Video: Epic Corvair Build Embarks On Off-Road Maiden Voyage

If you haven’t been following Matt’s Off Road Recovery on YouTube, you’ve been missing out on incredible videos. The eponymous Matt Winder is the founder and owner, and he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty as he recovers stranded rigs and side-by-sides in the Utah wilderness. Sometimes, though, Matt gets down on dirty on project vehicles, like his 1961 Chevrolet Corvair wagon.

Matt’s been building the Corvair since 2019. His stated goal with the vehicle was to have something that could handle heavy-duty jobs better than his Cherokee XJ, which is his go-to rescue rig for most jobs. He designed the Corvair to sport a beefier LS engine, as well as Dana 60 and 70 axles. With this powerful combo at his disposal, Matt imagined he’d have all he’d need for one-ton recoveries.

Matt and team started uploading videos on the Corvair in November 2020. Now, four months later, the rig is ready for its maiden voyage. The video above showed how the Corvair did while out for testing at Sand Hollow State Park in southwest Utah.

After putting on its final touches (shifter, winch plate, etc.), Matt and the guys headed out to Sand Hollow and got in some seat time. “This is the first time this car has hit dirt, that I know of,” said Matt. “We’ll just take it easy, I’m not beating it.”

To everyone’s delight, the Corvair did a stupendous job in the sand. “I’m super, super happy,” said Matt. “I can’t even put it into words. This is the first real shakedown. We’re deep in the dunes, the temperatures are under control, suspension feels great, power’s great. I got a little more air pressure in my tires than I want, but it’s goin’ great!”

Now that the Corvair has made a successful outing, Matt and his crew will have to iron out the kinks and get it ready for primetime. Here’s hoping this new addition to Matt’s fleet gets up and at ’em very soon!

About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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