Vintage 1960s Automobiles: The Chevrolet Corvair by Will Zeilinger

February 3, 2020 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , , , , with 0 and 0
Home > Columns > Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger > Vintage 1960s Automobiles: The Chevrolet Corvair by Will Zeilinger

Manufactured by Chevrolet for model years 1960–1969, is still the only American-designed, mass-produced passenger car with a rear-mountedair-cooled engine.

Initially, the innovative Corvair was manufactured and marketed as a 4-door sedan.

The compact Chevrolet Corvair was designed to compete with Volkswagens in the US market.

The 1960 Corvair went on sale on October 2, 1959, and was the first American compact sedan with a rear-mounted, air-cooled engine, unit-body construction, three-across seating, and the availability of an automatic transmission. Only four-door sedans were available at first, then came the 2-door coupe, convertible, 4-door station wagon, passenger van, commercial van, and pickup truck body styles.

Though inspired by Volkswagen’s four-cylinder engine, Chevrolet engineers used Porsche engines as a guide.

To stay competitive with the VW Beetle, the new Ford Falcon, and Plymouth Valiant, Chevrolet chose to cut corners right where it showed: on the interior. The basemodel 500 was particularly drab. Everything inside was gray, both the fabric and vinyl upholstery and black rubber floor mats. The 700 models came with three interior colors from which to choose. Extra-cost options on both the 700 and 500 models includedthings we take for granted today, like sun visors for both driver and passenger, armrests, or a cigarette lighter.

The Corvair sales took a significant upturn when the Monza coupe debuted at the 1960 Chicago Auto Show. 

Though the Monza would rewrite what everyone’s idea of a Corvair was an alternative to the typical front-engined American family cars of the period.

The death knell for the Corvair came when Ralph Nader’s 1965 book “Unsafe at Any Speed” claimed that the car’s design that incorporated swing-axle suspension created a far greater risk of the vehicle rolling, which he described as “the one-car accident.”

Even though the suspension had been redesigned for much better handling and safety, the damage was done. Nader’s book became a best-seller, but in the consumer’s mind, the reputation of the Corvair was tarnished forever.  Chevrolet ceased production of the Corvair with the 1969 model.


The Skylar Drake Mysteries

DESERT ICE

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DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

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GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

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SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

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SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

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STRANGE MARKINGS


Author Details
Author Details
Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.
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  • Vintage 1960 TV Theme Music

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  • Starting a Novel Series with a Partner: The Plotting

    My husband, Will Zeilinger, and I co-write thrillers, the INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY SERIES, as E. J. Williams. Our tales transport the reader from 1962 Southern California to various international locales. In the first new book of the series, STONE PUB, we find ourselves in County Cork, Ireland.

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  • The Mystery of the Solway Firth Spaceman

    “We went on a normal outing and picked our spot,” Jim Templeton recalled of his May 23, 1964 outing. They sat down to take a picture of his 5-year-old daughter. He never expected anything out of the ordinary.

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  • Chatting with Authors by Will Zeilinger & Janet Elizabeth Lynn

    Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series.

    @Will_Zeilinger
    @JanetLynn4

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS
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Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.

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