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Reader’s email sparks FIN MAN investigation pact pickup trucks, it seemed part, was mounted way in the the most practical layout was back of the vehicle and was the Brand Ave. Studios the COE or cab-over-engine, same flat-six cylinder, air-cooled Contributing Writer blunt nosed designs. Such was engine used in the Corvair autoI recently received the follow- the style of Ford’s Econoline, mobile. Chevrolet beefed up the flating letter from FIN MAN fan, Chevrolet’s Corvair Rampside Bruce Luthy, of Sparta, Illinois: and the Dodge compact van and six for cargo carrying, giving it stronger exhaust valves, lowered “Bruce – I know a man from pickup. Sparta, Illinois who bought an early Econoline pickup truck with a tailgate and a side gate. I remember Ford’s advertising for the side gate. Do you? I think they are pretty rare.” Well, Bruce you caught The FIN MAN off guard for a moment. Something didn’t ring quite true with your email. If your friend had a compact pickup with a side ramp or loading gate, unless it was a custombuilt job, it had to be a Chevrolet Corvair 95 series “Rampside” PHOTO PROVIDED BY BRUCE KUNZ pickup. A very sharp-looking Rampside shown here in Glenwood Green and Pure The 60s saw the introduction of compact cars and trucks by White. The wide white walls really set off this truck’s look. American automobile manuWhile Ford and Dodge mod- compression and carburetors facturers across the board. Ford introduced its Falcon compact els were conventional front- with larger jets for a richer mixline in 1960, so too did Chevrolet engine, rear-drive chassis lay- ture. When the passenger-car with their controversial Corvair outs, the Corvair was built on engine was enlarged from 145 and Plymouth gave us the Val- the same frame as the Corvair cubic-inches to 164 cubic-inchiant compact line with its more automobile, but with a 13-inch es in 1964, the pickup’s engine shorter wheelbase. The engine, followed suit, adding a heavyradical styling cues. When it came to early, com- just like its automotive counter- duty, 12-plate oil cooler. The OLD CAR COLUMN By BRUCE KUNZ final-drive ratio for the pickups was 3.55:1, however 3.27:1 could be specified for highway use, or 3.89:1 for heavy hauling or steep hills. Transmissions offered were three and four-speed manuals as well as a Powerglide automatic. Although short in length, and light in weight, the little Corvair had an amazing payload capacity rating of 3/4 tons! The Corvair 95 was offered with a single, rear tailgate bed called the “Loadside” or with an additional, side-located ramp with lowered to ease entry to the bed of the vehicle – hence the name “Rampside”. Sales were brisk in the early years, with production of more than 13,000 units for the first year. 80 percent of these were Rampside models. Sales in successive years fell to 4,471 for 1962, 2,046 for 1963, 851 for 1964 and none for 1965. Bruce, if you can find me a picture of a Ford Falcon/Econoline with a ramp on the side, I’ll buy you dinner at this great place called Swanson’s. For more photos in full color, find this story on stltoday.com/ lifestyles/autos. FIN MANtm Factoid: Available from 1961 through 1964 model years, the Corvair’s “95” model designation was derived from the vehicle’s wheelbase. TRI-POWER TRIVIA 1. Ford had the Econoline, Chevrolet had the Corvair, what was the name of the compact Dodge truck and van line? 2. Who was it that “loved little White Dove in the pop hit song from 1960 and who sang the song? Was it Johnny Preston; Duane Eddy; Johnny Horton or Marty Robbins? 3. April 20 1961, Fidel Castro announced that the invasion of what body of water had been defeated? ANSWERS: 1. The Dodge compact line of vans and pickups was named A-100. 2. Running Bear (the song title) was the guy who loved little White Dove. The artist was Johnny Preston. 3. The Bay of Pigs This content was produced by Brand Ave. Studios. The news and editorial departments of the St. Louis PostDispatch had no role in its creation or display. For more information about Brand Ave. Studios, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.