 356’s I had a 356A with a sun roof that unfortunately I had to give up. I’ve been looking for another. Figure I’m young though and have my life ahead of me to get another. Sucks when you have expensive hobbies and don’t make peanuts. Why I’ve been thinking of a career change. I love restoring cars but there’s not tons of money in it when you don’t own the shop

  4. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    I had a ’62 monza back then and did use it occasionally for towing a boat. In retrospect, i wouldnt recommend it. Let’s just say it wasnt the best car ever built. They were however, definitely seen as a cool car during that time, with bucket seats, 4 on the floor, hubcaps with the phony wire wheel and knock off look, etc. As ralph nader said, Unsafe at any Speed.

  5. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    like Don I had a 62 Monza, called it the squirrel, loved it.
    The American Porsche.

    Having a Corvair and breathing those fumes explains a lot about Matt.

    good thing Ralph Nader didn’t target boats!

    John in Va.

  6. Rich Marschner
    Rich Marschner says:

    Wait, am I to understand that — instead of a $33,000 2013 Dodge Durango, I could have bought a $3,300 ’63 Dodge Dart? Oooh, don’t tell my wife…she would have much preferred the Dart!

    • don vogt
      don vogt says:

      Yes, that’s why i think chrysler went broke the first time. the damn thing would never wear out.

  7. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    My friends Crown Corvair conversion with a 327 in the back seat and the transaxle flipped with Firestone racing tires and modded suspension was a snake in the grass fast, but a little warm in the cockpit with that motor right behind your ear. It was his GM tech school project.

  8. Grant Stanfield
    Grant Stanfield says:

    “GO MAN, GO!!”

    1962 Spyder promo film with the obligatory Donna Reed soundtrack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_keCJUvFrY

    Love Corvairs…a misunderstood but ever-interesting design. I’d love to find an original Spyder convertible, too (not for the launch ramp, though).

    For fun: Google “Corvair AGL-4” for the best-ever Corvair tow vehicle…THAT would yank your Penn Yan out of the lake, no?

  9. Grant Stanfield
    Grant Stanfield says:

    OK, Matt…

    After further review…I guess a Corvair really IS the ultimate tow vehicle..here’s solid proof!?!

  10. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Hmmm… “Quaker State – Found Everywhere you Drive” …as in right under the car attempting to pull that boat, along with assorted metallic parts! And Matt, I would never imply that my wife was the size of a boat… 🙂

    As for the Corvair I was part owner of – A Greenbrier Van that my R&R band owned and used to get to our gigs. Great vehicle unless the temp outside was well below freezing – the heater was not able to keep up when we were travelling across the mountains in the winters – so we would trade off driving and jump into the another car we always had with us for our freinds to warm up.

  11. TomH
    TomH says:

    I towed a 16ft Tahiti with a TR6 for a while. The clutch would get so hot that the fingers on the pressure plate would melt.
    Almost got tossed off the I-5 bridge using a K5 Blazer towing a 28 ft boat with not enough tongue weight. It’s a slow learning curve sometimes.
    I learned a lot about towing in those years.

  12. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    The extra tires behind the Corvair carry the tung weight of the trailor so the hitch on the car doesn’t have to. All the Corvair has to do is pull the weight, not hold it off the ground.

    Most tow vehicles these days are created fairly equal. The highest priority is acquiring any new vehicle these days is finding a dealer that not only sells them but provides excellent customer care after the sale. Karen and I drive Fords these days because we found just such a car dealer. Do your homework and find a dealer with the full package that has a reputation for keeping their customers coming back year after year. They are rare but some stand out far above the normal “pain in the wazoo” dealer service that I have experienced over the years, including some Ford dealerships.

    • Doug P
      Doug P says:

      Al….Why do the best trucks come from sleazy dealers.
      My 150 was recently treated to a $1,300 power steering pump.

    • Bill Hammond
      Bill Hammond says:

      Al’s right those ‘extra’ wheels were called Tow Dollies and were used extensively in the ’40s – early ’60s when most vehicle frames and suspensions weren’t strong enough to support the tongue weight of heavy loads. Remember the Lucy & Desi movie, “The Long, Long, Trailer”?

      I’ve never owned a Ford. Chevys, Buicks, Cadillacs, VWs, Plymouths, Dodges and Chryslers. Every vehicle I’ve ever owned I’ve had a hitch on it and pulled trailers. Used to pull my Brother-in-law’s 1966 Cadillac Limousine when it would die with my 1978 Chevette. Now that was a mismatch!

      Today I drive a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 4X4 with 110,000 miles on it. It has no rust and I’ve not put a penny into repairs yet. Looks as good as it did the day I bought it! I think it’s mostly how you drive it and take care of it not what you drive that matters.

  13. Syd M
    Syd M says:

    Towed with my 65 110 automatic coupe and also my 69 140 4 spd convertible (one of 521 made) They towed great and I had a fantastic record racing both auto cross and gymkhana with them. The 65 I bought in high school in 76 and only quit driving it in 99 because I got rear ended pretty hard sitting at a red light. When i bought it the seller thought that it was not a good car for her son to take to college. Never did find “any speed” that Ralph was talking about.

  14. Bruce
    Bruce says:

    I once saw a film of a guy pulling a locomotive with his teeth. I never saw the follow up film where he stops it though.

  15. George Emmanuel
    George Emmanuel says:

    Wow, I’m surprised there are no comments about the mud-forming Quaker State motor oil, Sludge city!

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