The Corvair 95 Rampside (Model 1254) was one of the most innovative vehicles in GM history. Like all vehicles in the Corvair line, the Rampside had a rear-mounted, horizontally-opposed six cylinder, air-cooled engine that delivered 80HP and 128 ft-lbs of torque with 145 cu-in of displacement. But, like all Corvair 95 models, the aft floor was elevated to accommodate the engine - the "flat-six" engine was just not flat enough. This inconvenience was partially compensated by the forward deep cargo area.
The Rampside's namesake was the unique swing-down panel on the right side across which allowed heavy cargo to be easily loaded into the midsection at a gentle 22o inclination. The ramp had the same rigid double-walled construction as the other side walls and a load capacity of 1000 lbs. A full length hinge was located on the bottom (an issue if congested with payload debris) and a rubber guard at the top.
Like all Corvair 95 models, the Rampside surpassed the competition with superior construction, styling and payload. The payload of the Rampside was a full 3/4 ton with an intended market of local fleet delivery, including construction contractors, dairies, farmers, appliance dealers landscape contractors, newspaper delivery, ranchers, and public utilities.
After a decent initial reception (almost 11,000 delivered in 1961), sales waned and 1964 was the final production year. Why did the Rampside not do better? A number of issues can be considered -competition with similar vehicles from Ford and VW, and with Chevy's own C10 pickup, limitations of the non-level cargo bed, collateral bad publicity from the Corvair cars – although none of these alone were likely fatal. But when coupled with public discomfort with an unfamiliar pickup design and fleet sales smaller than expected, the Rampside would not remain profitable.