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the almighty corvair

m564agm564ag Posts: 15
edited March 20 in Chevrolet
I would like to bring back the corvair forum
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Comments

  • m564agm564ag Posts: 15
    Well the car is now home it is a untouched 900 with less then 40000 on the clock
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    My grandfather - the one who was enamored with the Tucker - loved Corvairs. During those times over a period of about a decade he had 5 of them - an early sedan, a late sedan, an early coupe, a van, and a pickup.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,347
    Our Red 1960 “769” served us well until 1967. By then we had our two children & outgrew the car.

    The first thing I did was to borrow a UNISYN and balance the carbs. That helped considering it had Powerglide. The gasoline heater was very helpful to defrost the Windshield and heat the interior while we changed from ski boots to street shoes. When going to White Pass and chains were only “Advised”, it made it up and down the road very securely, without hanging iron. A great little car. :) :)
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,406
    It was a refrigerator-white series 700 4-door that my sister handed down to me when she got a better job and upgraded. It would probably have been a total ego killer except that it was a 4-speed, and somewhere in its checkered past someone had done wonderful things to the engine. The family mechanic referred to it as the only Corvair he know that could lay rubber. I really enjoyed that car (partially because it was a Q-ship), even when it threw the fan belt (I usually carried a spare and a spare spare in case it threw it somewhere destructive) and even the couple of times when the brakes took a break while I was going down a hill. I finally got rid of it when a truck whose lug nuts were higher off the ground than the car almost turned me into a flat top pancake. I bought a Volvo (very used, but that's a story for another day and board). Felt much safer but not as, umm, stimulated.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,444
    A pickup! I AM impressed. A van, too!

    If i get to the point of a fun car (which would involve more driveway...) I'd love to do a Corvair. We never owned one but I have good memories of them anyway.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    He had an electronics store those were used for. They replaced a 57 Chevy sedan delivery he ordered special in black with a 283 and a manual.

    He was kind of a nut, in a good way. He bought an early Piper Cub in 1939 and used it through the mid 50s, then bought some other plane I don't know the make of...sadly,he was done with that by the time I was born. He also had an odd fetish for small motorhomes and van conversions. Sadly, his last car was a dustbuster Lumina van.

    An old friend of mine used to have a beater 1964 Corvair convertible...it has a brush paintjob and was rode hard and put away wet, but was fun for a ride on a nice day.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,444
    That's a killer on the last car. I was aiming at my dad's last car but he went from a string of Sedan Devilles, the last one of which i really liked to a Buick Century that he hated almost as soon as the ink was dry on the lease. When the lease was up dad was no longer driving. Oh, well.

    I used to live next door to a guy who had an old Willys Jeep with a brush paint job. His kid would tell me about his dad getting it stuck out on the beach which was just three blocks up. I could just picture it.

    I'd love a Corvair convertible!

    Is there any other example of GM - or anyone - making a whole line of vehicles under a model name? I mean it's not like you could get a Malibu or Nova van....
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    I think he thought the Lumina van was some kind of futuristic vehicle. At the time he also had a Chevy conversion van, some kind of 80s motorhome, and a 70s Ford Camper Special pickup he was very fond of. He was pretty openminded about vehicles and liked to be an early adopter of technology - but I can't remember him owning or anyone mentioning him owning an import.

    Corvairs sound very much like VWs, at least the convertible I rode in reminded me of one. Charming little car even as a beater, I can see why they have a little following now.

    Ford made oddball Falcon vans and pickups, maybe not as unusual as the Corvairs, but still a good example of early 60s weirdness.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,444
    That's right! I'd forgotten about the Falcons.

    The Corvair had a lot in common with the old VW bugs. Too bad Ralph didn't go after the Beetles instead of the Corvairs....

    My dad never bought an import for himself, though before he bought that darn Buick he was talking about a BMW - that would have changed things! - but he bought my mom a few Japanese cars because that's what she liked - basic, stick shift and not too big.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    GM was a bigger target, and I suspect Nader knew they would react in an idiotic fashion, as they did. A real shame, the Corvair was one of the more daring postwar American cars.

    My grandmother on that side always had crappy smaller cars, which she seemed to like. When I was little she had a powder blue Pinto that seemed embarrassing even when I was quite young, and then a string of Cavaliers, one of which was her last car, she drove until she was 93 IIRC.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    Well the early Corvair was pretty dangerous if you didn't inflate the tires properly. Quite frankly, I would drive an early one but I wouldn't be a passenger in one, even today.

    My favs are the 1965 on up. They are prettier, faster, easier to drive and they corrected many of the Corvair's inherent flaws. GREAT brakes, too.

    The early turbo models were badly designed and didn't work very well either. Another engineering disappointment.

    The stick shift is very clunky but you can fix that with some mods. In fact, devoted Corvair fans have all kinds of fixes to make the car so much better than the way they came from the factory.

    This is the kind of car where you really want to plug into the club network and take advantage of the collected wisdom.

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  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,406
    Yeah, the 2nd generation Corvairs were beautiful little suckers, including the four doors. I regret never having bought one. I did know someone with a '63 turbo, and you are right that they had problems. Were the turbo models in the 2nd generation substantially better?

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    Not really. The turbocharger design was rather self-defeating, very crude actually, and hardly gave any boost at all until the engine was revving very high--the exact opposite of what you want. Nobody really got turbos right in passenger cars until Saab in the late 1970s. The problem was that the carburetor was AHEAD of the turbocharger, so you had a "draw-through" turbo instead of a "blow-through" turbo.

    Not good.

    Some people actually modify them to blow-throughs---way better.

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  • m564agm564ag Posts: 15
    Well now that I am back in the game as they say I did a little research on her. I have got a good start it is a 37,000 mile buggy ( my term for a car ) I have talked with the second owner and the odometer is true so I have a good Ideal where and what she has been up to for the 47 plus years. I think I shall name her Christine. After 30 plus years a small carburetor problem has been fixed a leaking choke pull off.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,444
    Yeah, the 65 and forward Corvairs are the ones you want. Safer and look loads better.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,347
    Moulton Taylor's Aerocar powered by a Corvair engine back in the 60's.
  • a distant relative recently told me that they heard I was in a terrible corvair accident as a toddler...I know I was supposed to have been at Pittsburgh children's hospital for a grave illness around that time, but i was always told it was viral... I do know my mother was in a corvair accident and had to wear a neck brace for some time....unfortnately I cannot ask her about it, and by the sounds of it it was extremely serious and life threatening (i'd like to know the medical history involved etc)...does anyone know where I might find reports of these late sixties corvair accidents in which these cars were known to flip? thanks for your help. :confuse:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    This is quite interesting, about 6:30 minutes.

    The car rolls over at 5:25, but it was intentionally done. I'm sure they wouldn't have included that in the 1960 film if the Nader business had already come out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybxkgUkE3hI

    Makes me want to go out and buy one--LOL!

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  • m564agm564ag Posts: 15
    Sounds as though we are in about the same age group. Back in those days cars were like little tanks and did not bend up like the ones today do. So it was you the passengers that were moved much harder about in the car. I was in a wreck with my dad in the Winter of 1966. My Dad had just bought a 66 Bellaire I think it had a few goodies like power steering, power brakes , a/c and no more. That car had a ton of power plus the car was painted a metal flake gray WW2 battleship color. I liked the color and still do--Back to the wreck I was looking out the passenger side back side window and flew all the way over to the drivers side and hit it like a rock. I recall seeing the car a day or two later and it was just a mild hit to the drivers side between the door and quarter panel I think the rim was bent too. Now take in mind there were no real seat belt laws nor belts for kids back then. Since then I have had a few wrecks of mine own and never felt that kind pain from what would seem a small wreck.
  • whitehawkwhitehawk Posts: 6
    I actually owned a '64! You had to 'toss it and catch it' which meant cut the wheel hard, get the rear end hung out, reverse the wheel to straighten out after the turn.

    I watched a guy do this to go round a farmer who turned out of his driveway right in front of the Corvair. He cut the wheel left, Corvair starts to spin, as the driver cuts right to 'catch' it, he moves to the passing lane, and reverses the 'toss & catch' as he goes past the truck. It was beautiful! A big car would have rearended the truck.

    Mine rusted. After my kids threw their toys out a hole in the back seat floor, I sold it. Loved to drive it, though!
  • m564agm564ag Posts: 15
    Well That was cool --- I was a prototype auto safety mechanic for 18 years And the corvair was not anywhere near the unsafe car --- even for its time. We tested 1000s of cars over the years and as strange as it sounds the safest car for the due 2000 model year --- was the last car you will ever be in a Lincoln continental hearse !!!!
  • m564agm564ag Posts: 15
    Well the corvair has been to our local elkfest here in atlanta mi. It is real nice to see all the people looking at her in the shape she is in. I did drive her in the parade and got a lot of hoops and howlers. But the most fun was the ones that had something bad to say -- my reply was where's your car lol. well at least I got a trophy the earl Scheib award. I was first at something
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    There are still some pretty Corvairs available - I always though that these were among the prettiest.

    http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/1361752590.html
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,149
    last week in one of the parking lots here at work. 2nd generation hardtop coupe, Corsa model, white, in pretty nice shape.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    Very attractive cars---they guy's dreaming on the price though---the car looks pretty rough underneath, and the paint color is off. Also this "turbo" is pretty anemic. He should be pricing at $4995 asking IMO.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    Well the design is hopelessly outdated but that lovely engine---imagine putting that into a well-sorted Fitch Corvair and you would have had the American Porsche.

    Of course, that would have severely threatened the rather bestial Corvette of that era. Undoubtedly, production costs for an engine like that would have sent the MSRP into, and perhaps beyond, Corvette territory.

    And I don't think it could have been built at a price to compete with the Porsche 914, because that Porsche sourced a common VW engine and VW hardware off the shelf.

    Perhaps GM could have revamped the Corvair engine into a sturdy 4-cylinder ohv unit, presuming they could have overcome the chronic oil leaks.

    Corvair braking and handling was already pretty darn good by the late 60s.

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  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,347
    going from a 1960 Corvair 769 to a 1967 Ford Country Sedan 390, but the Ford had a lot more room for two adult and 4 kid skiers. The Corvair, with Powerglide, had two carbs and having used a Unisyn on them, it was a very efficient engine/car. The gasoline fired heater/defroster would clear the windshield before I could load the skis on the rack & change into street shoes. Great little car! :) :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    didn't that gas heater freak you out? I guess they were safe, but the CONCEPT was a bit unsettling...."first we'll pump gas from the gas tank into this little container in front of the windshield, bolted to the front bulkhead just in front of your passenger's knees-----then....you see that spark plug?....well, what happens next is....."

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  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,347
    In seven years of driving the rig, never a problem. In fact, never heard of a problem.

    The reason GM eliminated the gasoline heater(1961) is that it cut the MPG figure when compared to the competition's puddle jumpers.
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