<VV> Medical waivers - making Corvair safer

kenpepke at juno.com kenpepke at juno.com
Wed Aug 25 23:30:47 EDT 2010

Back in the day 'someone' experimented by running a Falcon head on into a Galaxy; A Valiant into a Fury; and a Corvair into an Impala.  The valiant was the looser by far, the Falcon's hood went through the windshield, and the Corvair was still drivable but not the Impala ... lucky hit?  Probably not.

Today's American cars are built with so much high KSI steel there are battering rams with a ballistic missile attitude.  An old car [Remember the 59 Chevrolet in a recent U tube offering?] will not stand up well against that attack.  There is no doubt that today's cars are 'safer' for their drivers and passengers if an air bag does not kill anyone in the vehicle.  They are devastating to the object which they impact. 

The original GM plan was to build 10 to 20 thousand Corvairs per year, for 10 years, without changing the body style just to see how they would do using VW product planning.  They were more than amazed when the Corvair started selling in big time numbers.  But the 'ding-a-ling' market was quickly satisfied.  Sales started dropping off at an alarming rate so early in 1963 the decision was make to restyle the Corvair.  The new styling did sell a few more vehicles but not enough more to satisfy Chevrolet.  By the spring of 1965 Chevrolet made the decision to throw in the towel.  Chevrolet felt they had bigger fish to fry ... 1966 would be the last year for Corvair.  

Mr. Nader must have gotten wind of the demise of Corvair and decided it would be a good target to include in a chapter of his upcoming book.  He could not have known GM would take umbrage but he must have been delighted to see what a poor job they did in the initial defending of their product.  After their initial screw up GM got serious and eventually won every case involving Corvair engineering ... and continued production for 3 more model years just to show everyone that Mr. Nader could not pull them down.
Ken P  
Charles Lee <Chaz at ProperProper.com> wrote:  [in part]

... We've seen a few Corvair accidents and I wonder if anyone looked to see how
they stood up against the modern cars involved.

It's probably too soon to look at Eddie Corson's 1962 Corvair, but is there
anything we can learn from that tragedy ?  I don't believe he hit another
car but what can we do to prevent the accident, or minimize injury.

Isn't that how Ralph into Corvairs in the first place ?  He picked the
Corvair as a vulnerable target simply because GM handled it badly, but did
make cars safer, too bad it was at the expense of the Corvair (yes, that's
not why GM stopped production - another story)


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