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CHEVROLET CORVAIR CAR

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CHEVROLET CORVAIR (1959-1969) CAR HISTORY

Car review on CHEVROLET CORVAIR

The Chevrolet Corvair, launched in 1959 as a 1960 model, was the response of General Motor (GM) to the influx of low-priced European economy cars into the North American market in the late 50s and early 60s. In style and engineering it was refreshingly different from the general run of technically very conservative American cars, which makes it doubly disappointing that it fell so disastrously foul of public opinion and safety hysteria. The controversy surrounding the handling of the early Corvairs inspired consumer rights and safety campaigner Ralph Nader to write a book called Unsafe at Any Speed. It was a best seller and began a new era of government regulations and safety legislation that continues to this day.


With its rear-mounted, air-cooled, flat-six engine and fully independent suspension, the Corvair was far removed the general run of American cars and its "compact" rivals from Ford and Chrysler which were really just scaled- down large cars. By European standards, of course, it wasn’t compact, with similar dimensions to cars like Ford of Britain’s flagship Zephyr. Enthusiasts loved the car’s European flavor, but ordinary buyers weren't so sure and the Corvair's more conventional rivals comfortably outsold it. It took the introduction of the little Monza coupe with its punchier engine for the Corvair to find its niche in the market as a compact sporty car. Its fortunes took another turn for the better when a convertible version was launched in 1962. There was even a turbocharged version, one of the first on a production car.


Sadly the honeymoon wasn't to last. Bad publicity from Nader's book had given the car a reputation for wayward handling it didn't altogether deserve, and when Ford introduced the Mustang in 1964 the Corvair didn't stand a chance. Buyers gravitated to the Mustang's more conventional, safer engineering and equally sporty image. The Pony car era had begun and the Corvair was left behind. GM tried a rescue with a restyle for 1964, curing the supposedly oversteer-biased handling with improved rear suspension. But the damage was done. Sales never recovered, though Chevrolet kept the Corvair in its line-up until 1969.


Although the Corvair is little known in Europe, it has a thriving owners' club in North America. For reasons Chevrolet would probably rather forget, it is an important car in US motoring history.

CHEVROLET CORVAIR

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

Aircooled flat six

CAPACITY

2377/2684 cc

POWER

80-180 bhp

TRANSMISSION

3/4 speed manual

TOP SPEED

87-105 mph (139-169 km/h)

NUMBER BUILT

1,271,089

 

 

 

 

 

 
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CHEVROLET CORVAIR CAR

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Shopping Mall :CHEVROLET CORVAIR Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: CHEVROLET CORVAIR Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: CHEVROLET CORVAIR Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: CHEVROLET CORVAIR Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, Lemon Car Check