A friend gave me a bag containing a 1/32 Corvair "Corsa" body shell, does anybody know who made this kit? it has no markings on the inside apart from "666 Corsa" embosed on the glass part.
He prepped 100 of these and presented them to the SCCA as a "prodcution sports car". They became legal in SCCA and group 2 as "D-Production".
In the day, the SCCA would test presented cars on tracks and group them with other cars of similar performance rather than engine size or whatever. D-Production was a class, at the time, Dominated by the Triumph TR4a. For a couple years, the MGB was a D, but consistantly beaten, it was downrated to Eproducion.
Yes, thats the one!
Mine is missing a few bits like the interior and bumpers [fenders] but might still make for a nice alternative for saloon at the retro meet at NLondon.
One question, is that the petrol filler flap on the front wing?
Difflock, you're falling under the spell of one Ralph Nader, who wrote a widely distributed book which indicted the Corvair ("Unsafe at Any Speed").
Please don't unreservedly believe all he wrote on this subject, as Nader's conclusions were shared by very few other folks. And I don't believe the insurance industry found that Nader's doom and gloom pronunciations in re: the Corvair were substantiated by their loss figures over time, but I could be wrong.
Nader is today a politician, running again for US president in November's election. Doesn't that say enough about his veracity?
You might find this online article from a 2000 issue of the National Review of interest:
Yes, I do believe you are right - Unsafe at any Speed was at the back of my mind when I wrote that post. However, I do remember seeing footage (maybe on discovery channel, or just a car documentary) of Corvairs getting it wrong. Please note that any car can be filmed getting it wrong so once again I have been misguided
Thanks for the link - interesting article. You learn something new everyday on SF!!
I wonder though, perhaps the characteristics of the rear engined configuration (especially beyond it's limits) may have created the unsafe myth when it was presented to the American customers. After all they had been used to driving vehicles in the main which had large powerplants up front? Any thoughts?
Actually, none other than Stirling Moss used to testify at court on the subject. Lots of idiots used Nader's book as "proof" to sue GM.
He said:"look, the rear engine layout means that when you lose control, you go through the SAME hole that BUICK made only a moment later and backwards."
Nader, who has never had a drivers licence, has a limo with a chauffer, rails against the evils of the privately owned motor car. Coming from a wealthy family that assured he has never needed a job, he promotes socialism in the U.S.
"I wonder though, perhaps the characteristics of the rear engined configuration (especially beyond it's limits) may have created the unsafe myth when it was presented to the American customers. After all they had been used to driving vehicles in the main which had large powerplants up front? Any thoughts?"
The rear engined aspect of Corvairs (and its affect on weight distribution) was a part of it but I think the bigger issue was the swing-axle rear suspension used on the first generation 'Vairs (1960-64). Like Mercedes, VW, Porsche, and others, Chevy ultimately found that such a rear suspension design suffers from what is termed the "jacking" phenomenum. Under hard cornering the rear roll center rises due to the geometry of the swing axle suspension design and in effect causes the suspension members to act as levers to help flip the car.
Here are some links for you to peruse on this subject:
Nader did have a point in regards to the first-gen Covair rear suspension, but swing axles had been in use for many years by other makes and the central unfairness of his argument was to indict only the Corvair for this problem.
FWIW, the 1965-on Corvairs moved to a fully-independent rear suspension that bears a lot of similarity to the rear suspension of the Corvette.
Having owned Corvairs in the past, I am rather fond of them. The engine in particular is of much higher quality construction than other domestic engines of its time. The main problem with Corvairs is one very familar to owners of British and German collector cars: tin-worm or rust. The Corvairs had a very carefully designed system of passages and holes to allow water to drain away and if these are not kept clear and flowing, the cars can rust like mad in damp climates. The cars were also quite groundbreaking in lowness and style, especially the 1965 and later Corvairs. To this day, it is a very rare American car that has a lower roofline and the Bill Mitchell styling of the later cars is considered a classic design by most critics.
Cheater...wow! Thanks for the links. I think I need to get some more beer and get comfortable in front of my PC!
Yopur knowledgeable comments now make even more sense - you actually owned examples of the vehicle
I however did not (either 1:1 or smaller) and so my thoughts were based on heresay
Okay, a bit of personal observation to set the record straight.
I've owned (and still do own) Corvairs for a long, long time. Spent a number of years campaigning a prepped '66 coupe in autocross and minor roadracing events.
A stock 1965 Corvair (the first year of the big restyle, and more importantly, the first year without the damned swing axles) would, by GM's own numbers, out handle their flagship Corvette. The 'vette would eat it up on a long course, but in the twisties, the Corvair would run away and hide easily. I was actually "invited" not to return to a Corvette club autocross once, as I apparently had embarrased their heros by setting fast time of day on my first pass.
Currently in the garage is a rust free '65 Corsa convertible, factory turbocharged. (one of about 1800) I've owned it for about 17 years. Has about 64k miles on it, and I have finished a complete mechanical restoration. (leaving NO part untouched) Currently totally stripped, media blasted, primered, and awaiting me to save enough money for paint.
Anyway, they are a personal favorite, as you can imagine, and I'll have several with me in vegas this weekend.
Jim, my daily driver for a number of years was a 1965 180hp coupe.
You might also find it interesting that in the late '70s, my younger sister needed a car for college and I spotted a 1966 110hp automatic convertible sitting next to a barn in rural Tennessee. We bought it for her for $600 and she drove it through her college years. The car didn't have a lot of mileage on it (though I don't recall the figure) and the story was that the top had never been lowered. I warned her about keeping the drains clear (and of course, she didn't) and it developed a bit of rust. But when she sold it she got $1500 for it! So I was a hero for a brief while . . .
It'll be nice to see some of your 'Vairs in Vegas.
Al, I don't disagree with your opinion that the cars didn't have brakes to match the performance but would ask you how many 60s domestic production cars had really good brakes? Not too many of them in my experience.
I also wonder if your 'Vair didn't have some problem with the brakes, as these cars are not noted for having particularly poor brakes. The rear weight bias helps braking performance a bit (by helping to prevent rear lockup under hard braking).
I have seen a Mercury Cougar from the sixties with some great discbrakes all around. This one was however made in Canada if my memory serves me right. Most other US musclecars from this time I have seen had drum brakes in the rear.. No matter how many ponies under the hood...
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