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1964 Corvair Rampside

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvair
Year: 1964
Mileage: 22,000
VIN: T0402VB
Color: Blue
Cylinders: 6
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual
Interior color: White
Vehicle Title: Clear
Item location: Kent, Washington, United States

1964 Chevrolet Corvair Additional Info:

Worth Waiting For

Gordon Apkerof Des Moines, WA purchased this lovely, low-mileage Rampside at acharity auctionfor theBlackhawk Automotive Museumin November 2012. Gordon is a well-known car enthusiast in the Puget Sound area, so I was thrilled to get an invitation to meet him and see this elusive Rampside in person, in late June 2013.

Gordon has fond memories of making pickups and deliveries for a drugstore in a different Rampside, in his hometown of Everett, WA, beginning in September 1961, while he was in high school. In particular, he remembers how that Rampside made it easy to transport wheelchairs, the rental of which was a brisk business for the drugstore.

Gordon learned about this 22,000-mile, one-owner Rampside by virtue of being on the board of directors for Blackhawk. He was unable to attend the auction, so he placed a proxy bid in advance, and was quite pleased to learn that the Rampside would be heading north to the Seattle area.

The reason I said this Rampside was "elusive" is that I had known about this truck for close to 15 years and had talked to the original owner, Harry Exline, but had been unable to get enough info on it to add it to the registry, mostly because it was stored in Placerville, CA, some distance from Harry's home.

Kevin Thompson, owner of St. Louis '64 Rampside108372and member ofSan Francisco Bay Area CORSA, let me know about the pending auction. In Kevin's words:

"I heard about this wonderful '64 Rampside and always thought it was just talk when the guys in the San Francisco club would talk about it and Harry its owner. In fact, while I was President of SFBA for several years, we received dues from Harry (never saw him) and eventually a check from his estate made out to the club. Well, checking Hemmings.com tonight, I saw that the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, CA was auctioning off a Rampside. I checked the web and found the following description of Harry's truck:

This mint original example was gifted to the Blackhawk Museum by Harry S. Exline of San Francisco, California. Mr. Exline purchased the Rampside new in 1964 and owned the car until he donated it to the museum in 2005. This extremely rare example has traveled a mere 22,000 miles since new! This Corvair 95 truck was derived from their 95-inch wheelbase and is equipped with its original 164 cubic inch engine and manual transmission. The Rampside featured a brilliant idea: Part of the passenger side of the truck was hinged at the bottom, and could be lowered to form a ramp to the cargo bay. Fully restored and mint original examples like this one are extremely hard to find and are commanding premium money.

I thought I would pass this on in case any members may be interested in this near new Rampside and of course to make sure it's in our registry."

I was quite surprised and pleased to find out that the Rampside now resides less than an hour away from my house, at Gordon's wonderful private museum. Gordon has connected with the local Corvair community, thanks toCorvairs Northwestmember John Bolender, who is also the former owner of two '64 Rampsides. We'll make sure this truck gets all the TLC that it needs to stay in tip-top condition.

Before donating the truck to the Blackhawk Automotive Museum, Mr. Exline did a thorough cosmetic restoration and added a white stripe. The fixture on the front bumper is for towing. Gordon said that Mr. Exline put most of the 22,000 miles on the truck while towing it behind his motor home.

Close inspection of the truck reveals that it almost certainly has its original engine: the code T0402VB indicates '64 FC 110 HP engine with manual transmission, built on April 2.