Why the Chevrolet Corvair Corsa Is Collectable
Photography by Josh Clason for Petrolicious
The Collector is a weekly series produced in association with Gear Patrol, where we discuss the car, and Gear Patrol discusses the essential gear inspired by the car. (Click here to see the rest of The Collector Series on Petrolicious.)
It seems you can't mention the Chevrolet Corvair without mentioning Mr. Ralph Nader. Yes, his consumer safety campaign effectively killed the car and yes, there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the car. So, now that we've mentioned him, let's move on and discuss the Corvair. Simply put, it was revolutionary for an American car in that era.
Detroit effectively had one kind of car in the early sixties, the kind that was so massive it generated its own gravitational field. But the Corvair was conceived to compete with the silly, little imports that some confused Americans were intent on buying. Not only that, but the engine was rear-mounted allowing a completely flat floor pan and an improved interior package. Introduced in 1960 to an eager public, the Corvair soldiered on through 1969 facing stiff competition from all of GM's rivals as well as some of General Motors own products (such as the Camaro). And none of those cars had any negative press surrounding them.