Thursday, July 27, 2006

Mystery Car IV — Revealed

Chevrolet produced the Corvair from 1960-1969 intending to compete with the VW Beetle. For its time, the car was remarkably different than anything offered by an American car company. It's horizontally opposed, six cylinder, air-cooled, aluminum engine was located in the rear of the car making it something quite different than most other cars. Motor Trend magazine voted the Corvair the Best Car of the Year in 1960.
A station wagon, the Lakewood, was also added to the lineup in 1961, and it contained a total of 68 ft³ (1.9 m³) of cargo room — 58 in the main passenger compartment, and another 10 in the "trunk" under the hood. Engine heat and gasoline odors migrating up through the floor of the station wagon proved to be a persistent problem, and the wagon was relatively short-lived. (1)
Over 1.7 million Corvairs were produced in America and Canada (2). During its ten years of production, Chevrolet produced a coupe, sedan, convertible, wagon, truck, and van. But the combination of several design flaws and the report in Ralph Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed caused the company to discontinue the model by 1969. Too bad.


(1) Wikipedia

(2) Prairie Capital Corvair Association

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