Or what to do with a couple of unwanted 1959 Chevys.


If I remember correctly, the Ralph Nader’s attack on the safety of the Corvair was the first successful assault on the auto industry. In his book Unsafe at Any Speed Nader mentions a video by General Motors depicting a Corvair which had obviously been modified (could this be the video?), since his tests clearly shows the Corvair to be unsafe. There was an illustration in his book showing the swing axle in an unreal angle proving that the rear suspension design was poor. Could it be that GM’s video is real and the government’s car was sabotaged for political reasons? It’s a good thing the government stepped in to save us all from unsafe cars and the abuses of the auto industry.

I remember a full page ad that appeared in the newspaper after the Corvair was announced in 1960. It was printed upside down. The headline read that the rear-engined Corvair was just as easy to steer as turning this newspaper. In 1967 I really wanted to buy a black on black ’66 140-HP Corsa. But dad wouldn’t approve. No doubt the car’s tarnished reputation contributed to his decision. I ended up with a new, although minimal, V8 Camaro. That wasn’t too bad.

This 06:25 video is pretty interesting. It shows the Corvair in a variety of circumstances including some off-roading and high water. Source: Archive.org.


  1. Ron Will

    I’m sure a Corvair expert will correct me if I’m wrong, but the first Corvairs did have a serious problem with the rear swing axle having a roll center that was too high. A quick left, then right evasive maneuver would tuck under one of the wheels and send the car into an uncontrollable spin. The Mangusta I had suffered from the same rear suspension problem and I could get out of control if I tried any kind of aggressive driving. GM eventually cured the problem and turned the car into an excellent sports coupe that was very successful in SCCA racing. It is still popular today in several racing classes. My wife Pat learned to drive in a Corvair and to this day would love to have a Corvair convertible.

  2. Wow! After watching that video I really want to get a Corvair! Also, I really like the design of the first graphic.

  3. Henry Kaczmarek

    I’m not a Corvair Expert, but I’ve owned and driven them since 1987. Mostly late models with the Corvette suspension where the issue was fixed.
    60-63 Models did have an issue, but it was caused more by improperly inflated front tires mixed with the swing axle. Oversteer was greatly increased when the tires in the front were inflated over 26-28 lbs. Most cars back then were inflated to 32-35 lbs all round. Corvairs—26 front—28 rear
    In 1964, a Transverse Leaf Spring was added which eliminated the oversteer significantly regardless of tire inflation. They just handle a lot better when tires are at proper pressure.

  4. Norman Spirit

    I think “The Insolent Chariots” was the first successful assault on the auto industry.

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

clear formSubmit