Wally Cleaver and the sporty Corvair that he bought as a teenager because of his TV fame have been reunited after 50 years apart.
Tony Dow, who played big brother Wally on the hit early 1960s sitcom, ordered his first car: a new 1962 Chevrolet Corvair Spyder from a dealer in Los Angeles. Sprayed in dark blue over black, the Corvair was as well-optioned as you might expect to see from a TV star with Hollywood money.
Dow drove the Corvair for about four years before selling it to a Universal Studios prop builder. Dow never expected to see the car again, but Alan Dadisman, the Universal Studios employee, kept it for more than 50 years. When he died recently, he asked a friend to track down Dow at his home in rural California.
“At first I thought this guy was kidding,” said Dow in an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune. “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.”
The two-owner car hadn't been driven in a few years, but Dadisman restored it in the late 1980s and only drove it sparingly.