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History Crazy old GM film starring the '60 Corvair

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bill McGuire, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. When I worked as a line wrench in Chevy dealers there were still a few Corvairs around. Low man on the totem pole usually got stuck working on them, though there were some mechanics around who liked to work on them. Same deal when the Vega came along.
     
  2. Exactly. To counter the effects of the rear suspension, the front tire pressure was 16 PSI...which almost no one followed, of course.
     
  3. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,464

    Hellfish
    Member

    Nader fabricated all of his data in order to make a point and sell books. He was proven wrong in the 70s, after the Corvair line was killed ...but it wasn't killed because of Nader. Chevy wanted to concentrate on the Camaro. Anyway, Nader concentrated on the 60-61 which LOOKED awkward, and people kept trying to drive a REAR engined car like a front engined one and ended up oversteering, but there were no real saftey problems with it. The 62-63 models were better, and the 64 was even better, but the 65-69 were dramatically better, with stabilizers, etc
     
  4. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,293

    Dan Timberlake
    Member

    No support intended for Nader, but I've talked to a few talented racers who have no idea how they do what they do so well.

    Carl Shipman wrote some of the best motorcycle tech books and articles I ever read. I think in one book while explaining some tech principle he said "Sometimes good coaches are fat."
    A lot of great coaches never played in the NFL (Bill Belichick and Mike Shanahan for example) .
    -------
    IN 2008 the Arizona Cardinals made it to the Superbowl for the 1st time in 30 years.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Arizona_Cardinals_season

    Certainly the legendary coach and quarterback were important components, but some credit should be given to Todd Haley, the defensive coordinator.
    As a youth, Todd Haley was a ball boy for the Steelers and attended Steelers training camps with his father Dick Haley. Alongside his father, Haley would watch the Steelers' game and practice film.
    But Todd played golf in college. His dad, Dick was Jets Director of Player Personnel, and may have had something to do with Todd getting a job in their scouting group, which evolved into being their offensive coordinator. "Under Haley’s guidance, the Cardinals offense in 2008 was one of the league’s most innovative and explosive units.... The Cardinals went on to appear in their first Super Bowl in franchise history after the team scored more than 30 points in each of its three playoff games."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Haley
    -------
     
  5. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,698

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    I'll have to take your word for it.


    Personally, I have gotten the best advise from people that gained their knowledge by doing it and living it.
     
  6. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    ...not to mention that Nader had his own agenda, which had nothing to do with honest reporting of facts.
     
  7. NICK Cee
    Joined: Nov 27, 2009
    Posts: 83

    NICK Cee
    Member
    from Tucson, AZ

    Cool video, sucks they smashed up that Impala hardtop!! They should have smashed a 4 door instead!!!
     
  8. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,908

    Truckedup
    Member

    I've heard of the ballasts on those Econolines. Would GM "rig" a promo film by removing the ballast? I think it's a possibility..;).... It is a piss poor design for slippery roads,ballast or not.I know this from driving them in the 60's.
     
  9. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,464

    Hellfish
    Member

    Yeah, either they removed the ballast or used an early '61 that didn't come with one.
     
  10. 1oldtimer
    Joined: Aug 21, 2003
    Posts: 7,748

    1oldtimer
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Had a '65 for years, well my girlfriend did. It was a little squirrelly on the freeway as you can see in the video the guy is moving the steering wheel side to side to keep it straight. Loved the body style but didn't like the motor, it leaked everywhere and was moody.

    She loved to drive it, I hated to work on it.
     
  11. Not to start a fight, but the industry has come to realize that Nader was mostly right, though not necessarily about the Corvair specifically.

    Only one chapter in Unsafe at any Speed is about the Corvair, and most of the steps Nader advocated are commonplace today -- padded dashes, collapsing steering columns, safety door latches, etc. When you read the book today, you will be struck at how tame it is by modern standards.
     
  12. The crash tests shown here are very crude -- not much more than stunts. The industry has come a long way in safety since then.
     
  13. dillinger trucking
    Joined: Jan 8, 2012
    Posts: 53

    dillinger trucking
    Member
    from minnesota

    I have the opportunity to purchase a corvair that has congressional parking garage plates and id on it still.
    A local congressman had bought one new and kept it in dc for travel during his term .
    I do not have any experience with corvairs butam wondering if it has any value as the ones I have watched seem to have no real value.
    Also a friend has a airstream looking motorhome that was built factory with the corvair drivetrain.This motorhome does intrigue me but every time i metion an interest in this he shows no interest in selling or even a price that would be a starter.
    Does this corvair with the dc history during naders report have any more value than a normal corvair???
     
  14. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962

    davidbistolas
    Member

    Doesn't matter. I'd still want to meet her.
     
  15. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,908

    Truckedup
    Member

    Her?,suppose it's written by a male.....? :D
     
  16. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962

    davidbistolas
    Member

    Don't you have a thread on this already?

    I would say "No"- it's worth what it's worth, and having belonged to a congressman has no bearing on it's value.
     
  17. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755

    stude_trucks
    Member

    Shocking how much 'virgins' can actually know about something. I guess good thing he wasn't a 'call girl' or they would have flat out outlawed personal cars by now.
     
  18. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,464

    Hellfish
    Member

    You're right, Nader's book had a great influence, and he was mostly right. Too bad he soiled his reputation by fabricating data and lying about some things in the book, like the Corvair. People don't remember how he was discredited, only that the Corvair was a "bad" car... which it wasn't.

    Dillinger, that tag will not add any value to the car. Corvairs aren't worth much. There's a guy on a Corvair forum restoring a Corvair once owned by Carl Sagan. Once completed I doubt it will have much additional value either, and Sagan is famous. :) As for the motorhome, it's probably an Ultravan. Only 370 were made from the mid-1960s to 1970 and there is a collector market for them, but don't expect that to translate into a lot of money. Corvair collectors are cheap bastards. :)

    http://www.corvair.org/chapters/ultravan/
     
  19. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    Yes, they are. I used to have a '63 Spyder and really impressed a parts vendor when I didn't haggle with him over the price of the n.o.s. front fender I bought from him for it. The price was very reasonable, but I was the first 'vair owner who wasn't too cheap to buy it.
     
  20. dillinger trucking
    Joined: Jan 8, 2012
    Posts: 53

    dillinger trucking
    Member
    from minnesota

    david was just searching for insight
    will quit posting questions here
     
  21. We might be talking about two different authors/books. Nader's case wasn't based on data but a survey of commentary, including the enthusiast press. Here is the chapter online.

    http://www.american-buddha.com/nader.unsafeanyspeed.1.htm
     
  22. haychrishay
    Joined: Jul 23, 2008
    Posts: 944

    haychrishay
    Member

    You guys better knock it off ! Lord Nader and the PC Police might be watching !
     
  23. BobMcD
    Joined: Jan 25, 2013
    Posts: 322

    BobMcD
    Member

    I have owned 5 corvairs in the past. Had a 62 Monza 900 95 HP powerglide, 65 500 110 HP 3 speed, a 65 Corsa 140HP 4 speed with 4 carbs, a 65 Corsa 180HP turbo charged 4 speed and a 66 110 HP and a Saginaw 4 speed. The trans in the 66 was worth more than I paid for the whole car. The 1960 Models were different than any other year. They had an optional gasoline fired heater. Had a fuel line from the fuel pump to supply gas to the heater. Not the safest thing to do.... The 65 and later models were actually pretty good cars but the Corvair was doomed to extinction by then. You could buy a new Mustang or Camaro in 67 for not much more money. 69 was the last year and they didn't make very many.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  24. I don't know if I would call myself a Nader fan but for one person, he had an influence on the auto industry that very few individuals can claim.

    If you are a student of the automobile and auto history, Unsafe at any Speed is absolutely mandatory reading. Without it, there's a giant hole in your knowledge of the Detroit industry. And if all you knew about Nader and his book are what you were told by the automotive enthusiast press, you will definitely be surprised by what you read. My $0000.02.
     
  25. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,464

    Hellfish
    Member

    I think that gas heater was standard in the '60 models and some 61s, but optional after that. I've never heard of a problem with one, but I think the VWs had problems with similar heaters. May just be rumor though.

    I really need to read Nader's book so I have first hand knowledge. I don't want to be one of those guys just repeating hearsay. :)
     
  26. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,698

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    Yeah, you should.

    I did and I was surprised anything like that could ever have the impact it did.

    Personally I think its so mediocre, that even discussing it here everytime the subject of Corvairs comes up, is giving its author more credit than he deserves.
     
  27. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755

    stude_trucks
    Member

    Apparently it took an idiot to suggest common sense things like actually using seat belts, putting some padding on a dash and collapsable steering columns might help save a few lives here and there. Name 1 single (western world) new car today that doesn't have most of what was suggested by Nader at the time. Nader might be off the deep end in plenty of regards, but his common sense ideas for some pretty obvious things is a bit hard to argue with looking back in hind sight.

    Interestingly, Studebaker was using padded dashes fairly early. I'm not sure why they did it and if it had anything to do with safety or just a design thing. Early adoption of disc brakes too.

    Looking at Wiki, it appears that padded dashes were already a safety idea from 1937. So, it wasn't like some big surprise that in '59 Nader brought the idea back up.


    from wikipedia
    Padding and safety

    In 1937, Chrysler, Dodge, DeSoto, and Plymoth cars came with a safety dashboard that was flat, raised above knee height, and had all the controls mounted flush.[4]
    Padded dashboards were advocated in the 1930s by car safety pioneer Claire L. Straith.[5] In 1947, the Tucker Torpedo became the first car with a padded dashboard.[6]
    One of the safety enhancements of the 1970s was the widespread adoption of padded dashboards. The padding is commonly polyurethane foam, while the surface is commonly either polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or leather in the case of luxury models.
    In the early and mid 1990s, airbags became a standard feature of steering wheels and dashboards.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  28. FANTASY FACTORY
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 256

    FANTASY FACTORY
    Member


    "if you remember the sixties, you weren't there"
     
  29. For those who would like to read it, Ralph Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed is free and complete on the web here:

    http://www.naderlibrary.com/nader.unsafeanyspeed.toc.htm


    .
     
  30. rt338b
    Joined: Oct 25, 2011
    Posts: 23

    rt338b
    Member
    from Illinois

    Always liked them Thats why I built this back in 1995
     

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