August 26, 2019
The brochure refers to it as a 1962 Chevrolet Corvair Greenbrier Sports Wagon, but you’d be hard-pressed to find the Corvair nameplate anywhere on this compact van. We ran into Niagara Falls resident Pat Pilon a couple of times in the past two weeks with this, his newest purchase, a native-Pennsylvania van which was hauled out of an old barn in Livonia, N.Y. this past May (see photo) and brought to WNY. The odometer says 50k+, but the numbers haven’t moved in years. The paint’s not original (the factory Crystal Turquoise can still be seen in the engine bay); the engine has been replaced by a unit from a Corvair passenger car; and the wheels are 1980 Monte Carlo. But this van still retains a certain charm, due partly to its relative rareness and partly to the oddballness of it all. In a real sign of the times, the base Greenbrier came with a sunvisor only on the driver’s side, as well as a set of rubber floor mats. Moving up to the Deluxe model got you that second visor, as well as an upgraded interior in your choice of four colors; bright bits inside and out; cigarette lighter; armrests; ash trays; foam-cushioned seats; vinyl-coated floormats; and interior dome lights. Most of these photos were taken at last Saturday’s 8th Annual Super Cruise at Mt. St. Mary Academy in Kenmore. The bottom photo is an old Polaroid taken in 1976, before it went into the barn.
Jim Corbran, RRofWNY
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