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ocnblu

Somebody didn't do their job

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<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8yBhqeRDE?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8yBhqeRDE?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8yBhqeRDE?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

Makes ya wonder why anyone would have bought a Mustang...

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The Video make a good case. The Corvair by 1965 was a much better built and engineered car but there are other factors that hurt it that the Video leaves out.

The Swing Arm issue of the early cars gave them a lot of bad press. Then we all know the Nadar BS but they were not the real major issue of it's death.

But the one factor that killed the Corvair more any any other is the Mustang was marketed very well, the public took to the styling and by 1965 Chevy had lost interest in the Corvair in favor of the Panther project.

The Corvair may have been cheaper to buy than the Mustang but the Mustang and the coming Camaro were cheaper to built and made more money per unit. The Corvair engine was more expensive to build vs the 327. Also sharing parts with the Nova spread out the cost of the Camaro much more to save money and make it more profitable just as the Mustang shared parts with the Falcon.

With Family members who were at GM at the time in engineerng in Detroit. I have learned a few things over the years on these. cars. My great uncle would by a new Electra and Chevy every yeat. 63-66 we got his Corvairs with around 2,000 miles on them a year later. They 63-64 were good little cars and the 65-66 were great cars.

I hope someday someone would write the true story on what happened with the Corvair and get the truth that Nadar may have hurt the car but it was the Mustang and Chevy moving on that did the most damage. I often wonder if the Mustang had not happened what kind of performace cars we would have had later.

One thing they needed to do in the video is show the gas tank in the Corvair and the Mustang. If one took the tank out of the Mustang there was no trunk floor. But then again at this time safety was not a major selling point.

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I don't know what it is, but I've always liked the styling of the second-generation Corvair.

GM was going to continue the model for the 1970 model year, actually. They had designs for the new car that closely mimicked the future A-Body cars. (If you can locate the photos I've seen of the mock-ups, post them! I haven't been able to relocate them.) The car may have had a bad rap thanks to Nadar, but GM was large enough and profitable enough at the time to save it. So what really killed the Corvair? They were going to press on with the car even after the Camaro came to duke it out with the Mustang. They obviously still could see a place for the car or else they would have pulled any future work on the third-gen car completely during the second-generation car's lifespan. From what I understand, the third-gen Corvair was pulled sort of at the last minute.

Edited by whiteknight

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Well now I am keenly interested in seeing these mockups... especially after WikiCars describes it as very similar to the 1973 Pontiac Grand Am!

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Friend of mine has had numerous 2nd gen Corvairs- I've spent quite a bit of time around & in them. Nice cars all around- design, interior, exterior, visibility, handling, sound, innovation. Back seat ain't great- I usually sat sideways if i didn't nab shotgun first.

But face it- the biggest factor of the Mustang over the Corvair was simple & elementary- it offered a V-8. In '65, 65% of Mustangs were V-8s, and Ford moved 559,451 units... 195,8xx being 6-cylinders . Chevy moved 235,500 Corvair 6s.

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Interesting... apparently Tim Allen, spokesperson for the new Chevrolet Cruze, owns and races a Yenko Stinger. I like him more now.

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Dare to compare circa 1965

Corvair's last hurray though they let it wither as the Panther/Camero was brought out

Whiteknight

"I don't know what it is, but I've always liked the styling of the second-generation Corvair."

Could be that 1st gen Camero was styled in the same studio as 2nd gen Corvair. But I think that all other reasons above are valid for the loss of Corvair but the Styling issue was the nail in the coffin as Camero was quite similar looking but conventional in design and by 67 no amount of turbo could beat big block V8's the marketing was wrong as it was an import competitor not Mustang's more like VW Beatles or the Saab's & Brit cars, but with American sized interiors. I lived a lot of my adolescence in a 66 500 coupe lots of rear seat time with my 2 brothers and it was so much roomier than our later 73 Nova that we had earlier when new. The 'vair was a used car bought in '75 for me to drive as a first car. I still love those cars and would have one again in very good condition as a daily driver the first one got 47mpg hyw.

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The Covair was gutted each and every year after 65-66. The Corsa was dropped and by 1969 they did not even use any rust proofing on the limited models offered. The Corvair was in great declind in 67-68-69 just as any model in the build out event.

The Third gen never really went anyewhere. The V8 was cheap and the Camaro arrived in 66 for 67 killed any future.

The other factor that may have killed it in the end anyway was the 73 emissions. It killed the VW air cooled in the 70's. GM would have had to rework the engine but with the cost of the engine I do not see that that would have ever happened.

Ed Cole moved on from the Corvair to the Vega and Wankle engines who in the end never worked out for emissions and mileage.

A lot of good ideas that just never refind to the point they panned out.

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Great article on the 70+ Corvair

Hemmings

Awesome, you found them. :thumbsup:

Again, I have to ask, what really killed the Corvair? We know for sure it wasn't Ralph Nadar. GM didn't care enough to shake a drop of piss out in a bucket for him, that's obvious.

I think the answer to my question would be Ed Cole.

Cole pulled the plug on the third-generation Corvair sometime during mid 1968. Interestingly, just a short time later sometime around July or August 1968, Ed Cole initiated work on what was GM's first corporate engineered car, the Chevrolet Vega. Digging further, one of the first completed clay-rendered design proposals that surfaced in September 1968 for XP-887 bore resemblance to the Corvair 2+2 that you'll see on page 5 of the Hemmings article, as did XP-849 somewhat (see on page 1 of the article). The Vega also had the same F-R layout as XP-873, a Corvair-related project. See the trend of recycling here?

So there you have it. Ed Cole simply lost interest in the Corvair and decided that he wanted to waste his time with developing the Vega. That's what killed America's most innovative small car: Ed Cole and the Chevrolet Vega.

You could also interpret the Vega as being somewhat of a half-assed Corvair replacement since they duked it out with the same segment of import competition and because both the Corvair and Vega were projects that Ed Cole most actively participated in and constantly oversaw. I might additionally note that Ed Cole wanted to bring the Vega to production in just 24 months from when he kicked everything off in 1968, so that also coincides with the third-gen Corvair's canceled introduction date of being in the 1970 time frame (although the Vega was billed as being new for '71). Still touching on this note, Corvair production ended during 1969 and the Vega's introduction was during the following year. That's some nice timing there. Wonder why it was so nice?

Sadly, no one at Chevrolet shared Ed's enthusiasm for the Vega like they did the Corvair. Additionally, you can also make note that the Vega was the car that sort of foreshadowed all of the BS that was to come at GM. That little car really was the beginning of the end for a big automotive giant, the first sign that they were slowly losing their way.

Edited by whiteknight

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The Third gen never really went anyewhere. The V8 was cheap and the Camaro arrived in 66 for 67 killed any future.

Wrong. The third-gen car almost made it to the prototype stage.

The other factor that may have killed it in the end anyway was the 73 emissions. It killed the VW air cooled in the 70's. GM would have had to rework the engine but with the cost of the engine I do not see that that would have ever happened.

Wrong. GM was going to go with a water-cooled inline-four from the Chevy II Nova to replace the costly and questionable Corvair flat-six.

Ed Cole moved on from the Corvair to the Vega and Wankle engines who in the end never worked out for emissions and mileage.

Bingo. That's what really killed the car.

Edited by whiteknight

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Wrong. The third-gen car almost made it to the prototype stage.

Wrong. GM was going to go with a water-cooled inline-four from the Chevy II Nova to replace the costly and questionable Corvair flat-six.

Bingo. That's what really killed the car.

Almost to prototype stage that is not exactly close to production nor a showroom. Hell the mid engine Vette at least got off paper and out of clay and we know how close that one came.

My comment on the engine was for the Air Cooled engine. Air Cooled had not future and by 67 they knew that.

If you look at the Corvair and the options and models they killed in the last 3 years the car was a dead car deiving. Chevy may have done some work on it but GM was never going to let it make production. Too much bad PR to deal with and other cheaper cars that accepted V8 could be made and Cole the one guy who really cared about it moved on. Delorean already had his hands full by 1970 with the Vega program he inherited from Cole that he never like.

When they kill off Corvair hard top sedan in 67 and then in 68 after they killed the 3rd gen idea the AC and better radio's and other options were gone and that is a clue they are not looking to keep a car around. Decontenting is a sign of an end not a begining.

Chevy may had some ideas but that was about it.

No matter what the second gen coupe was one of the best styled Chevys of all time. It had flowing lines and a green house most cars would kill for.

Edited by hyperv6

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Well, its clear that the '67 Camaro stole a lot of the Corvair's reason to exist. But at the same time, looking at the design proposals, its clear that at least one flavor of the 3rd Corvair was folded into the '70 F-bodies. Had the Corvair designers not been working on that early on, who knows if the 1st gen F-bodies would soldiered on longer like the X-bodies did.

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Yes the 3rd Gen Corvair lived in many future cars Vega got the 153 I4 eventually along with Monza, which probably really was the 3rd gen Corvair being the model name ie series hell it even got the V8 Spider(not Spyder). The F bodys were developed from one of the clays and the Grand Am a larger version of one of the clays. So in the end it all came out in the wash just not all in one load :confused0071:

You could even say that the Fiero was spawned from Corvair and that was a very good thing

Edited by 67impss

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Oh man, thanks for posting that, 67imp. You know... I think I bought that magazine, as I was interested in these little tech wonders even then. I simply forgot. I wonder if it's here or down on the farm, in a stack with other old car mags.

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Your welcome ocn I looked for that about a year ago in conjunction with another 'vair thread & couldn't find it I was happy this time also, I love those little go karts :smilewide:

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Yes the 3rd Gen Corvair lived in many future cars Vega got the 153 I4 eventually along with Monza, which probably really was the 3rd gen Corvair being the model name ie series hell it even got the V8 Spider(not Spyder). The F bodys were developed from one of the clays and the Grand Am a larger version of one of the clays. So in the end it all came out in the wash just not all in one load :confused0071:

You could even say that the Fiero was spawned from Corvair and that was a very good thing

GM seldom throws much away. Often styling is carried on in other cars.

The 1990 Fiero lives on in the 4th gen F body. John Schinella loved it so much he told me he had to use it as it was too good to throw away.

The Banshee Pontiac was used for the C3 Vette and Firebird. In a indirect way the Opel GT too.

The Mid Engine Vette proposal that GM design did in the 70's was rejected by Chevy and the Corvette team. It was them presented to Pontiac in the late 70's for use on the Fiero. Dave Mc Clellands book Inside the Vette ponts this out.

The Corvair did not really spawn the Fiero but they did do something to the Fiero because of the Corvair. Like to leave the rear sway bar off because of fears of oversteer.

Thanks for posting. It brings back memories of bringing a 8,000 mile Covertible back to life after sitting for 25 years. It even still had the rib Firestones on it. We got the engine free and I rebuilt the carbs and it ran like new on the original pulgs and wires. It is amazing what Marvel Mystery Oil will do.

I even cut up an old 65 sedan once and saved the engine for another project. We kept the wiring harness in tact and I could run the engine just sittin on the floor. It fired with a turn of the key with no car.

Edited by hyperv6

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GM seldom throws much away. Often styling is carried on in other cars.

Disagree, GM has more than often abandoned markets, let rot the products, and orphaned its customers.

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Almost to prototype stage that is not exactly close to production nor a showroom. Hell the mid engine Vette at least got off paper and out of clay and we know how close that one came.

Well, it did go somewhere and it did go pretty far. That's the point I was trying to make.

It wasn't like Ed Cole doodled a new Corvair on a napkin at a drive-in, daydreamed about it for a moment, shook the thought out of his head, then went straight to working on the Vega.

My comment on the engine was for the Air Cooled engine. Air Cooled had not future and by 67 they knew that.

Well, GM would have had to develop a brand new flat-six or make extensive upgrades to the existing one to make it last through the '70s and beyond. Porsche was determined to make it work and their air-cooled 911 lasted until the '90s. It had a future but GM didn't have much interest in continuing on with air-cooled engines mostly due to their degree of cost effectiveness. This is pretty much why they had pretty much picked the water-cooled Chevy II inline-four for the third-gen car.

If you look at the Corvair and the options and models they killed in the last 3 years the car was a dead car deiving. Chevy may have done some work on it but GM was never going to let it make production. Too much bad PR to deal with and other cheaper cars that accepted V8 could be made and Cole the one guy who really cared about it moved on. Delorean already had his hands full by 1970 with the Vega program he inherited from Cole that he never like.

It takes a lot of bad PR for an auto company to really take notice (I don't see Toyota leaving the US market after the upteen millions of recalls they've had this year in this country). GM wasn't letting it get to them that bad if they had let the third-generation car almost make it to a working prototype stage. Like I said earlier, what it really boiled down to was Cole's lack of interest and his enthusiasm for making the Vega happen.

As to what degree DeLorean's input factored in, it wasn't really all that much. I think he approved the change from square driving lights to round ones, per some dealer's suggestion. That's really about all. He didn't exactly inherit the Vega program from Cole as Cole did indeed oversee the car the whole way through, from start to finish. DeLorean was basically used as something of an ambassador who was communicating between GM Corporate, who was really developing the car, and the Chevy crew, who didn't have much interest in helping with the car (and indeed DeLorian himself never liked the car; he thought GM was betting on too much with too little concerning the Vega).

When they kill off Corvair hard top sedan in 67 and then in 68 after they killed the 3rd gen idea the AC and better radio's and other options were gone and that is a clue they are not looking to keep a car around. Decontenting is a sign of an end not a begining.

This is true.

Chevy may had some ideas but that was about it.

I think it's a little more than that. As previously stated here and in the Hemmings article, the final '73 Grand Am-esque design was only two-weeks away from going into the prototype stage. It may be far from a pre-production car, but it's still close enough to flirt from a small distance. Cole put a stop to the program at the last minute and basically directed all of the attention and funding to the Vega, which is really what ultimately killed the Corvair.

It wasn't just and only just Ralph Nadar. That's pretty certain.

During the "Unsafe at Any Blah, Blah, Blah" bullshit in 1965, it's interesting to note that Chevy sold about 230,000 Corvairs. In 1966, Chevrolet still sold 100,000 of 'em. It wasn't until 1967 there was this massive drop off in sales totals that was due to many factors, not just Nadar's little novel full of unabashed drivel.

You also have to factor in that the Corvair was a car intended to compete with VW Beetles and other popular import cars at the time. Marketing it against the Mustang was a horribly massive mistake from the start, a real waste of money.

No matter what the second gen coupe was one of the best styled Chevys of all time. It had flowing lines and a green house most cars would kill for.

Agreed.

Edited by whiteknight

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Disagree, GM has more than often abandoned markets, let rot the products, and orphaned its customers.

90vs93.jpg

For every winner there has to be a loser other wise no one wins.

The Fiero people feel they got pissed on but the F body people were please the GM 80 was killed and RWD remained.

Life in the buisness world nor life is not always fair to everyone.

Edited by hyperv6

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