Dependable Driver: 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood 700 Wagon – $11,500

by | Jul 2022 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

Every once in a while, we come across a classic ride that really makes us want to drop everything and get on the next plane to fly in, buy the car, and drive it home.  The seller’s description and pictures of their 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Lake 700 station wagon currently listed here on Craigslist in Long Beach, California, is one of those special cars. Not only does the seller’s detailed description lay out what they have done to their rare Corvair to date, the seller reports, “If you want a solid, reliable, and dependable cruiser, then this amazing ’61 Corvair Lakewood 700 Wagon is for you!”

Currently offered for $11,500, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is well below the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for first-generation Chevrolet Corvairs across all body styles built between 1960 and 1964.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the truck featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $11,300 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $19,200.

After launching their innovative air-cooled, rear-engined Corvair in four- and later two-door sedan body styles in 1960, Chevrolet expanded the line-up for 1961 with a four-door station wagon model. With its engine located under the cargo floor, station wagon Corvairs shared the sedan’s 108-inch wheelbase unibody platform. This spacious yet compact body style combined nearly seventy feet of cargo room with another ten in the “frunk.” Chevrolet used the “Lakewood” sub-brand only on the ’61 model year as in 1962 the GM Division dropped all of the “x-wood” names from use on its station wagon models. Unfortunately, the Corvair station wagon lasted only through the spring of 1962 when it was dropped to switch production to the new Monza two-door convertible.

The Pine Tree Pictures YouTube Channel features this vintage 1961 Chevrolet commercial featuring the Lakewood Station Wagon:

While we would like want to change the paint color back to its original factory hue of blue, we like how this 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood 700 wagon has a very desirable floor-shifted four-speed manual transmission.  We would likely hold off on the paint and body work for a solid winter project in the future.

If you are serious about buying this rare Corvair, you can start the conversation by emailing the seller.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their driver-quality Lakewood 700 wagon featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s thorough description:

“1961 CHEVROLET CORVAIR LAKEWOOD 700 WAGON!!!!

If you want a solid, reliable, dependable cruiser, this amazing ’61 Corvair Lakewood 700 Wagon is for you!!!

Only 20, 451 1961 Lakewood Wagons were produced, and far less survive today. This is the 700 Deluxe model with the beltline trim, including the rare and uncommon Monza 900 options like bucket seats, carpet, 4-speed manual transmission, 164 engine, and the ’64 Monza interior trim package.

When I got this, it had sat for years and was sitting on four mismatched flats. I got it home and started overhauling EVERYTHING. It now runs, shifts, and stops like a dream!

New parts include: new bucket seats, new set of correct 1961 wheels and 185/80/13 tires and spare, NOS hubcaps, rebuilt master cylinder and brakes, total tune-up (new belts, hoses, points, plugs, starter, fluids, etc), carpet kit, dashpad, battery, bulbs and rear correct lenses, new brake and reverse lights, new sending unit and filter, correct new rear grill, rare emergency flasher and lights option, new rear glass and rubber, all electrical works, spare tire, original jack….the list is endless.

This wagon is SO reliable that I just did a 200-mile round trip, cruising it at about 55 to 60 MPH, and it got home without a hiccup. With gas as expensive as it is these days, you’ll be amazed at just how good the mileage is on a full tank of gas.

The larger 110 HP 164 engine runs strong and true, compression is good, and zero smoke. The manual transmission shifts tight and smooth, exactly as it should. Brakes don’t pull, and it stops on a dime. You can drive this great Corvair wagon with the full confidence that it will get you home safely! I put a LOT of work into this car to ensure it was dependable and safe.

While this is a head turner for sure, paint is about a ten-footer. It’s not a show car but a solid, clean driver. To take this to the next level, I would advise re-installing the headliner (in excellent condition, but it’s starting to droop), replacing all the door rubber, and fixing the minor rust that is on the front corners of both the driver and passenger front doors. The Chevy Roman Red paint is quite presentable as is and looks terrific after a good waxing.

This was originally a Willow Run wagon, and I have paperwork and registration all the way back to 1977 showing this as a California car. It was originally painted Midnight Blue, but at some point, one of the owners decided that they wanted the classic Roman Red and painted everything, even the engine compartment, frunk, and door jambs!

I really think you’ll dig this great old ride. Whether it’s for a die-hard Corvair collector, surf wagon enthusiast, upcoming band mobile, or art hauler for the coolest of the cool, this American classic will get you there in style!!!

All tags are current with a clear title, and registration and fully insured with Hagerty’s. Original owners manual and shop manual included.

Show or go: What would you do with this driver-quality 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood 700?  Please comment below and let us know!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.