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Tag: corvair

May 14, 1969 – The last Chevrolet Corvair is built, then vanishes
This Day

May 14, 1969 – The last Chevrolet Corvair is built, then vanishes

The idiosyncratic Chevrolet Corvair hit the market for 1960, marking a major departure from common automobile production practices in the United States. The air-cooled rear-engined compact more closely resembled a Volkswagen than the land yachts rolling off most US assembly lines at the times. While its unique design attracted curious consumers, the car also attracted unwanted attention. Ralph Nader famously targeted the Corvair in his book Unsafe at Any Speed, which called out automakers for failing to implement known safety equipment. Eventually lawsuits rose surrounding the Corvair's alleged flaws. While General Motors intended to scrap the Corvair in 1967 before the book ever went to press, the little car's life earned an extension to make it appear that Nader didn't bully GM into...
February 10, 1966 – Ralph Nader, author of Unsafe at Any Speed, testifies before congress
This Day

February 10, 1966 – Ralph Nader, author of Unsafe at Any Speed, testifies before congress

Consumer activist and lawyer Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile accused automakers of failing to introduce proven safety measures, such as seat belts. He made they argument that vehicle manufacturers did this out of a reluctance to spend money on safety. Nader would go before congress on this day in 1966 to testify about automobile safety for his first time.  He famously used the example of the first generation Chevrolet Corvair, stating the rear engine sedan was prone to rollover accidents. Following his testimony, Nader accused GM of prying into his personal life. He soon filed a lawsuit against the company, which he would win. Nader’s activism resulted in numerous safety laws, namely the National Traffic and Motor Vehi...
October 2, 1959 – The Chevrolet Corvair is introduced
This Day

October 2, 1959 – The Chevrolet Corvair is introduced

Chevrolet introduced the only mass produced, air cooled, rear engined American car to the public on this day in 1959. Targeted at buyers of small imports such as the VW Beetle, the Chevrolet Corvair aimed to be an affordable commuter. It hit the market along side other small American cars for 1960, such as the Falcon and Valiant. It no doubt stood out from the crowd. Aside from its unusual running gear, the Corvair lacked tail fins and had a front end with no grille. These design elements, or lack thereof, dissuaded many buyers. The Corvair received a faux grille in later model years to appease the market. Ed Cole led efforts to bring the Corvair to market. He even made the cover of Time Magazine, along with the car, just days after it debuted. Though it won Car of the Year for 196...
Dusty & Rusty – 1966 Chevy Corvair
Dusty & Rusty

Dusty & Rusty – 1966 Chevy Corvair

As we dive into this barn find Corvair, let's skip that Unsafe at Any Speed, stuff, shall we? Great, now that we have that out of the way, have a look at this 1966 Chevrolet Corvair convertible that has seen a partial mechanical restoration. It is located just outside of Toledo, Ohio and is listed on Craigslist for $4,000, which is how much the owner states they have invested in it. Is this air cooled, rear engine compact drop top worthy of your garage, or does it make you scream "Frunk it!" Introduced for 1960, the Corvair was Chevrolet's response to demand for compact cars. Facing increasing competition from VW and other imports, as well as new models from American automakers, such as the Ford Falcon and Rambler American, the Corvair intentionally broke from the norms of America...
Dusty & Rusty – 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Rampside
Dusty & Rusty

Dusty & Rusty – 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Rampside

Instead of fighting off the invasive Volkswagen Beetles that kept swimming across the Atlantic in the 1950s, the folks at Chevrolet decided to just rip them off instead. Their efforts resulted in the first mass produced air-cooled American car, the Corvair, which first rolled out for the factory 1960 model year. Taking another page out of the German's playbook, Chevy turned the vehicle into a van and a truck, which gives us this 1962 Chevrolet Corvair Rampside. This one is available on Craigslist near Rochester, Minnesota, and is 1 of about 4,100 Rampsides produced for the year. Does the $3,650 asking price for this so-called barn find truck ramp you up? The owner states they haven't checked (whatever that means) the six-cylinder Turbo Air motor in the engine bay, which means they ...
October 2, 1959 – The Aircooled American
Automotive, This Day

October 2, 1959 – The Aircooled American

The only mass produced, air cooled rear engined American car was introduced to the public on this day in 1959. The Chevrolet Corvair aimed to be an affordable commuter that would compete with the likes of the Volkswagen Beetle and numerous domestic compacts being introduced at the time, such as the Ford Falcon and Plymouth Valiant. The Corvair was a far cry from anything else coming out of Detroit in that era. Aside from its unusual running gear, a few of the standout differences were the Corvair’s complete lack of tail fins and a front end with no grille. 1961 Corvair 500 station wagon. By Josephew at the English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 The Corvair was championed by Chevrolet General Manager Ed Cole, whom made the cover of Time Magazine, along with the car, just days after it debut...

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