Last post on Nov 16, 2009 at 1:03 PM
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Chevrolet, Gasoline, Coupe
#4 of 43 Re: the almighty corvair [m564ag]
Feb 10, 2009 (10:04 am)
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.
#5 of 43 I too have fond memories of a Corvair
Feb 10, 2009 (1:02 pm)
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.
#6 of 43 Re: . [fintail]
Feb 10, 2009 (3:18 pm)
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.
#7 of 43 Re: . [fezo]
Feb 10, 2009 (4:12 pm)
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.
#8 of 43 Re: . [fintail]
Feb 10, 2009 (5:10 pm)
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....
#9 of 43 Re: . [fezo]
Feb 10, 2009 (5:52 pm)
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.
#10 of 43 Re: . [fintail]
Feb 10, 2009 (6:30 pm)
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.
#11 of 43 Re: . [fezo]
Feb 10, 2009 (7:28 pm)
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.
Feb 10, 2009 (7:36 pm)
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.
#13 of 43 Re: . [Mr_Shiftright]
Feb 11, 2009 (12:43 pm)
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?