Ralph Nader’s favorite car has endured his legacy to become quite a nice collectible. Of course, the Corvair wasn’t the only vehicle to bear the brunt of Ralph’s wrath, but it’s the one that popular culture has chosen to remember.
But the Corvair was special in so many positive ways too. The Corvair was the prototype for the Mustang, so to speak, in bringing a sporty bucket-seat sportster to the masses. It also was the first production recipient, along with the Olds Jetfire, of a turbocharger. And although the Corvair copied the Volkswagen’s rear-engine layout, the Corvair had a number of exotic items that belied its humble origins, including the much-maligned suspension.
One Corvair that often escapes the radar is the Corvair Greenbriar (sometimes known as the “Corvan”), a family-style forward-control van that also had that pancake six in the rear. Other variants included a commercial panel van, and Rampside and Loadside pickups. However, it’s the Greenbriar that is the focus of this Motor Trend Classic article. This one is one of the few equipped with the $595 dealer-installed Camper Unit, which reconfigured the floorplan and featured such niceties as a sink. The featured Greenbriar also has an aftermarket Turtle Top roof. Can camping get any better?