It was - certainly in the 1950s and 1960s - characteristic of the American automobile industry. Various model series followed each other rapidly. At the same time, they were produced and sold in large numbers. Even so, cars have also been built in smaller numbers in the United States. One such example is the Chevrolet Lakewood, the station wagon variant of the controversial Corvair, which was co-introduced to counterbalance VW's growing success in America.
The first-generation Chevrolet Corvair was offered in a variety of capacities, and for the 1961 model year, a station wagon also found its way into the range of Chevrolet's smallest volume car. The wagon was of course fitted to the basis of the regular Corvair and that meant, among other things, that flat-six engines were placed in the back. Two variants were available: the 80 HP generating Turbo-Air and a Super Turbo Air variant with 98 HP. The installation of the power units - which, contrary to what the name suggests, do not contain a turbocharger - took place under the loading floor and behind the rear axle.
Multiple equipment options at Lakewood
Furthermore, the Corvair was equipped as standard with the manual three-speed gearbox. In addition, the buyers were optionally provided with a manual four-speed gearbox and an automatic two-stage GM Powerglide transmission. The base Corvair, the 500 Series, formed the starting point for the station, which was christened in Lakewood. The new wagon in 1961 was also available in the more luxurious "700" trim. It was initially offered in two series: the entry-level 500 and the more expensive 700.
Short construction period
In fact, the Lakewood was only built for one year, because the name Lakewood was said to be for the 1962 model year. The entry-level 500 model also disappeared. From that moment the new and sporty Monza wagon represented the station wagon line of the Corvair series. But when the Corvair cabriolet was introduced in the middle of the 1962 model year, it was over and over for the Corvair station wagon variant. He was succeeded by the new Chevy II car.
Attention: unique project in the Netherlands
A total of 33.271 units were built from the Corvair station wagon variants, of which 26.920 in 1961. It makes this application of the Chevrolet Corvair an extremely rare appearance. Special is that we were tipped by Frank Hensen about a Lakewood in the Netherlands. Hensen offers the Lakewood - a copy from 1961 - for a good acquaintance.
Complete basis for reconstruction
This Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood - based on the more luxurious 700 version - has been partially dismantled for restoration and completely complete. He also has a working engine, and the accompanying papers are also present with the car. That is why it is a unique project in several respects, which can be labeled as an opportunity for lovers of rare American heritage. The complete condition and the good parts supply of the Corvair models are nice starting points. And they will certainly not stand in the way of restoring this unique Lakewood variant to its former glory.
Knowing more? Frank Hensen has the car with various images and a video of the running engine his Facebook page described. Interested parties can - via Frank Hensen's Facebook account - contact him for further information.