<VV> GM had every reason to discontinue the Corvair

David O'Neal dnoneal at bellsouth.net
Thu Dec 9 15:10:12 EST 2010

Didn't the safety code basically eliminate the 2-speed PG type trans?  And
the smog laws eliminated air-cooled engines? So the Vair power train was
doomed or needed a major re-design - and GM always wanted the PT designs to
last more than 10 model years.

VW was in the process of replacing the Beetle with the water-cooled FWD
Rabbit (1973?).  The Beetle didn't actually live much longer than the Vair
in this country at least (that is in "car years" I guess).

David O'Neal

-----Original Message-----
From: jvhroberts at aol.com [mailto:jvhroberts at aol.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 2010 7:44 PM
To: patiomatt at aol.com; virtualvairs at corvair.org
Subject: Re: <VV> GM had every reason to discontinue the Corvair

If GM wasn't so damn cheap, I see the REAL 1969 Corvair still being 
pushrod, but it would have a very different crankcase, displacement in 
the mid 3 liter range, far better cooling, and probably looking more 
like a 911 engine in a lot of ways. Remember, the 1969 Corvair, or more 
to the point, the 1966 180 turbo, really didn't deviate very far from 
its 1960 80HP roots. And it REALLY needed to! Between too much 
crankcase flex, really stinky cooling, etc., a purpose designed engine 
would have been different in a lot of ways. Alas, in the 60s, GM was 
looking at cutting fraction cent costs in too many places. They went 
cheap on O rings, why would they do something like a better fan, higher 
quality head castings, etc? The corporate culture had gone awry for our 
favorite car to survive.

The tranny may have still used the Sag and Powerglide transmissions, 
but the final drive really needed a larger ring gear and a bit more 
space between the U joint yokes. Again, what they had was a throwback 
to the 1960 design. But hey, maybe a TH350 would've been used!

Actually, the rest of the car was the reverse of a lot of GM designs. 
Most GM cars had great engines looking for a better car, such as the 
GNX, theCosworth Vega, the original ZR1 Corvette, etc. Here, we have a 
great car looking for a better drivetrain!!

John Roberts

-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Nall <patiomatt at aol.com>
To: virtualvairs at corvair.org
Sent: Wed, Dec 8, 2010 6:40 pm
Subject: Re: <VV> GM had every reason to discontinue the Corvair

Well, to give the Corvair a future, it would've needed an entirely new
engine and transaxle, and those are big ticket engineering items.
Furthermore, with emissions controls on the horizon, it was clear air
cooling was going to make this more challenging than its water cooled
stablemates.  JVR


AHH... just to dream of the 19-FIFTY  Corvair......  What then would 
the 1969
Corvair have been?

Matt Nall
Charleston, Oregon

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