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TLC for a worthy GB

Doug Dunlap of Baldwinsville, NY is the newest owner of this van. He purchased it in March, 2004.

"This van is recently from Charleston, SC. I purchased it from Frank Lux of Charleston, SC, a long-time Corvair man and member of CORSA. I understand that his father bought it in FL in the late '70s (1977 maybe).

The van withstood an unauthorized, grueling, 250-mile high-speed road trip from Charleston to Lexington, NC, at which point it was put on a roll-back transporter for the remainder of the ride. I have a hard time believing it survived that road trip. The belt broke during the trip and who knows how far the driver went before stopping? The engine blew two head gaskets and the lifters exploded!"

The van was dumped in Tim Colson's driveway and the delivery people ran, only to be caught taking off. But, to put it nicely, we will never know the truth of what really took place the previous 48 hours.

This rig has 82K miles on it. After the beating that the engine took (80 HP), Tim and I recently built a 95 HP truck engine.

The plate number is CWK 6165, which has a neat tie-in with the Greenbrier's years of production. It will be making its debut at the Central New York Corvair Club's Recall on June 4-5, 2004."

Here's what Tim Colson had to say about his time with the van:

"As Doug said, the van was delivered by flatbed truck to my driveway at about 8:30 on a Sunday night. There was snow still on the ground and the delivery people left in enough of a hurry to get sideways in my driveway, obviously without any attempt to notify me. I caught up with the slippery critters driving the truck by running out the door in the dark flashing my camera at them.

Anyway, after they left I moved the 'brier into the garage. It was then that I figured out why they were in a hurry to leave... It had no power. The head gaskets hissed at me like snakes, the lifters acted like the rockers were very loose, and the clutch was jumpy and slipping. I found a broken belt laying in the back. The final trial by fire was a bad new clutch disk. The wrong rivet style had been installed and that was fun to figure out.

The van now has a '65 95 HP car engine converted by me to a truck block by filling the shroud hole for the dipstick, filling the oil fill hole with a soft plug, and drilling a new oil fill hole in the block.

I re-sealed both crank seals and pushrod tubes, put a new blower bearing on it, and completed other upgrades to the distributor and carburetors. I put 140 HP exhaust manifolds on it with Clark's dual exhaust kit (my own design hangers though mounted to the engine instead of the body).

I just finished building two new carbs for it because they were running like crap. I put '65-style carbs with power circuits on it. The ones that came with the engine were frozen. Someone had tried to free them improperly, damaging nice low-mileage carbs beyond reasonable repair.

It has been one detail after another unexpected but needed. I sense even more to do in axle u-joints and bearings. They just don't look/feel right and have been messed with. There are a lot of butchers out there I guess."

What a story! I'm relieved that Tim and Doug were able to restore the van to running order. Here are some pictures that Tim sent of the engine installation:

And here's a great picture of the van back on the road!

Information from the data plate

Trim code


Paint code


Delivery Date



Standard equipment


Turquoise, two-tone



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


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