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In the Navy...

Ralph Gubser, of Cincinnati, OH, purchased this ex-Navy Loadside in October, 2013 from the estate of Burt Lippold, of Roy, UT. Ralph shared that the truck was originally equipped with a gas heater, 4-way flashers, windshield washer, seat belts and manual transmission (3-speed assumed).

Here's what Burt said about the rig when he was the owner:

"I originally found this vehicle in a wrecking yard in Kalispell, MT in 1985. It hadn't been licensed since 1972. It had been drug around the wrecking yard so much that a lot of the under carriage had been damaged. Since then I have sold it a couple of times due to too many projects going on. Earlier this year I ended up with it again and decided that it was my destiny to put this rare Corvair back on the road. It is about 75% ready to drive. My wife and I plan to drive it to the GWFBT&SM in November, 1999.

This truck was originally purchased by the United States Navy. It still has the military ID plate fastened to the glove compartment door. This is the info listed on the plate:

4 x 2
STOCK NO.  C2320-833-8335
SER NO.  2R124S115117        REG. 94-45592
CONT. NO.  ORD.-28860    DATE MFGD    5-1962
LENGTH    180"      WIDTH    70"     HEIGHT   71"
CAP. OR PAY LOAD   1350 LBS    GVW  4100 LBS
SHIP WT. 2645   LBS      CUBE   518 CU FT
MODEL   TO511V     DATE INSP   5-62

The vehicle is still painted the original Navy Gray, however the paint is in terrible condition. It is equipped with a gas heater. The original motor was in the back of the truck when I bought it and has the number TO511V as listed on the ID plate. Because it was a military vehicle, it didn't come with any other options."

The presence of the special military ID plate is a nice way to verify the production date and original engine number. All of the data agree—GM's production figures show that this truck was made in May, 1962, as does the military tag. The engine was also made during the same month.

The paint code SPEC, shown below, indicates that the truck was painted in a non-stock fashion. Dave Newell commented:

"All the armed services and federal, state, and local governments had special paint codes. GM had the specs for all of the major ones on file. Plus, the standard paint spec for a branch of government would be specified in the bid request. Not much different than a special fleet color. Probably was different than Georgian Gray (the stock gray color, code 522/552), I'm sure."

Burt sent some photos in October, 1999, shown below. He's been very busy getting the truck road-worthy again!

"The first picture is my 1962 Rampside. it was totaled when a lady ran into it while I was along side the Interstate changing the right rear tire. A real close call for me. This pick-up gave up most of the parts that were necessary to get the Loadside back on the road.

Pictures 2-4 are of the Loadside just moments after I got it together enough that I could move it around under its own power.

One of the guys I had sold the Loadside to had changed both doors because the windows were broken out.

I had put the passenger door back on at this point but hadn't gotten to the driver's door.

The fifth picture shows the year of the license plate that the Loadside was last driven [1972].

To date [October, 1999], this is a list of the things I have finished on the Loadside:

  1. Re-wired engine compartment
  2. Installed engine, transaxle, and rear suspension from wrecked Rampside
  3. Refurbished gas tank from Rampside and installed it
  4. Installed shifter linkage from Rampside
  5. Replaced left-hand windshield wiper assembly
  6. Installed seat from Rampside
  7. Replaced light sockets for front turn signals & parking lights
  8. Switched over to internally-regulated alternator
  9. Rebuilt all brake cylinders and master cylinder
  10. Had brake drums turned
  11. Installed new brake shoes
  12. Rebuilt carburetors
  13. Replaced glass in doors
  14. Installed new fuzzies and window channels
  15. Installed new tires and battery
  16. Replaced transmission shifter seal
  17. Replaced clutch cable
  18. Replaced speedometer cable
  19. Repaired throttle cable
  20. Several other small repairs too numerous to list here

My wife and I are looking forward to driving the Loadside to Palm Springs for the Great Western Fan Belt Toss & Swap Meet in November, which is only next week.

I'll have more photos as repairs progress."

Burt sent an update on 16 April 2000. Here's the latest:

"In October of 1999, a friend helped me do some bodywork on a couple of the rougher areas of the Loadside. A couple of weeks later, November 4, my wife and I set out for the Great Western Fan Belt Toss & Swap Meet in Palm Springs, CA. We got a late start, so we stopped in Mesquite, NV for the night. The next day we traveled the rest of the way into Palm Springs. The Loadside made the trip without any problems at all. When you consider that this was a Corvair that hadn't been on the road in over 28 years, and was powered by a 1961 80 HP engine with over 100,000 miles on it and nothing more than new seals since it was new (and that was about 7 years ago), that is a remarkable journey.

The next day was spent shopping around all the Corvair parts available at the GWFBT&SM. The fan belt idler pulley had started making quite a bit of noise, so I picked one up while shopping. After installing it, the engine ran so much quieter that I was able to hear a slight knocking sound coming from somewhere deep inside the engine. We were about 800 miles from home, so I was a bit concerned. I asked Jim Craig to listen to the knock and give me his expert opinion. He wasn't sure what was causing the knock, but recommended removing the lower shrouds to help the engine run cooler, change the oil, using Castrol GTX 20-50, and take it easy going home. He assured me that he felt it would make it home okay. I did everything Jim had recommended and the noise wasn't to be heard again. We finished a fun-filled stay in Palm Springs, and early Sunday morning, the 7th of November, we started our journey home. We averaged about 50 MPH for the first hundred miles. The engine remained quiet and ran so good that we bumped our speed up to 70 MPH for the remainder of the trip. It was an enjoyable fun-filled trip. When we got home I parked the Loadside on the carport and covered it up for the winter.

On the 18th of March 2000, 1 uncovered the Loadside and got it ready for a trip to St. George, UT to participate in a rally with the Bonneville Corvair Club. On the 24th of March, my wife and I set out for St. George and had a very nice drive. We had a wonderful weekend and were able to see Corvair friends we hadn't seen for quite some time. Once again the Loadside performed flawlessly. I had to add one quart of oil due to a leak that had developed in the rear main. It is so much fun to watch the reactions of people when they see this odd looking little pickup with the name 'CORVAIR' on the door. There are so many funny little questions, but everyone just loves it, especially the teenagers.

I plan on spending some time this year getting all the mechanics of the Loadside in top-notch condition. This will include adding a brand new 110 HP engine that I am in the process of purchasing from Jim Craig. 2001 will hopefully be the year for cosmetics to the Loadside."

On 27 January 2003 I received the following note and more pictures from Burt:

"Since it has been a couple of years since I last sent you an update on what is being done with my 1962 Loadside, I decided it was time to bring everything up to date. A lot has happened over the last couple of years. During the winter of 2000/2001 I installed the new 110 HP engine I had purchased from Jim Craig. The difference this new engine made was amazing. The additional power of the 110 compared to the old worn-out 80 horse engine that had been replaced made the cost worth every penny.

We drove the Loadside to the Bonneville Corvair Club 2001 Corvair Gathering. This truck was such a pleasure to drive. I could even keep up with the rest of the cars on the road now. A couple of months later, the wife and I drove the Loadside to the Tri-State Rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Because of the brand new crate engine, the Loadside had become somewhat of a celebrity.

After driving to a few cruise-inns that summer, we put the Loadside in the body shop for some much needed bodywork. I wasn't ready to have the final paint job put on yet, but did get a much more attractive Loadside back.

In 2002 we drove the Loadside to the 2002 Corvair Gathering in St. George, UT and to the TriState in Grand Junction Colorado. The pictures that I enclosed are of the Loadside while we were in Southern Utah at the Corvair Gathering. The Loadside is far from being finished, so I will get you another update once the next step of restoration is complete."

In February 2016, Ralph shared some photos he took during Summer 2014, showing the restoration in progress,

Information from the data plate

Trim code


Paint code



Standard equipment


Special paint

(Click on a heading in the table for more information on that item.)


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