Wally Gets His '62 Corvair Spyder Back

In 1962, Tony Dow, perhaps better known to millions of us as 'the Beaver's' older brother, "Wally Cleaver" purchased his first car: a brand-new turbocharged 1962 Chevrolet Corvair Spyder from local Los Angeles dealership. Ordered in midnight blue with black upholstery, reverse chrome wheels, it had all all the bells and whistles of the day. 

Dow faithfully drove his Corvair for four years before selling it to Alan Dadisman, who once made props for Universal Studios. The actor never dreamed he would see that car again, much less own it. Now, after 50 years apart, they are again reunited thanks to the consideration of the "Caretaker" Dow had sold the car to long ago.
Marty Tryon and Tony Dow - Photos Courtesy of Lauren Dow

Until, that is, he and his wife, Lauren, received a call recently from a stranger who identified himself as Marty Tryon. The caller from Jamul explained that a dear friend of his had recently passed away and had asked Marty to track down Dow, the Spyder’s former (and only other) owner, and give him the Corvair. Dadisman thought the actor might like to have his first car back. 

“At first I thought this guy was kidding,” said Dow, who lives near Malibu. “Who keeps a car for 51 years, then goes to the effort to try to find its former owner to give it back? It was Al’s first car, too,” he added.

Not knowing in what kind of shape the Corvair would be, the Dows drove down Wednesday to meet with Tryon. They had been forewarned the car, at Dadisman’s home in Alpine, hadn’t been moved for seven years when he was ill. Turns out, Dadisman, was also former mechanical engineer and “renaissance man,” had done a ground-up restoration in 1987, applied blue lacquer paint, new wheels, an updated dash and and a beefed-up engine and thereafter drove it sparingly. “It was gorgeous,” said Dow. “I still can’t believe it.”
Tony Dow's Corvair Spyder gets ready to
return to his home near Malibu 

On Thursday, the Dows hired a tow truck driver to transport it on a flatbed to their Topanga Canyon home where Tony plans to be behind the wheel once again. The timing was perfect. It was the couple’s 36th anniversary.

A Classic Car and it's owner - reunited again.... "Gee Wally, that's cool!" 

The Garagistry Team

Thank you to Diane Bell and the San Diego Union-Tribune for their 6/17 contribution to this article