Chevy Corvair

Between 1960 and 1969 General Motors made available the Chevrolet Corvair. This model was available in numerous body styles, including as a station wagon, as a four-door sedans and hardtops as a two-door sedans and hardtops or as a sporty convertible for drivers who like to feel the wind in their hair. Additionally, it was built as a compact van similar to the Volkswagen bus. That particular model had styles that included a pickup, panel van, and a passenger van know as the Greenbrier. Some may be wondering where in the world the inspiration for the Corvair came from. Small, fun and fuel-efficient cars were being imported from Europe by companies such as Volkswagen and Renault and prior to the release of the Corvair, GM really had nothing to compete with these models. Other American made favorites like the Ford Falcon, Plymouth Valiant, Studebaker Lark and Nash Rambler were already competing in this segment. General Motors was certainly late to the party. Nevertheless, GM proved themselves as being innovative and placed the Corvair on an A-body, which was by far the most unusual on account of the location and design of its engine. The Corvair was an air-cooled flat, not the expected rear-engined vehicle which was inspired by Volkswagen Beetle and the Porsche 356 Speedster. The Corvair name made its debut at a fastback show car in 1954. Much like many Chevrolet concept cars at the time, such as the Chevrolet Nomad and Chevrolet Impala, it was based on the Corvette. The design is credited to Ed Cole, Chevrolet's chief engineer during those years. It was quite a radical layout for the American cars being made at the time. It had an aluminum, air-cooled 140 in<sup>3</sup> (2.3 L) flat-6 engine. This was not exactly a high-powered machine given that the first Chevrolet Corvair engine produced a meager 80 hp (60 kW), but was thankfully updated to output 180 hp (134 kW).