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#30792 of 32000 Re: Question about Corvair influence [fintail]
Jan 17, 2013 (10:07 am)
I don't know if I can really buy a direct Corvair -> Mustang link either. I see the Corvair as much more similar to European cars - more modern and bleeding edge. The Mustang was of course just a rebodied Falcon, which wasn't exactly high technology. The Monza coupe might have shown there was a market for small sporty American cars, but I don't know if the same people bought both it and the Mustang.
Agreed. The Corvair was more like GM's VW Beetle or Karmann Ghia. The Mustang doesn't really have much resemblance other than being "sporty".
#30793 of 32000 Re: Question about Corvair influence [tlong]
Jan 17, 2013 (10:24 am)
Ford wasn't copying the Corvair's drivetrain layout - it was copying the concept of a stylish compact coupe with bucket seats, console, and up-level exterior and interior trim. That was a radical concept for Detroit at that time.
The general consensus in Detroit, prior to the debut of the Monza, was that small cars were primarily purchased by people too poor/cheap/dumb to buy a "real" (meaning, full-size) car.
If you wanted style, you were supposed to buy an Impala or Galaxie hardtop coupe with all of the trimmings.
#30794 of 32000 Re: Question about Corvair influence [keystonecarfan]
Jan 17, 2013 (10:35 am)
if you're going to be that general then the Corvair was actually GM copying the VW Type 1 "Beetle."
#30795 of 32000 Re: Question about Corvair influence [bpizzuti]
Jan 17, 2013 (10:45 am)
The Corvair part of the equation is the Monza, not just the Corvair.
Really, articles have been written about the Monza concept (deluxe trim, bucket seats in a compact car) influencing the rest of Detroit, for decades. I mean, such articles have been around for decades.
#30796 of 32000 Re: Question about Corvair influence [uplanderguy]
Jan 17, 2013 (10:45 am)
Yeah, but who wrote those articles, the GM PR department?
All cars influence each other to various extents, even abject failures like the Aztek. But at a certain point one just stretches the relationship too fat.
#30799 of 32000 Re: Question about Corvair influence [bpizzuti]
Jan 17, 2013 (11:38 am)
The first Corvair was GM's response to the VW Beetle, and was influenced by its layout.
Ed Cole had long been enamored with a rear-engine layout.
Cadillac had built several rear-engine prototypes in the immediate postwar period, when Ed Cole worked on the development of Cadillac's milestone ohv V-8 for 1949.
Booming sales of the VW Beetle after 1955, along with the severe recession in late 1957, enabled him to get a greenlight for what became the Corvair. It's safe to say that, if the VW Beetle hadn't scored its big sales increase in the late 1950s, there never would have been a Corvair. At best, in response to rising Rambler sales, GM probably would have went with a "safer" (and cheaper to build) design on the order of the 1962 Chevy II.
This is all part of the historical record. There is no denying that the success of the first Corvair Monza had a tremendous influence in Detroit, and played a key role in Ford's decision to greenlight the Mustang. Even former, high-ranking Ford executives such as Hal Sperlich readily admit this on the record.
As I've said in a previous post, read Mustang Genesis by Robert Fria and The Reckoning by David Halberstam to learn how the huge success of the Corvair Monza spurred the development of the first Mustang. And, no, Mr. Fria and Mr. Halberstam did not work for the GM PR department.
#30800 of 32000 Re: Question about Corvair influence [keystonecarfan]
Jan 17, 2013 (11:31 am)
Thanks for posting. That's the kind of stuff I've heard and read since I was a teenager...maybe younger.