If you were going to choose a vehicle that would become the talk of an outrageous event such as Holley’s LS Fest, would a 1962 Corvair 95 Ramp-Side be your first choice? That is exactly why Wayne Dick from Alberta, Canada’s patina’d mini-hauler is the perfect answer. Photographer and YouTuber Larry Chen caught up with Wayne at the Holley LS Fest in Las Vegas, and documented the meeting on his channel.
The One That Almost Got Away
Wayne has owned the Corvair for about eight years now. He initially found it languishing in a wrecking yard in Idaho. However, the $700 asking price was more than he could spare at the time. When he returned about a year later, there was a car crusher, but no Corvair; he assumed the worst. He was scrolling through Facebook and found the truck for sale in one of the social media groups. Determined not to let it get away this time, he called a friend who lives in the area who bought it and brought it to Wayne in Canada, where it now balances out garage space with a Corvair van he owns.
We’ve seen some pretty amazing rides attend LS Fest over the years, and Wayne’s little Corvair is right up there with the best of them. His ride is so cool in our opinion because it is balanced in every aspect, literally and figuratively. Looking at the scales, Wayne’s white warrior holds an almost perfect 50/50 weight bias, which is directly attributed to the fact that he’s got a C5 Corvette suspension both front and rear. We’ll get to that a bit later.
A Balance Of Beauty And Decay
Wayne’s Corvair is balanced in so many other ways as well. It takes a special talent to make a decaying and scratched-up body and 1/2-inch-thick body filler blend so nicely with exemplary fabrication skills such as those beautiful, custom-fabricated, 32-inch long-tube headers. Likewise, an air ride suspension and beautiful Weld wheels mate the truck to the ground but don’t compete with the truck’s overall vibe for center stage.
While many owners attempt to give their rides street cred by giving them a faux patina, Wayne’s ‘Vair has earned every scratch, dent, and rust hole. Although, he did a little bit of work on the tailgate, changing its shade from the original green to better match the white and orange motif throughout the rest of the vehicle.
The first thing that grabs your eye when you look at Wayne’s creation is the Chevrolet Performance LS3 crate engine plopped in the truck bed immediately in front of the 4L65E transmission and differential from a C5 Corvette. Wayne added a Brian Tooley Stage-III camshaft to give the 6.2-liter V8 a little rumble.
He used an LT-style input shaft in the transmission along with a Camaro bellhousing and converter so the engine could snuggle up to the transmission. You may recall that the C5 Corvette was the first generation to place the transmission and differential at the rear of the vehicle. Wayne simply took things one step further and, forgoing the use of any torque tube whatsoever, moved the engine to the back as well. There WAS a full-size bed just waiting to be utilized back there anyways!
Wayne also updated the suspension to C5 standards, thanks to those Dobbertin Performance Innovations mounting assemblies that allow the C5’s suspension components to mate to any custom-tube frame rail. Wayne documented the swap along with many other aspects of the build through several videos on his personal YouTube channel. There are several areas of this build covered extensively in Larry Chen’s interview video as well. We’ll include some photos to whet your appetite, but we suggest watching the video because in doing so, you’ll also get a better understanding of the reason for such an outrageous build and the man who dreamt it up.
It’s a little bit sketchy… – Owner, Wayne Dick
Only someone with a certain outlook on life could envision building such a creation. This really comes to light as Larry interviews Wayne about his Corvair. Credit goes out to Larry for giving Wayne time to speak once he’s asked the questions. Wayne was quick to clarify that, for the most part, what you see so far as bodywork is NOT of his doing! He explains, “I’ve done NOTHING to the body! It’s a conversation piece, and underneath it is HORRENDOUS!”
As Larry comments about the Corvair’s forward seating position on a short drive around the speedway, Wayne explains, “Yeah, we’re the first on the scene of an accident!” Everywhere you look, there are worn and weathered parts, rust holes, and bad attempts at rolling back the hands of time. Somehow, Wayne has allowed all of those beautifully-aged areas to remain on the vehicle so they can continue their tale of the truck’s history. He’s also seamlessly blended so many modern components beside them.
The best part is now, with the LS3 engine and Corvette drivetrain, he’s added more fun to the truck’s fun factor without removing any of its classic coolness. Wayne sums up the project perfectly by saying, “We kinda went REDICULOUS on every aspect, and I don’t regret one thing!”