Here is an interesting test of time.
it seems that the Chevrolet Corvair - America’s premier division of the largest car maker of the time - the designers at the Chevrolet Division of General Motors attempted to be radically innovative at the time to counter an intruder German VW Volkswagen “Bug” with a rear engined ( aluminum power plant) Corvair project.
The problem at the time was that American drivers and Winnipeg drivers on ice did simply not know how to drive or steer this rear-engined car come emergency situations especially on ice. Lots of accidents and collisions that needed specialized dealer provided auto collision shop repairs. The auto-insurance providers & companies were not too thrilled. Yet in the process a whole line got shelved and a classic was decommissioned or perhaps created.
The car got a bum rap – especially in the hands of a young – out to-promote make a name for himself – lawyer named “Ralph Nader“. It was a novelty and even a threat to G.M. Its a far cry from consumer groups and their tactics and procedures today in 2014.
In the process the nameplate was destroyed and the whole innovative car development process was stifled. What a shame as there were yet more innovative designs in the pipeline upcoming.
interestingly two things . The suspension / steering system was revamped for safety reasons. Yet the reputation of said vehicle never recovered. Secondly the VW product essentially had the same workings yet , as having a cult following , never came under the same level of concern nor criticism.
Secondly while the automobile came under the classification of “small’ or “compact “ then. Not so today when it seems a fair reasonable size vehicle in comparison to standard sized economy , compact and even mid-sized domestically made current models in 2015 . Adios Chevrolet-Corvair - though the whole event lives on in the aficionados who favor the automobile.
Here is an interesting story – Jay Leno revisits Chevy Corvair legacy with 1966 Yenko Stinger at the following link: