New video and article about Corvairs as one car accident

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JasonL
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New video and article about Corvairs as one car accident

Post by JasonL »

https://jalopnik.com/brave-man-tries-to ... 1820521301

Here is a new video and article that I found interesting and thought would be of interest to the Forum members.

Click the link of copy and paste it to your address bar.

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Re: New video and article about Corvairs as one car accident

Post by bbodie52 »



Brave Man Tries To Roll Himself Over In A Corvair And Miraculously Lives

Stef Schrader
5:15pmFiled to: CHEVROLET CORVAIR

The Corvair is sadly best known for the chapter dedicated to it in Ralph Nader’s pearl-clutching automotive safety tome Unsafe At Any Speed. Nader criticized the rear-wheel drive compact harshly, calling it a “one-car accident.” So, Hagerty’s Larry Webster set out to try to roll one on its roof—and lived.

Prior to all the controversy, the Corvair was America’s lone attempt at a rear-engined, aircooled car, smaller like its European rivals and aimed squarely at conquering the compact car market. Nader’s harsh critique dropped sales in half the year after Nader maligned the car before Congress.

So, what better way to prove Nader wrong than in a Corvair Nader himself owned? Hagerty didn’t just seek out the Corvair’s story and General Motors’ defense of its design from engineers who worked on it and enthusiasts who love them, but they drove it. One of those enthusiasts had a perfectly maintained example of the Corvair for just the job.

Did he die? Nope. It even looks like Hagerty host Larry Webster had fun.

I’m sure there are ways he could have rolled it if he really wanted to, like wedging a Miata under the rear bumper like a spatula or launching it incorrectly off some sweet jumps. But if you know what to expect when you drive a rear-engined car, you’re pretty safe on your own out on normal roads using the Corvair for its intended grocery-getting purposes.

Former GM engineer and fifteen-Corvair owner Peter Koehler nailed it: Nader wrote about the Corvair in a way that sold books and got attention. While many of Nader’s other criticisms led to safer, cleaner cars, it’s a pity that GM’s good, cheap small car was tossed aside even after Chevy ditched its rear swing axle.
:link: https://jalopnik.com/brave-man-tries-to ... 1820521301

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ldeboe01
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Re: New video and article about Corvairs as one car accident

Post by ldeboe01 »

From 1967 to 1973 I worked as a technician for GM at the Milford Michigan proving grounds. I worked for a department that was then known as Experimental Engineering. Within our department there was a group that did most of the high speed motion picture photography for the 5 major GM divisions. (Chevrolet GMC, Buick Pontiac and Cadillac). I became good friends with one of the photographers in that group. Keep in mind that the following was what this person told me. I have no way of knowing how accurate his statements were, although I never had reason to doubt anything he told me. This person told me that the video that Mr. Nader had possession of was shot by my friend at the GM Proving grounds. I believe that this video showed the Corvair rolling over in a hard turn. According to my friend the real purpose of this video was to determine what would happed if a retail customer would inadvertently misread the tire pressure recommendations, and pressure the front tires with the recommended rear tire pressure recommendations and vice-a-versa. In that scenario it evidently WAS possible to roll the vehicle.

Why GM never tried to defend the Corvair and let the public know what the video was showing is beyond me. Perhaps the Corvair was already on the chopping block by that time. For whatever reason they chose not to tell that story.

As a youngster in 1960, my dad, who was a Chevy dealer at that time, let me have the use of the first 1960 Corvair. I even passed my drivers test in that Corvair. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the Corvair.

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Re: New video and article about Corvairs as one car accident

Post by 66vairguy »

ldeboe01 wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:32 pm
From 1967 to 1973 I worked as a technician for GM at the Milford Michigan proving grounds. I worked for a department that was then known as Experimental Engineering. Within our department there was a group that did most of the high speed motion picture photography for the 5 major GM divisions. (Chevrolet GMC, Buick Pontiac and Cadillac). I became good friends with one of the photographers in that group. Keep in mind that the following was what this person told me. I have no way of knowing how accurate his statements were, although I never had reason to doubt anything he told me. This person told me that the video that Mr. Nader had possession of was shot by my friend at the GM Proving grounds. I believe that this video showed the Corvair rolling over in a hard turn. According to my friend the real purpose of this video was to determine what would happed if a retail customer would inadvertently misread the tire pressure recommendations, and pressure the front tires with the recommended rear tire pressure recommendations and vice-a-versa. In that scenario it evidently WAS possible to roll the vehicle.

Why GM never tried to defend the Corvair and let the public know what the video was showing is beyond me. Perhaps the Corvair was already on the chopping block by that time. For whatever reason they chose not to tell that story.

As a youngster in 1960, my dad, who was a Chevy dealer at that time, let me have the use of the first 1960 Corvair. I even passed my drivers test in that Corvair. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the Corvair.
That's interesting. GM kept a low profile regarding the Corvair after the authorities caught private detectives hired by GM following Nader. To be fair there was a misunderstanding between GM management, staff, and the hired detectives. Anyway, damage done and GM just kept quiet and let the lawyers handle Corvair things. Also it's been written in a few Corvair books that the GM engineers originally wanted a sway bar up front, but someone came up with the low front tire pressure as a lower cost solution to improve handling. So the whole tire pressure fiasco could have been minimized, or maybe avoided, with a front sway bar (which did end up being installed on later cars). So talk of tire pressure by GM was minimal least GM would be accused of putting profits before safety. It didn't help that most other cars could tolerate the same front and rear tire pressures.

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Re: New video and article about Corvairs as one car accident

Post by skipvair »

Who here has actually read the one chapter in that book dedicated to Corvairs?


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Re: New video and article about Corvairs as one car accident

Post by terribleted »

skipvair wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:22 pm
Who here has actually read the one chapter in that book dedicated to Corvairs?


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<---raises hand. I have read the book I own it. Lots of comment on thing that truly helped lead to safer cars. The shock value chapter about the Corvair was overblown and the best (least dry) reading in the whole book.
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
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