<VV> Porsche/Corvair

James P. Rice ricebugg at mtco.com
Thu Jul 15 11:50:23 EDT 2010

All:  Apparently some commentators on the Corvair/Porsche subject are either
not CORSA members, or have not read their May or June Communique.  See the
article Karl Ludvigsen gave CORSA permission to reprinted.

There is no evidence Porsche built any flat 6's for any application other
than normal development engines for the 911.  I didn't search my dozen or so
Porsche books to see if they tell when the first flat 6 was assembled.  But
I think Ludvigsen's article at least suggests Porsche hadn't made a engine
configuration decision for the 911 until after the Corvair was introduced.

Up until the 911 introduction, Porsche had flat 4's in the 356 and in both
sports racing and F1/F2 race cars.  They also had flat 8's in both sports
racing cars and F1.  The flat 8's were mostly the architecture of the racing
flat 4's, only with more cylinders.  They did not run any flat 6's in
racecars before the 911 introduction.

Obviously the design of the 911 engine started well before production.
According to "The Porsche Book", conception work on the 911 began in 1956,
with chassis and engine configurations developed over time.  Kind of a
normal new model development and introduction process.

All the jabber about Porsche doing engineering work on the Corvair is pure
gibberish.  Those who still believe that should check their medication
levels or consult with their dealer about the purity of whatever they are
smoking.  Truth is the Corvair engine may have influenced Porsche's engine
design configuration for the 911.  But they were perfectly capable of
developing the 911 flat 6 if the Corvair as we know and love it had never
happened.  There's no co-dependency there.  Notice Porsche did not take any
clues on suspension design from the Corvair, or replicate the weight
distribution for the 911.

Historically Yours,
			James Rice

PS:  Anybody want to start a thread about Porsche farm tractors?  Did they
do work for Deere, or the other way around?  VBG!!


Message: 4
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2010 07:54:29 -0400
From: Tony Underwood <tony.underwood at cox.net>
Subject: Re: <VV> South Bend surprise
To: virtualvairs at corvair.org

At 11:42 PM 7/14/2010, Matt Nall wrote:

>So, again, GM received no direct design help from Porsche for the
>Corvair, but Studebaker did -- weird.
>Bill Strickland
>  Bill,  Porsche didn't even have a 6 six cylinder engine when the
> Corvair was being developed.
>>Matt Nall

I used to wonder if that test mule Porsche 356 that had a prototype 'Vair
engine installed in it may have inspired Porsche to consider building their
own 6 cylinder engine... it's my understanding that the engine was pretty
much what went into the '60 models, and with the relatively decent midrange
(for its displacement at the time) torque, in a little car like a 356 it
would have likely been fairly spirited in city corner to corner driving.



Message: 8
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2010 02:56:12 -0700
From: Chris & Bill Strickland <lechevrier at earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: <VV> South Bend surprise
To: virtualvairs at corvair.org

>Porsche didn't even have a 6 six cylinder engine when the Corvair was being

Let's think about this for a moment, Matt -- Where do you think that 911
motor came from for the 1963 introduction -- did it just fall out of the sky
that spring?  or did Porsche perhaps spend some time developing this new
engine sometime before 1963?

Now, as to using the Porsche name to describe something, one must be
particular -- there are Porsche production cars built by Porsche AG or some
such thing, there is Dr Ferdinand Porsche, and then there is his son, Ferry
Porsche.  And others, but these are the important ones,
sometimes the same thing, but sometimes different.

Like the indomitable Porsche (Ferdinand) designed Auto Union V-12 pre WWII
race cars, then there is the 1949 Cisitalia-Porsche Type 360 race car
(horizontally opposed 12 cylinder - probably built by Ferry) that never ran
in Formula 1 for various rule change and monetary issues (but is now in the
Porsche museum) -- I really do suspect that somewhere along the line there
were six cylinder engines in the Porsche system before the 911 debut, just
not in the production cars.  How about that type 542 Studebaker, two
engines, one water cooled, one air cooled, both 120?
V-6's, built by Porsche (Ferry & Co) about 1954?. (pic attached)

I well know the 356 (1948-1965) only had a four cylinder engine (2nd pic)

Bill Strickland

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