Chevrolet Corvair

The Chevrolet Corvair was a rear-engined automobile produced by General Motors from 1960 to 1969. The Corvair was offered in a wide range of body styles (such as a four-door sedan, coupe, convertible, station wagon, pickup, panel van, a window van called the Greenbrier) and featured an air-cooled engine, which was unusual for American cars at the time.

The Corvair remains one of GMs most unusual creations. Design began in 1956 under the auspices of Ed Cole, and the first vehicles rolled off the assembly line in late 1959 as part of the 1960 model year (in which it was named Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year).

The Corvair — like the Ford Falcon, Studebaker Lark, Rambler, and the Plymouth Valiant — was created in response to the small, sporty and fuel-efficient automobiles being imported from Europe by Volkswagen, Renault and others.

The Corvair was part of GM's innovative A-body line of cars, but this was by far the most unusual, due to the location and design of its engine. It was a rear-engined vehicle in the style of the Volkswagen Beetle and the Porsche 356 Speedster. The "trunk", on the other hand, was in the front of the vehicle, while the spare tire was stored above the flat engine, saving trunk space.

The entire line (which eventually grew to incorporate sedans, coupes, convertibles, vans, pickups and station wagons) initially shared an aluminum, air-cooled 140 in³ (2.3 L) flat-6 engine. The first engines produced as little as 80 hp (60 kW), but later developed as much as 180 hp (134 kW). For 24 hours, the Corvair was tested at the Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, California, one car did a roll but the other did the 24 hour drive and only lost a quart (1 L) of oil (Source: Riverside Raceway Palace of Speed by Dick Wallen)

The first Corvairs (1960 – 1964) were factory equipped with an ignition lock wherein it was possible to start the car and then remove the key. Doing so in Southern California and being caught by the Los Angeles Police Department was a guaranteed ticket to a weekend in jail.

History

The Corvair name originated as a fastback show car in 1954, which, like many Chevy concept cars of the period, were based on the Corvette, including the Chevrolet Nomad and Chevrolet Impala. The design was championed by Ed Cole, Chevrolet chief engineer in the early 1950s and general manager in the late 1950s, as an answer to the growing popularity of small, lightweight imported cars.

The early 1960 models were conceived as economy cars, and had boxy styling, basic trim, and few amenities to keep prices down despite the relatively expensive and unique powertrain. A novel feature available for two-doors was a fold-down rear seat, included on some higher-level models. Passenger compartment heat was supplied by a gasoline heater mounted in the luggage compartment. The line quickly grew from plain, four-door sedans with bench seats (the base 500 and slightly more upscale 700) to the Monza 900, a two-door coupe with bucket seats and plush trim introduced late in the model year. Optional was a more powerful engine rated at 95 horsepower, thanks to a more radical camshaft and low-restriction exhaust. Despite its late introduction, the Monza sold 12,000 copies, making it one of the most popular Corvairs.

1961

For 1961 Chevrolet added an optional four-speed manual transmission to augment the standard three-speed manual and optional two-speed automatic. The Corvair engine received its first size increase to 145 in³, courtesy of a slight increase in bore size. The base engine was still rated at 80 hp (60 kW) when paired with the manual transmissions and 84 hp (63 kW) when mated to the optional automatic transmission. The high-performance engine was rated at 98 hp (73 kW). The standard heater was changed from the gasoline heater to engine cooling air ducted into the passenger compartment. The gasoline heater remained an option through 1964.

A station wagon, the Lakewood, was also added to the lineup in 1961, and it contained a total of 68 ft³ (1.9 m³) of cargo room — 58 in the main passenger compartment, and another 10 in the "trunk" under the hood. Engine heat and gasoline odors migrating up through the floor of the station wagon proved to be a persistent problem, and the wagon was relatively short-lived.

That same year, Chevrolet also introduced the Corvair 95 line of light-duty truck, which used the Corvair driveline and were forward-control, with the driver sitting over the front wheels, as in the Volkswagen Type 2. The Corvan model was available in a myriad of configurations as both a panel van and a window van. There were also two models of pickup available. The Loadside was a fairly typical pickup of the era, except for the rear engine, forward controls, and a strange pit in the middle of the bed, The more popular pickup was the Rampside model, which, as its name implies, had a large fold-down ramp on the side of the pickup bed. Rampsides were used by the Bell System because of the ease with which cable reels could be rolled in and out of the bed.

The Greenbrier Sportswagon used the same body as the Corvan with window option, but was marketed as a station wagon like the Lakewood, and was available with trim and paint options similar to the cars, arguably making it the first American Minivan.

Continuing from the end of the previous year was the Monza, heavily promoted and sometimes considered "the poor man's Porsche." The Monza was expanded to a four-door as well as a two-door coupe, and garnered around 144,000 sales.

1962 – 1963

The Corvair's innovative flat-6 engine left room for the spare tire, creating even more room in the forward trunk.

In 1962, Chevrolet introduced the 150 hp (112 kW) turbocharged Monza Spyder, making the Corvair one of the first two production automobiles to come with a turbocharger as a factory option, (with the Oldsmobile F-85 Turbo Jetfire of the same year). The Super Deluxe Monza Spyder introduced improved brakes and suspension, and a multi-gauge instrument cluster which included a tachometer, cylinder head temperature gauge and intake manifold pressure gauge. A convertible option was added as well. The 1963 model year saw the end of the Lakewood station wagon and Loadside pickup, and the availability of a long 3.08 gear for improved fuel economy, but the Corvair otherwise remained largely the same as in 1962.

1964

Significant engineering and safety changes occurred in 1964, while the bodies and models available remained the same.

The lineup remained relatively unchanged for the 1964 model year, with the exception of the engine growing from 145 to 164 in³ (2.3 to 2.7 L)due to an increase in stroke; the base power growing from 80 to 95 hp (60 to 70 kW), and the high performance engine growing from 95 to 110 hp (70 to 80 kW). The Spyder engine remained rated at 150 hp (112 kW)despite the displacement increase of the engine. The Rampside pickup was discontinued at the end of the model year.

1964 also saw a critical improvement in the Corvair's suspension; the car's swing axle rear suspension's tendency to lose traction suddenly and without warning when pushed to the limit was tamed by use of an additional transverse leaf spring coupling both rear wheels. The change was insisted upon by new Chevrolet general manager Semon "Bunkie" Knudsen, who according to contemporary John DeLorean had to threaten to resign in order to get the change approved.

However, a young lawyer named Ralph Nader had written a book called Unsafe at Any Speed in which the 1960-63 Corvair (and its purported greater tendency to roll over) was used as a dramatic case study. Even though a 1972 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety commission study ultimately exonerated the Corvair and declared it no more unsafe than any similar vehicle of its era, Nader's book, which was published in 1965, dealt a severe blow to sales of the Corvair line. The sporty, inexpensive Ford Mustang, based on the conventionally designed Ford Falcon and introduced in late 1964 in response to the Corvair, ultimately finished off Chevrolet's bold experiment.

1965

Cover of IND 1965 Cars publication, featuring Corvair

A dramatic redesign of the Corvair body and suspension and several powerful new engines came in 1965. The new body style lay somewhere between that of a baby Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and a mid-1960s Italian sports car and foreshadowed the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro that eventually replaced the Corvair. A new fully independent suspension similar to that used on the Corvette replaced the original swing axle rear suspension.

The previous 150 hp (112 kW) Monza Spyder was replaced by the normally-aspirated 140 hp (104 kW) Corsa and the 180 hp (134 kW) Corsa Turbo. The Corsa came with more instruments on the panel and a short throw shifter when equipped with the manual transmission. The standard equipment Corsa 140 horsepower (104 kW) engine was notable for the fact that the engine used 4 single-throat carburetors, larger valves, and dual exhaust — the factory's response to a modification which hot-rodders had been making since the car first appeared; it was available as an option on other Corvair trim levels. The base 95 hp (71 kW) and 110 hp (82 kW) high performance engines were carried forward from 1964 for the 500 and Monza models.

By this point, the more utilitarian station wagon, Panel Van, and pickup body styles had all been dropped in favor of the sportier coupe, hardtop sedan and convertible styles. 1965 would be the last year for the Greenbrier window van, which was retained only because of a few fleet orders, with less than 2000 being built. Chevrolet replaced the Corvair-based vans with the Chevrolet Sportvan/GMC Handi-Van, which used a traditional front engine/rear drive axle borrowed from the Chevy II.

1966 – 1969

The 1966 lineup remained essentially unchanged from 1965, and sales began to decline as a result of Nader's book, the popular (and cheaper) new Mustang, and rumors of the upcoming Camaro. The sales decline was also accelerated by a decision at GM to discontinue further development of the Corvair. One change of note was a more robust 4 speed synchromesh transmission for 1966, using the standard Saginaw gear set used by other GM vehicles. The new transmission was capable of handling more stress, though generally wasn't as smooth shifting as the earlier transmission. Also, the gear ratios were carried over from other GM cars, and were not optimal for a street-driven Corvair. A small flexible plastic air dam was installed below the front apron to alleviate problems with front-end lift at high speeds. It is a popular retrofit to the 1965 models both for functional and aesthetic reasons.

1967 Corvair Monza

In 1967 the Camaro was introduced and the Corvair line was trimmed to the base 500 sedan and coupe, and the Monza sedan, coupe and convertible. The 140 hp (104 kW) and 180 hp (134 kW) engine options were deleted as well, although the 140 HP option would be later reintroduced as a Regular Production Option and would remain available until Corvair production ended.

In 1968 the line was trimmed even further to just the coupe and convertible, and sales were down to 15,400. This model year was the first equipped with true collapsible steering columns, a final response to one of the most valid safety criticisms.

Corvair production finally ceased in 1969 with sales of only 6,000 cars, a victim of Nader's book, Ford's Mustang, and Chevrolet's own Camaro and Nova. Although negative publicity hurt the Corvair, ongoing litigation is believed to have extended the production life of the vehicle, as ending production would have been construed as an admission by General Motors that the product was flawed.

In the 1970s an abortive attempt was made by Corvair tuner John Fitch (driver) to found a company dedicated to acquiring 1965 – 1969 Corvairs in good condition and rebuilding them from the ground up. The finished car was not sold as a restoration, but with newer headlights and taillights and minor mechanical improvements, as a sort of an update. It is not known how many were completed.

Engineering

The Chevrolet Corvair engine, unique for an American car, presented a different set of requirements for mechanics, many of whom treated the engine in the same way as they would an engine of normal design, leading to problems.

An engineering weakness not generally highlighted related to fumes and gases entering the passenger area via the heater system, a problem endemic to an air-cooled engine that uses heat radiated from the engine directly to heat air for the passenger compartment. Carbon monoxide and other noxious or deadly gases could enter the sedan passenger areas if exhaust system gaskets aged or failed using this system, since the gaskets were inside the heater box air intakes and air for engine cooling and passenger heating was mixed together as one common airflow. The 1960 model Corvairs used a GM Harrison division gasoline heater located in the front trunk area, as its standard heater, similar to the Eberspächer heater offered as an auxiliary heater by Volkswagen as a dealer-installed option. It operated independently from fuel in the cars' gas tank, but this feature became optional in 1961 and was dropped in 1965 due to weak consumer demand. Chronic oil leakage from the pushrod tubes, caused by GM's poor choice of pushrod tube seal material, also contaminated the passenger heating air. That air might also become noxious if a 6-inch (152 mm) wide rubber seal almost 16 feet (5 m) long, located between the engine assembly and the body, was not maintained in like-new condition. Another common problem in the earlier years was oil leakage caused by dissimilar metal thermal expansion on the aluminum and steel engine. Chevrolet wrestled with several problems of this nature the entire time the Corvair was in production with varying degrees of success.

The interior air would also be contaminated if the voltage regulator allowed an over-voltage condition and the original battery vent hoses were not attached. The battery, which was mounted in the engine compartment, could emit sulfuric acid vapor if overcharged. Chevrolet installed special battery caps and hoses that vented the battery to air outside the engine compartment, but these were often discarded by owners during the car's life. The Volkswagen Beetle (Type I), another automobile with an air cooled engine, located the battery in the passenger compartment under the rear seat. This may have been a source of noxious interior fumes in that vehicle as well, and was also a fire hazard if the battery terminal insulator was not placed over the battery and someone or something heavy sat on the seat. The Beetle heater system better isolated fresh air from engine cooling air fumes, and was only susceptible to carbon monoxide contamination from the two heat exchanger to muffler seals at the rear of the engine, as opposed to the eight exhaust joints in the Corvair system. The VW Beetle, likewise, was susceptible to poor engine perimeter seal maintenance resulting in contaminated air being sucked into the cooling fan, which supplied passenger compartment heat as in the Corvair.

This air contamination problem is illustrated by the fact that many American cities' taxi regulations had prohibited air-cooled engine cars from being used as taxicabs when they derived their heated air from engine exhaust heat, decades before the Corvair and VW Beetle entered the market.

A criticism in Lawyer Ralph Nader's 1965 book concerned the steering column design. Like most cars of its era, the Corvair's steering column was rigid and could impale the driver in a front-end collision. While the Corvair's steering box was mounted ahead of the front cross-member, it was well behind the frame horns, in what would later be called a "crumple zone," and could, in a severe front-end collision, push the steering column and steering wheel toward the driver. In practice, most driver chest injuries were sustained due to the lack of a shoulder belt, rather than steering column intrusion. Any increase in risk of injury due to steering column intrusion in a front-end collision was, however, more than offset by the absence of an incompressible engine and transmission in the front of the vehicle, which commonly intruded into passenger compartments on vehicles of the era. Chevrolet, aware of Nader's criticism, changed the steering shaft to a two-part design with a frangible joint in the 1966 model year, and a collapsible steering column was provided in 1967, towards the end of the model's life span.

In defense of Nader's criticism of the Corvair's swing axle rear suspension, some writers have pointed to a critical factor in the combination of soft "American-style" springs together with an unusually large and heavy engine for a rear-engine, air-cooled car. Both of these factors would have greatly increased the potential for excessive body lean and over-cambering of the suspension in sharp turns, as compared with smaller and lighter contemporary Volkswagens, Renaults, Porsches, and other rear-engined cars. In addition, the car was designed to avoid terminal oversteer by using very low air pressure in the front tires, typically 12 to 15 pounds force per square inch (80 to 100 kPa), so that they would begin to understeer (slip) before the swing axle oversteer would come into play. Although this pressure was quite adequate for the very lightweight Corvair front end, owners and mechanics, either through ignorance of the necessity for this pressure differential between front and rear or thinking that the pressure was too low for the front, would frequently inflate the front tires to more "normal" pressures, thus ensuring that the rear of the car would lose traction before the front, causing it to oversteer. It should be mentioned that the Corvair is by no means unique in requiring dissimilar front and rear tire pressures for normal controllability. The Ford Explorer had widely-publicized stability problems when equal pressures were used. See Firestone vs Ford Motor Company controversy.

Although Nader probably overstated the severity of the handling problems, as was later found by US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigators, Chevrolet made changes to the suspension: in 1964, adding a transverse leaf spring extending between the rear wheels to limit rear wheel camber change. In 1965 the Corvair got a state of the art fully independent rear suspension closely resembling that of the contemporary Corvette, even sharing some components. These changes were, however, viewed as Chevrolet's recognition of possible problems with the original design.

Modifications

Many sports car purists were more interested in the Corvair (particularly the 1965 and later cars) than in more conventional designs, such as the Ford Mustang, despite the latter's power advantage. From the first appearance of the Corvair, a large selection of high-performance equipment and modifications became available for it.

Yenko Stinger

Don Yenko, who had been racing Corvettes, could not compete successfully against the Carroll Shelby Mustangs after they arrived on the scene; he therefore decided to race modified Corvairs, beginning with the 1966 model. As the stock Corvair did not fit into any of the SCCA categories, Yenko had to modify four-carburetor Corsas into "sports cars" by removing the back seat; in the process he would introduce various performance improvements. As the SCCA required 100 cars to be manufactured to homologate the model for production racing, Yenko completed 100 Stingers in one month in 1965. Although all were white, as the SCCA required for American cars at the time, there was a great deal of variety between individual cars; some had exterior modifications including fiberglass engine covers with spoilers, some did not; some received engine upgrades developing 160, 190, 220, or 240 hp (119, 142, 164, or 179 kW). All were equipped by the Chevrolet factory with heavy duty suspension, four speed transmission, quicker steering ratio, positraction differentials (50 with 3.89 gears, and 50 with 3.55 when Chevrolet dropped the 3.89) and dual brake master cylinders (the first application of this by Chevrolet, to become stock equipment the next year). The Stingers competed in Class D Production, which was dominated by the Triumph TR4, which was very quick in racing trim; however in its first race in January 1966, the Stinger was able to come in second by only one second. By the end of the 1966 season, Jerry Thompson had won the Central Division Championship and placed fifth in the 1966 Nationals, Dick Thompson, a highly successful Corvette race driver, had won the Northeast Division Championship, and Jim Spencer had won the Central Division Championship, with Dino Milani taking second place.

The next year, however, Chevrolet dropped the Corsa line, and the Monza line was not initially available stock with the four carburetor engine; the engine was eventually offered as a special performance option, however, along with the 3.89 differential. The Monza instrumentation, however, did not have a tachometer or head temperature gauges, which had to be separately installed. The SCCA, on the other hand, had relaxed its ruling regarding color, and the cars were available in red or blue. It is believed that only fourteen 1967 Stingers were built, but Dana Chevrolet, who distributed Stingers on the US West Coast, ordered an additional three similar cars to be built to Stinger specifications, but with the AIR injection system to meet California emissions laws, with Yenko's permission. A total of 185 Stingers are believed to have been built, the last being YS-9700 built for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company as a tire test vehicle in 1969 – 1970.

Comedian, television star, and car enthusiast Tim Allen currently owns and races Yenko Stinger #YS-043.

John Fitch Corvair Sprint

Longtime roadracer John Fitch was particularly interested in the Corvair as the basis for a spirited road and track oriented car, due to its handling. The basic Sprint received only minor modifications to the engine, bringing it to 155 horsepower (116 kW), but upgrades to the shock absorbers and springs, adjustments to the wheel alignment, quicker steering ratio, alloy wheels, metallic brake linings, the obligatory wood-rimmed steering wheel (leather available for an additional $9.95) and other such minor alterations made it extremely competitive with European sports cars costing much more. Body options such as spoilers were available, but the most visually remarkable option was the "Ventop", a fiberglass overlay for the C-pillars and rear of the roof that gave the car a "flying buttress" profile.

Fitch went on to design and build a prototype of the Fitch Phoenix, a Corvair-based two-seat sports car, superficially resembling a smaller version of the Mako Shark based Corvette. With a total weight of 1,950 pounds (885 kg), even with a steel body, and with the Corvair engine modified with Weber carburetors to deliver 175 horsepower (130 kW), the car delivered spirited performance for $8,760. Unfortunately, the Traffic Safety Act of 1966 placed restrictions on the ability to produce automobiles on a small scale; this was followed by Chevrolet's decision to terminate production of the Corvair, which confirmed the end of Fitch's plan. He still retains the prototype however, and occasionally exhibits it at car shows.

V8 Corvairs

The ultimate Corvair modification was replacement of the engine with a V8. As daunting as this might seem, two things made it possible:

  1. The Corvair engine rotated in the opposite direction from most other engines, so that if a V8 was placed in the rear seat area (the added weight of a V8 in the original location of the Corvair engine would be abominable to drive), and the transaxle was rotated 180 degrees to meet it, the gearing would drive the car in the proper direction, not four speeds in reverse and one forward
  2. The switch in 1966 to using standard Chevrolet Saginaw gear sets in the manual transmission could handle the torque of a V8.

A radiator occupies the former trunk, in the front of the vehicle. However, the former engine compartment in the rear now is available as luggage space. A complete kit to adapt a Chevrolet small-block V8 to a Corvair was manufactured by a company named Crown Manufacturing, for $600. The resulting vehicle weighed only 2,750 pounds (1250 kg), compared to 3,700 pounds (1680 kg) for a small block Corvette, and possessed independent rear suspension of almost the same design. Crown's prototype with 350 horsepower (261 kW) Corvette engine recorded an elapsed time of 12.22 seconds and 105 miles per hour (169 km/h) in the quarter mile (402 m). An advantage of this modification is that the rearward weight distribution gives excellent traction without the need for slick or "cheater slick" tires, let alone modifying the wheelbase as on the FX cars of the time The mid-engine design also provides optimal handling characteristics. Although a few Corvairs have been modified to accept the Chevrolet big-block engine, the added size of the engine makes the work significantly more difficult, and the result, although a great performer, tends to be unreliable.


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Although a few Corvairs have been modified to accept the Chevrolet big-block engine, the added size of the engine makes the work significantly more difficult, and the result, although a great performer, tends to be unreliable. Dan Marino for never winning a Super Bowl." Their reasons why #13 should not be made the scapegoat for never winning the big one:. An advantage of this modification is that the rearward weight distribution gives excellent traction without the need for slick or "cheater slick" tires, let alone modifying the wheelbase as on the FX cars of the time The mid-engine design also provides optimal handling characteristics. On January 24, 2006, ESPN Classic aired "The Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame.. Crown's prototype with 350 horsepower (261 kW) Corvette engine recorded an elapsed time of 12.22 seconds and 105 miles per hour (169 km/h) in the quarter mile (402 m). Though a Heat jersey with his name and #13 was unveiled, this did not constitute retirement of his number by the Heat.[1]. The resulting vehicle weighed only 2,750 pounds (1250 kg), compared to 3,700 pounds (1680 kg) for a small block Corvette, and possessed independent rear suspension of almost the same design. On November 7, 2005, the National Basketball Association's Miami Heat honored Marino's charitable works and recognized his service to South Florida with a halftime tribute, including a large donation to the Marino Foundation.

A complete kit to adapt a Chevrolet small-block V8 to a Corvair was manufactured by a company named Crown Manufacturing, for $600. Marino has teamed with other celebrities to raise awareness about autistic spectrum disorders, including fellow NFL great Doug Flutie, whose son also has an autism diagnosis. However, the former engine compartment in the rear now is available as luggage space. The center saw more than 48,000 children last year alone. A radiator occupies the former trunk, in the front of the vehicle. The Dan Marino Center, which opened in 1995 along with the Miami Children's Hospital, is an integrated neurodevelopmental center specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of children at risk for developmental and psychological problems. As daunting as this might seem, two things made it possible:. The foundation has distributed over $7 million to research, services and treatment programs serving children with neurodevelopment disabilities.

The ultimate Corvair modification was replacement of the engine with a V8. The Dan Marino Foundation, was established in 1992 by Marino and his wife, Claire, after their son, Michael, was diagnosed with autism. He still retains the prototype however, and occasionally exhibits it at car shows. He even guest-starred as himself in The Simpsons episode "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" (first aired January 31, 1999). Unfortunately, the Traffic Safety Act of 1966 placed restrictions on the ability to produce automobiles on a small scale; this was followed by Chevrolet's decision to terminate production of the Corvair, which confirmed the end of Fitch's plan. He also acted in the 1994 comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective alongside Jim Carrey and Courteney Cox, as well as made a cameo appearance in the Adam Sandler film Little Nicky where he asks Satan for a Super Bowl ring. With a total weight of 1,950 pounds (885 kg), even with a steel body, and with the Corvair engine modified with Weber carburetors to deliver 175 horsepower (130 kW), the car delivered spirited performance for $8,760. During the football season he is a commentator for both CBS's The NFL Today show and HBO's Inside the NFL.

Fitch went on to design and build a prototype of the Fitch Phoenix, a Corvair-based two-seat sports car, superficially resembling a smaller version of the Mako Shark based Corvette. Presently, he lives with his wife, Claire, and six (four by birth, and two by adoption) children in Weston, Florida. Body options such as spoilers were available, but the most visually remarkable option was the "Ventop", a fiberglass overlay for the C-pillars and rear of the roof that gave the car a "flying buttress" profile. During his induction speech, Dan threw "one last pass" to former teammate Mark Clayton, who was sitting in the audience. The basic Sprint received only minor modifications to the engine, bringing it to 155 horsepower (116 kW), but upgrades to the shock absorbers and springs, adjustments to the wheel alignment, quicker steering ratio, alloy wheels, metallic brake linings, the obligatory wood-rimmed steering wheel (leather available for an additional $9.95) and other such minor alterations made it extremely competitive with European sports cars costing much more. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 7, 2005 and was introduced by his oldest son, Daniel. Longtime roadracer John Fitch was particularly interested in the Corvair as the basis for a spirited road and track oriented car, due to its handling. Dan Marino was a first-ballot selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

Comedian, television star, and car enthusiast Tim Allen currently owns and races Yenko Stinger #YS-043. In early 2004, Dan Marino briefly returned to the Miami Dolphins as Senior Vice President of Football Operations, but resigned from the newly-created position only three weeks later, saying that the role was not in the best interest of either his family or the Dolphin organization. A total of 185 Stingers are believed to have been built, the last being YS-9700 built for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company as a tire test vehicle in 1969 – 1970. In 2003, Marino was honored for his outstanding NCAA career at Pitt with an induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. It is believed that only fourteen 1967 Stingers were built, but Dana Chevrolet, who distributed Stingers on the US West Coast, ordered an additional three similar cars to be built to Stinger specifications, but with the AIR injection system to meet California emissions laws, with Yenko's permission. In a year of accolades from the franchise he led so long and so well, the Dolphins also installed a life-size bronze statue of Marino at Pro Player Stadium (now Dolphins Stadium) and renamed Stadium Street, Dan Marino Boulevard. The SCCA, on the other hand, had relaxed its ruling regarding color, and the cars were available in red or blue. Marino joined the Dolphins Honor Roll the same day.

The Monza instrumentation, however, did not have a tachometer or head temperature gauges, which had to be separately installed. Since then 39, Larry Csonka, has been retired as well. The next year, however, Chevrolet dropped the Corsa line, and the Monza line was not initially available stock with the four carburetor engine; the engine was eventually offered as a special performance option, however, along with the 3.89 differential. The only other Dolphins jersey number retired at the time was 12, Bob Griese. By the end of the 1966 season, Jerry Thompson had won the Central Division Championship and placed fifth in the 1966 Nationals, Dick Thompson, a highly successful Corvette race driver, had won the Northeast Division Championship, and Jim Spencer had won the Central Division Championship, with Dino Milani taking second place. On Sunday, September 17, 2000, at halftime of the Dolphins-Baltimore Ravens game at Pro Player Stadium, Dan Marino’s jersey number, 13, was retired. The Stingers competed in Class D Production, which was dominated by the Triumph TR4, which was very quick in racing trim; however in its first race in January 1966, the Stinger was able to come in second by only one second. Playoffs:.

All were equipped by the Chevrolet factory with heavy duty suspension, four speed transmission, quicker steering ratio, positraction differentials (50 with 3.89 gears, and 50 with 3.55 when Chevrolet dropped the 3.89) and dual brake master cylinders (the first application of this by Chevrolet, to become stock equipment the next year). Regular Season:. Although all were white, as the SCCA required for American cars at the time, there was a great deal of variety between individual cars; some had exterior modifications including fiberglass engine covers with spoilers, some did not; some received engine upgrades developing 160, 190, 220, or 240 hp (119, 142, 164, or 179 kW). He was selected to play in nine Pro Bowls (1983-87, 1991-92, 1994-95), seven times as a starter, but due to injuries he only played in two of the games (1984, 1992). As the SCCA required 100 cars to be manufactured to homologate the model for production racing, Yenko completed 100 Stingers in one month in 1965. He was the 1994 NFL Comeback Player of the Year after having a Pro Bowl season when he returned from a season ending achilles tendon injury at Cleveland in 1993. As the stock Corvair did not fit into any of the SCCA categories, Yenko had to modify four-carburetor Corsas into "sports cars" by removing the back seat; in the process he would introduce various performance improvements. He has the second most fourth quarter comebacks (37) in the history of the NFL, and second most victories (147, John Elway is first in both categories).

Don Yenko, who had been racing Corvettes, could not compete successfully against the Carroll Shelby Mustangs after they arrived on the scene; he therefore decided to race modified Corvairs, beginning with the 1966 model. Also, despite the fact that he was not known for his scrambling ability, Marino possessed an uncanny awareness in the pocket, often sliding a step or two to avoid the pass rush. From the first appearance of the Corvair, a large selection of high-performance equipment and modifications became available for it. He was known for having the quickest release in the sport, throwing dead-on 'bullets', and completing the most miraculous passes; often between defenders. Many sports car purists were more interested in the Corvair (particularly the 1965 and later cars) than in more conventional designs, such as the Ford Mustang, despite the latter's power advantage. During his professional career (1983-1999) in Miami he was one of the most skilled and revered quarterbacks in the game. These changes were, however, viewed as Chevrolet's recognition of possible problems with the original design. Marino decided to retire with that season, after being subtley pushed out of Miami by new coach Dave Wannstedt, and declining offers from Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh.

In 1965 the Corvair got a state of the art fully independent rear suspension closely resembling that of the contemporary Corvette, even sharing some components. In the next round on the road, Marino and the Dolphins utterly collapsed in a 62-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Although Nader probably overstated the severity of the handling problems, as was later found by US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigators, Chevrolet made changes to the suspension: in 1964, adding a transverse leaf spring extending between the rear wheels to limit rear wheel camber change. Marino's final win was Miami's first win in a playoff road game in his career, as he led the 37th and final comeback of his pro career. See Firestone vs Ford Motor Company controversy. Kelly's Bills knocked Marino out of the playoffs three times between 1990 and 1995. The Ford Explorer had widely-publicized stability problems when equal pressures were used. In 1992 he made his final appearance in a Championship Game, losing against arch-rival Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills.

It should be mentioned that the Corvair is by no means unique in requiring dissimilar front and rear tire pressures for normal controllability. With Marino at the helm, the Dolphins were a perennial playoff contender, reaching the post-season in 10 of Marino's 17 seasons. Although this pressure was quite adequate for the very lightweight Corvair front end, owners and mechanics, either through ignorance of the necessity for this pressure differential between front and rear or thinking that the pressure was too low for the front, would frequently inflate the front tires to more "normal" pressures, thus ensuring that the rear of the car would lose traction before the front, causing it to oversteer. He also brought the Dolphins back to the AFC Championship game the following year, losing in Miami to New England in another game in which wet conditions made the Dolphins turnover prone. In addition, the car was designed to avoid terminal oversteer by using very low air pressure in the front tires, typically 12 to 15 pounds force per square inch (80 to 100 kPa), so that they would begin to understeer (slip) before the swing axle oversteer would come into play. On December 2, 1985 Marino completed 14 of 27 passes for 270 yards and triumphed over the 12-0 Chicago Bears in the highest rated Monday Night Football telecast in history. Both of these factors would have greatly increased the potential for excessive body lean and over-cambering of the suspension in sharp turns, as compared with smaller and lighter contemporary Volkswagens, Renaults, Porsches, and other rear-engined cars. After the Super Bowl loss, Marino's Dolphins went 12-4.

In defense of Nader's criticism of the Corvair's swing axle rear suspension, some writers have pointed to a critical factor in the combination of soft "American-style" springs together with an unusually large and heavy engine for a rear-engine, air-cooled car. The 38-16 loss would be Marino's only Super Bowl appearance; as was the case for most of his career a sparse running attack and average defense would cost the Dolphins. Chevrolet, aware of Nader's criticism, changed the steering shaft to a two-part design with a frangible joint in the 1966 model year, and a collapsible steering column was provided in 1967, towards the end of the model's life span. Unfortunately, two of his passes were intercepted deep in 49ers territory and he committed the game's lone fumble. Any increase in risk of injury due to steering column intrusion in a front-end collision was, however, more than offset by the absence of an incompressible engine and transmission in the front of the vehicle, which commonly intruded into passenger compartments on vehicles of the era. Marino was above average, completing 29 of 50 passes for 318 yards and a touchdown. In practice, most driver chest injuries were sustained due to the lack of a shoulder belt, rather than steering column intrusion. The Dolphins, who had 74 rush attempts in the previous two weeks, called only 8 handoffs, placing their chances squarely on Marino.

While the Corvair's steering box was mounted ahead of the front cross-member, it was well behind the frame horns, in what would later be called a "crumple zone," and could, in a severe front-end collision, push the steering column and steering wheel toward the driver. In Super Bowl XIX Marino and the Dolphins met Joe Montana and the 49ers. Like most cars of its era, the Corvair's steering column was rigid and could impale the driver in a front-end collision. Marino had another 8 touchdown passes in the post-season, four of which came against his hometown Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. A criticism in Lawyer Ralph Nader's 1965 book concerned the steering column design. The '84 Dolphins scored an NFL record 70 touchdowns and posted a 14-2 record. This air contamination problem is illustrated by the fact that many American cities' taxi regulations had prohibited air-cooled engine cars from being used as taxicabs when they derived their heated air from engine exhaust heat, decades before the Corvair and VW Beetle entered the market. He would go on to win the NFL Most Valuable Player award in 1984.

The VW Beetle, likewise, was susceptible to poor engine perimeter seal maintenance resulting in contaminated air being sucked into the cooling fan, which supplied passenger compartment heat as in the Corvair. Neither record would be touched until Peyton Manning topped the touchdown mark with 49 in 2004. The Beetle heater system better isolated fresh air from engine cooling air fumes, and was only susceptible to carbon monoxide contamination from the two heat exchanger to muffler seals at the rear of the engine, as opposed to the eight exhaust joints in the Corvair system. He threw for 48 touchdown passes and 5,084 yards, both of which shattered previous records. This may have been a source of noxious interior fumes in that vehicle as well, and was also a fire hazard if the battery terminal insulator was not placed over the battery and someone or something heavy sat on the seat. The following season would be Marino's best. The Volkswagen Beetle (Type I), another automobile with an air cooled engine, located the battery in the passenger compartment under the rear seat. His Pro Bowl rookie year ended in disappointment, as the Dolphins were upset by the Seattle Seahawks in a rainy game full of Dolphin turnovers.

Chevrolet installed special battery caps and hoses that vented the battery to air outside the engine compartment, but these were often discarded by owners during the car's life. He brought Miami the division title in 1983, and would also do so in 1984, 1985, 1992, and 1994. The battery, which was mounted in the engine compartment, could emit sulfuric acid vapor if overcharged. He posted a 96.0 passer rating which was a rookie record until 2004. The interior air would also be contaminated if the voltage regulator allowed an over-voltage condition and the original battery vent hoses were not attached. Being drafted by the defending AFC Champions placed Marino in an ideal situation, where the strong armed rookie could succeed immediately. Chevrolet wrestled with several problems of this nature the entire time the Corvair was in production with varying degrees of success. Five other quarterbacks, including Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and John Elway, had been taken before Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins grabbed Marino with the 27th pick overall.

Another common problem in the earlier years was oil leakage caused by dissimilar metal thermal expansion on the aluminum and steel engine. With the down season of his last year at Pitt and unsubstantiated rumors of drug abuse, Marino's selection status in the 1983 NFL draft plummeted. That air might also become noxious if a 6-inch (152 mm) wide rubber seal almost 16 feet (5 m) long, located between the engine assembly and the body, was not maintained in like-new condition. In 2002, he was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Chronic oil leakage from the pushrod tubes, caused by GM's poor choice of pushrod tube seal material, also contaminated the passenger heating air. Marino left Pitt with 7,905 passing yards and 74 touchdown passes. It operated independently from fuel in the cars' gas tank, but this feature became optional in 1961 and was dropped in 1965 due to weak consumer demand. In his final 2 seasons, Marino lead his team to a 22-2 record, and he lead the nation in touchdown passes(34) as a junior.

The 1960 model Corvairs used a GM Harrison division gasoline heater located in the front trunk area, as its standard heater, similar to the Eberspächer heater offered as an auxiliary heater by Volkswagen as a dealer-installed option. Still his college career was impressive. Carbon monoxide and other noxious or deadly gases could enter the sedan passenger areas if exhaust system gaskets aged or failed using this system, since the gaskets were inside the heater box air intakes and air for engine cooling and passenger heating was mixed together as one common airflow. His team lost the Cotton Bowl to SMU. An engineering weakness not generally highlighted related to fumes and gases entering the passenger area via the heater system, a problem endemic to an air-cooled engine that uses heat radiated from the engine directly to heat air for the passenger compartment. The next season (his senior year) was considered a disappointment with regard to the pre-season Heisman Trophy and National Championship hype. The Chevrolet Corvair engine, unique for an American car, presented a different set of requirements for mechanics, many of whom treated the engine in the same way as they would an engine of normal design, leading to problems. After a stellar high school career, Marino played college ball at the University of Pittsburgh from the 1979 to 1982 seasons, leading the Panthers to a Sugar Bowl triumph over the Georgia Bulldogs in January 1982.

It is not known how many were completed. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals baseball team in the 1979 amateur draft, but decided to play college football instead. The finished car was not sold as a restoration, but with newer headlights and taillights and minor mechanical improvements, as a sort of an update. Dan attended Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he also starred in baseball, and won Parade All-American honors in football. In the 1970s an abortive attempt was made by Corvair tuner John Fitch (driver) to found a company dedicated to acquiring 1965 – 1969 Corvairs in good condition and rebuilding them from the ground up. . Although negative publicity hurt the Corvair, ongoing litigation is believed to have extended the production life of the vehicle, as ending production would have been construed as an admission by General Motors that the product was flawed. He holds almost every meaningful NFL passing record and is widely recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks in football history.

Corvair production finally ceased in 1969 with sales of only 6,000 cars, a victim of Nader's book, Ford's Mustang, and Chevrolet's own Camaro and Nova. Daniel Constantine Marino Jr. (born September 15, 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) was an American football quarterback who played for the Miami Dolphins in the National Football League. This model year was the first equipped with true collapsible steering columns, a final response to one of the most valid safety criticisms. They also could have selected Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson, Emmitt Smith or Curtis Martin. In 1968 the line was trimmed even further to just the coupe and convertible, and sales were down to 15,400. Miami had passed up on both Davis and Thurman Thomas in the NFL Draft. The 140 hp (104 kW) and 180 hp (134 kW) engine options were deleted as well, although the 140 HP option would be later reintroduced as a Regular Production Option and would remain available until Corvair production ended. This lack of a running game had also prevented John Elway from winning a Super Bowl until Terrell Davis's arrival in Denver.

In 1967 the Camaro was introduced and the Corvair line was trimmed to the base 500 sedan and coupe, and the Monza sedan, coupe and convertible. During Marino's career, the Dolphins drafted 25 running backs, of whom only Karim Abdul-Jabbar rushed for 1,000-plus yards (1116 in 1996). It is a popular retrofit to the 1965 models both for functional and aesthetic reasons. Shula relied exclusively on Marino and his arm in the Miami offensive game plan. A small flexible plastic air dam was installed below the front apron to alleviate problems with front-end lift at high speeds. The Dolphins let Marino down. Also, the gear ratios were carried over from other GM cars, and were not optimal for a street-driven Corvair. 1.

The new transmission was capable of handling more stress, though generally wasn't as smooth shifting as the earlier transmission. They were more balanced offensively than Miami, with running back Thurman Thomas posing their biggest threat. One change of note was a more robust 4 speed synchromesh transmission for 1966, using the standard Saginaw gear set used by other GM vehicles. In Marino's last 13 NFL seasons, the Bills won 21 of 30 contests against the Dolphins. The sales decline was also accelerated by a decision at GM to discontinue further development of the Corvair. The Buffalo Bills. The 1966 lineup remained essentially unchanged from 1965, and sales began to decline as a result of Nader's book, the popular (and cheaper) new Mustang, and rumors of the upcoming Camaro. 2.

Chevrolet replaced the Corvair-based vans with the Chevrolet Sportvan/GMC Handi-Van, which used a traditional front engine/rear drive axle borrowed from the Chevy II. He vowed to run the ball more, but in so doing, also alienated Marino. 1965 would be the last year for the Greenbrier window van, which was retained only because of a few fleet orders, with less than 2000 being built. After building the Dallas Cowboys dynasty, Johnson became the Dolphins' new coach upon the legendary Don Shula's retirement. By this point, the more utilitarian station wagon, Panel Van, and pickup body styles had all been dropped in favor of the sportier coupe, hardtop sedan and convertible styles. Jimmy Johnson. The base 95 hp (71 kW) and 110 hp (82 kW) high performance engines were carried forward from 1964 for the 500 and Monza models. 3.

The standard equipment Corsa 140 horsepower (104 kW) engine was notable for the fact that the engine used 4 single-throat carburetors, larger valves, and dual exhaust — the factory's response to a modification which hot-rodders had been making since the car first appeared; it was available as an option on other Corvair trim levels. It constantly ranked in the lower half of the NFL during Marino's tenure. The Corsa came with more instruments on the panel and a short throw shifter when equipped with the manual transmission. The Dolphins' defense. The previous 150 hp (112 kW) Monza Spyder was replaced by the normally-aspirated 140 hp (104 kW) Corsa and the 180 hp (134 kW) Corsa Turbo. 4. A new fully independent suspension similar to that used on the Corvette replaced the original swing axle rear suspension. Marino never had a true playmaker after the departures of Mark Clayton and Mark Duper.

The new body style lay somewhere between that of a baby Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and a mid-1960s Italian sports car and foreshadowed the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro that eventually replaced the Corvair. Replacing the Marks Brothers. A dramatic redesign of the Corvair body and suspension and several powerful new engines came in 1965. 5. The sporty, inexpensive Ford Mustang, based on the conventionally designed Ford Falcon and introduced in late 1964 in response to the Corvair, ultimately finished off Chevrolet's bold experiment. Threw at least one touchdown pass in 16 of his 18 playoff contests, throwing a TD pass in his first 13 postseason contests. Even though a 1972 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety commission study ultimately exonerated the Corvair and declared it no more unsafe than any similar vehicle of its era, Nader's book, which was published in 1965, dealt a severe blow to sales of the Corvair line. Passed for 4,510 yards over career in playoff games.

However, a young lawyer named Ralph Nader had written a book called Unsafe at Any Speed in which the 1960-63 Corvair (and its purported greater tendency to roll over) was used as a dramatic case study. Tittle). The change was insisted upon by new Chevrolet general manager Semon "Bunkie" Knudsen, who according to contemporary John DeLorean had to threaten to resign in order to get the change approved. A. 1964 also saw a critical improvement in the Corvair's suspension; the car's swing axle rear suspension's tendency to lose traction suddenly and without warning when pushed to the limit was tamed by use of an additional transverse leaf spring coupling both rear wheels. One of only six quarterbacks in NFL history that have achieved two consecutive (back-to-back) 30-touchdown passing seasons at least one time in their careers (the others are Steve Bartkowski, Brett Favre, Dan Fouts, Jeff Garcia, and Y. The Rampside pickup was discontinued at the end of the model year. Played in 18 Playoff Games and Held a 8-10 Record in the Playoffs.

The Spyder engine remained rated at 150 hp (112 kW)despite the displacement increase of the engine. Started 240 Regular Season Games and Held a 147-93 record as a starter ( Second to John Elway's NFL Best 148-82-1 Regular Season Record ). The lineup remained relatively unchanged for the 1964 model year, with the exception of the engine growing from 145 to 164 in³ (2.3 to 2.7 L)due to an increase in stroke; the base power growing from 80 to 95 hp (60 to 70 kW), and the high performance engine growing from 95 to 110 hp (70 to 80 kW). Won the AFC Offensive Player of the Week honor 18 times in the regular season (and 20 times overall, including playoffs). Significant engineering and safety changes occurred in 1964, while the bodies and models available remained the same. Had 116 wins under Don Shula – the most by a head coach - quarterback combination in NFL history. The 1963 model year saw the end of the Lakewood station wagon and Loadside pickup, and the availability of a long 3.08 gear for improved fuel economy, but the Corvair otherwise remained largely the same as in 1962. Holds Dolphins team record for most seasons played, 17.

A convertible option was added as well. Led 37 fourth-quarter comeback victories, second only to John Elway. The Super Deluxe Monza Spyder introduced improved brakes and suspension, and a multi-gauge instrument cluster which included a tachometer, cylinder head temperature gauge and intake manifold pressure gauge. First QB in NFL history to have six 4,000-yard seasons (1984-86, 1988, 1992, 1994). In 1962, Chevrolet introduced the 150 hp (112 kW) turbocharged Monza Spyder, making the Corvair one of the first two production automobiles to come with a turbocharger as a factory option, (with the Oldsmobile F-85 Turbo Jetfire of the same year). Threw 252 interceptions in his career. Continuing from the end of the previous year was the Monza, heavily promoted and sometimes considered "the poor man's Porsche." The Monza was expanded to a four-door as well as a two-door coupe, and garnered around 144,000 sales. Career passing efficiency rating is 86.4.

The Greenbrier Sportswagon used the same body as the Corvan with window option, but was marketed as a station wagon like the Lakewood, and was available with trim and paint options similar to the cars, arguably making it the first American Minivan. Career completion percentage of 59.4%. Rampsides were used by the Bell System because of the ease with which cable reels could be rolled in and out of the bed. Played 242 games, starting 240 of them. The Loadside was a fairly typical pickup of the era, except for the rear engine, forward controls, and a strange pit in the middle of the bed, The more popular pickup was the Rampside model, which, as its name implies, had a large fold-down ramp on the side of the pickup bed. Named NFL Most Valuable Player (1984). There were also two models of pickup available. Most Seasons, 4000 or more Yards Passing: (1984-86, 1988, 1992, 1994) with Peyton Manning (Indianapolis, 1999-2004).

The Corvan model was available in a myriad of configurations as both a panel van and a window van. Giants, 1985). That same year, Chevrolet also introduced the Corvair 95 line of light-duty truck, which used the Corvair driveline and were forward-control, with the driver sitting over the front wheels, as in the Volkswagen Type 2. Most Consecutive Games, 400 or more Yards Passing: 2 (1984) with Dan Fouts (San Diego, 1982) and Phil Simms (N.Y. Engine heat and gasoline odors migrating up through the floor of the station wagon proved to be a persistent problem, and the wagon was relatively short-lived. Most Consecutive Seasons Leading League, Completions: 3 (1984-86) with George Blanda (Houston, 1963-65). A station wagon, the Lakewood, was also added to the lineup in 1961, and it contained a total of 68 ft³ (1.9 m³) of cargo room — 58 in the main passenger compartment, and another 10 in the "trunk" under the hood. Most Seasons Leading League, Yards Gained: 5 (1984-86, 1988, 1992) with Sonny Jurgensen (Philadelphia, 1961-62; Washington, 1966-67, 1969).

The gasoline heater remained an option through 1964. New England). The standard heater was changed from the gasoline heater to engine cooling air ducted into the passenger compartment. 300 TD passes in Fewest Amount of Games to Start Career: 157 (9/4/94 vs. The high-performance engine was rated at 98 hp (73 kW). 200 TD passes in Fewest Amount of Games to Start Career: 89 (9/17/89 at New England). The base engine was still rated at 80 hp (60 kW) when paired with the manual transmissions and 84 hp (63 kW) when mated to the optional automatic transmission. 100 TD Passes in Fewest Amount of Games to Start Career: 44 (9/7/86 at San Diego).

The Corvair engine received its first size increase to 145 in³, courtesy of a slight increase in bore size. Most Consecutive Seasons, 20 or more Touchdown Passes: 10 (1983-92). For 1961 Chevrolet added an optional four-speed manual transmission to augment the standard three-speed manual and optional two-speed automatic. Most Seasons, 20 or more Touchdown Passes: 13 (1983-92, 1994-95, 1998). Despite its late introduction, the Monza sold 12,000 copies, making it one of the most popular Corvairs. Most Seasons, 40 or more Touchdown Passes: 2 (1984, 1986). Optional was a more powerful engine rated at 95 horsepower, thanks to a more radical camshaft and low-restriction exhaust. Most Seasons Leading League, Completions: 6 (1984-86, 1988, 1992, 1997).

The line quickly grew from plain, four-door sedans with bench seats (the base 500 and slightly more upscale 700) to the Monza 900, a two-door coupe with bucket seats and plush trim introduced late in the model year. Most Seasons Leading League, Attempts: 5 (1984, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1997). Passenger compartment heat was supplied by a gasoline heater mounted in the luggage compartment. Lowest Percentage, Passes Intercepted, Rookie Season: 2.03 in 1983 (296-6). A novel feature available for two-doors was a fold-down rear seat, included on some higher-level models. Most Consecutive Games, Four or more Touchdown Passes: 4 in 1984. The early 1960 models were conceived as economy cars, and had boxy styling, basic trim, and few amenities to keep prices down despite the relatively expensive and unique powertrain. Most Games, Four or more Touchdown Passes, Season: 6 in 1984.

The design was championed by Ed Cole, Chevrolet chief engineer in the early 1950s and general manager in the late 1950s, as an answer to the growing popularity of small, lightweight imported cars. Most Games, Four or more Touchdown Passes, Career: 21. The Corvair name originated as a fastback show car in 1954, which, like many Chevy concept cars of the period, were based on the Corvette, including the Chevrolet Nomad and Chevrolet Impala. Most Consecutive Seasons, 3,000 or more Yards Passing: 9 (1984-92). . Most Seasons, 3,000 or more Yards Passing: 13 (1984-92, 1994-95, 1997-98). Doing so in Southern California and being caught by the Los Angeles Police Department was a guaranteed ticket to a weekend in jail. Most Games, 300 or more Yards Passing, Career: 60.

The first Corvairs (1960 – 1964) were factory equipped with an ignition lock wherein it was possible to start the car and then remove the key. Most Games, 400 or more Yards Passing, Season: 4 in 1984. For 24 hours, the Corvair was tested at the Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, California, one car did a roll but the other did the 24 hour drive and only lost a quart (1 L) of oil (Source: Riverside Raceway Palace of Speed by Dick Wallen). Most Games, 400 or more Yards Passing, Career: 13. The first engines produced as little as 80 hp (60 kW), but later developed as much as 180 hp (134 kW). Most Passing Yards, Season: 5,084 in 1984. The entire line (which eventually grew to incorporate sedans, coupes, convertibles, vans, pickups and station wagons) initially shared an aluminum, air-cooled 140 in³ (2.3 L) flat-6 engine. Most Touchdown Passes, Career: 420.

The "trunk", on the other hand, was in the front of the vehicle, while the spare tire was stored above the flat engine, saving trunk space. Most Yards Passing, Career: 61,361. It was a rear-engined vehicle in the style of the Volkswagen Beetle and the Porsche 356 Speedster. Most Completions, Career: 4,967. The Corvair was part of GM's innovative A-body line of cars, but this was by far the most unusual, due to the location and design of its engine. Most Attempts, Career: 8,358. The Corvair — like the Ford Falcon, Studebaker Lark, Rambler, and the Plymouth Valiant — was created in response to the small, sporty and fuel-efficient automobiles being imported from Europe by Volkswagen, Renault and others.

Design began in 1956 under the auspices of Ed Cole, and the first vehicles rolled off the assembly line in late 1959 as part of the 1960 model year (in which it was named Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year). The Corvair remains one of GMs most unusual creations. The Corvair was offered in a wide range of body styles (such as a four-door sedan, coupe, convertible, station wagon, pickup, panel van, a window van called the Greenbrier) and featured an air-cooled engine, which was unusual for American cars at the time. The Chevrolet Corvair was a rear-engined automobile produced by General Motors from 1960 to 1969.

The switch in 1966 to using standard Chevrolet Saginaw gear sets in the manual transmission could handle the torque of a V8. The Corvair engine rotated in the opposite direction from most other engines, so that if a V8 was placed in the rear seat area (the added weight of a V8 in the original location of the Corvair engine would be abominable to drive), and the transaxle was rotated 180 degrees to meet it, the gearing would drive the car in the proper direction, not four speeds in reverse and one forward.

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