Chevrolet Corvair

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Chevrolet Corvair

Chevrolet Corvair

1959 - 1969
Country:
USA
Engine:
Aircooled Flat 6
Capacity:
2377/2684 cc
Power:
80-180 bhp
Transmission:
3/4 spd. man 2 spd. auto
Top Speed:
139-169 km/h
Number Built:
1,271,089
Collectability:
3 star
Chev Corvair
Launched in 1959 this car was perceived as GM's answer to the influx of lower priced European economy cars into America during the late 1950's and early 1960's.

In terms of engineering and style it was seen as refreshingly different from the usual American conservative cars although public opinion at the time said different. Controversy surrounded early Corvairs culminating in Ralph Nader to publish a book entitled "Unsafe at any Speed" which resulted in a change in government regulations and safety that continues even today.

Its engine was a rear-mounted, air-cooled flat six that housed fully independent suspension. Car enthusiasts enjoyed the European flavour of this car but this did little to influence the ordinary buyer causing its more conventional rivals to outsell it.

It took the Monza with its punchier motor, to find its niche as a compact sportscar. Its fortunes improved further in 1962 when a convertible version was released with some being turbo-charged, a first for production cars. Unfortunately when Ford produced the Mustang in 1964 the Corvair did not stand a chance. Consumers were drawn to the Mustang's safer engineering and sporty image.

GM tried a rescue bid in 1969 with a Corvair restyle, but sales never really recovered but today is seen as an important car in US motoring history.

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Also see:


1960 Chevrolet Corvair Technical Specifications
Chevrolet Heritage
Chevrolet Car Commercials
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