<VV> Corvair and Mustang

Bill H. gojoe283 at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 6 10:51:04 EST 2015

The cancellation of the Corvair was the result of a complex series of factors, as I see it.  Of course, the bean counters in any corporation have a strong say in what that company makes and sells, and we all know that the Vair was the most expensive product in the GM lineup to build.  Sure, it had great potential to become a fine touring car in the GT tradition, but I think GM saw a cheap and easy way to sell a sporty, sexy looking car by slapping the Camaro body onto to a Nova platform.  But back as early as '63, Ford tested the waters (pre-Mustang) with dandied up Falcons that got hardtop styling, bucket seats, and the Fairlane's small block V8.  They sold and prompted Chevy to eventually offer the SBC in the Chevy II (which also had an SS model back in '62, albeit it was 6 cylinder only).
Detroit's compacts, except for the Corvair, were simply 7/8 scale models of the standard cars, nothing more.  Ed Cole was, in that light, more of a "car guy" than Iacocca, who didn't seem to envision anything that didn't have a regular Ford engine up front, and a solid axle and leaf springs in back.  Cole wanted true innovation, and that lead to the "car built from a blank page."
For very little money, one can transform a Corvair into a true GT car, one that can cruise effortlessly on a long trip, handle with precision and predictably, and give a comfortable ride to its passengers.  Somehow I don't think either Mustang or Camaro could do that in 1967 (although in later years, Camaro did improve its roadability).

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