The Chevrolet Corvair looked like the future when it debuted in 1959 for the 1960 model year. Over the next 10 years it would evolve and leave a lasting impression for better, or worse, on consumers and future automotive enthusiasts to come.
Autoweek took the time to look back at the life of the Chevrolet Corvair, detailing its ups and downs during production. The greatest piece to take down the rear-wheel drive, rear-engine was a book we’ve all heard of: Unsafe At Any Speed.
The book, penned by Ralph Nader, called out the rear-mounted 80 hp, air-cooled flat-six engine and swing-axle rear suspension and branded it with a “widow maker” title. It’s true, the Corvair produced some scary scenes for those not ready for the massive oversteer produced by the configuration.
Still, the Corvair earned its place in motoring history through massive popularity. Nearly 340,000 Corvairs were produced in 1961 and 1962, spanning across multiple body styles including a coupe, convertible, van and, soon, a station wagon.
And, at only $2,000, or roughly $16,000 in 2015, the Corvair offered quite a bit for its price tag. So, here’s to you, Corvair, and the many memories you’ve brought more than a few motoring faithful.