As I was going through files this morning I stumbled into pictures of the oddest military vehicle I ever owned, a 1962 Corvair Panelvan. Sadly I cannot find too many good shots, these were the days before my digital camera.
I am sure looking at this you might wonder,”how is that a military vehicle?” Well it came with its original paperwork from the Pentagon and barely had over 32,000 miles on it. The Corvan delivered lightbulbs of all things on the underground road network below the Pentagon. I stumbled into it talking to a fellow at a car show and thought it might be a good replacement for my battered VW bus (a whole other set of stories there!)
I kept the Corvan for a couple years. During that time I replaced the transmission, redid the wiring when it caught on fire, upgraded to an alternator, and experienced the wonder of the seals overheating and the van leaving a trail of oil behind it wherever it went.
The Corvair could have been a good vehicle had it not been for the accountants at GM. The engineers knew what they were doing when they designed the air cooled 6 cylinder engine. However the accountants said that to save a few pennies in production the engines should be fitted with a cheap set of seals. These seals did not last on a high temperature air cooled engine and were prone to bake and then leak. What a mess!
I finally moved on and decided I needed a truck. So the day came when I sold the Corvan to a great group of fellows from Ohio.
They were quite fun to deal with. If they still have the van I hope it is treating them well. I moved from the van to a 1964 Chevrolet C10 which I also no longer have. I miss that truck!
I keep wondering how this van is doing and have found nothing online. So if you ever hear about a Corvair Van that belonged to the Pentagon, let me know. I hope it is doing well.