GM Inside News Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Despite the Cavalier, Chevrolet actually has a pretty impressive history when it comes to innovative small cars. Well, partially impressive. They have been real small-car innovators, but have failed miserably in execution, leaving a terrible history.

Case one - the Corvair. Aluminum-intensive engine. Flat six. Air cooled. All independent suspension. Very clean styling that influenced a number of cars to follw. Turbocharging - in 1960!

Case two - the Vega - all aluminum engine without liners - a technology eventually adopted by Porche and Mecedes if I'm not mistaken. Styling cues shared with the Camaro. A special edition (Cosworth) with twin cams and EFI - in 1975!

We all know what happened to these cars. The Covair was caught out by bad publicity (Nadar), but also an inability to fit larger engines and a high cost of production. The Vega engine had horrible problems with head gaskets and quality control was nothing to write home about. The Cosworth ended up being nearly as expensive as the Corvette and didn't get produced with anything near the power is was capable of.

Chev was burned by these experiences, leading it to become far more conservative (read - the Chevette and J-cars). But, what if the Corvair and Cosworth Vega had lived up to their potential? What would a small Chev look like today?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
I don't think it would have looked any different, actually. The corvair was scheduled to be cancelled in 1967. Nader caused GM to produce it 2 extra years out of spite.
The Vega would have got bigger and bigger until it was just another Nova. Pretty much like it did anyway, since the Monza was the next evolutionary step of the Vega.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,963 Posts
Now, that would be a cool car for chevy. A Corvair. Too bad the name has been tarnished by Nader... dam nader. Poeple like him are the reson why I have a 305 in my car and not a 350.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,174 Posts
It would be great if the Corvair had continued. GM should not have let the Corvair die. The current Cavalier, Sunfire, would most likely be better cars.
The Kappa platform seems to be a successor to the Corvair. If Lutz has a sense of humour and really wants to bug Nadar a concept car named Corvair would be great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,389 Posts
Don't get me started. Screw that pinhead Nader, the GM suits could not handle something that innovative. It was outside their puny imaginations. If the engineers were allowed to keep experimenting with the Corvair, Chevy would not only have the Vette, it would have had the poor mans Porche, The Chevy Corvair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,723 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The great thing about the Corvair was, unlike other domestic small cars of the time, it was its own deal - not just a shrunken larger car. It made its smallness a virtue.

Perhaps, like VW, GM would have switched to FWD in the 70's. Or maybe not. But, if the philosophy behind the Corvair had carried forward, perhaps small Chevs would still be something special.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
what's a corvair?

juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust kidding :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Who cares. My question is "What if the Camaro hadn't died?" :p
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,963 Posts
Originally posted by sceltor@Dec 18 2003, 06:26 AM
Who cares. My question is "What if the Camaro hadn't died?" :p
I wouldnt be jumping back and fourth to this site, looking for more info!! Also, Id already have my eyes fixed on a red 400hp Z28 with a 6spd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,174 Posts
So if the Corvair had continued... the 70s would have been better to GM for small cars, Porsche and VW would have had some more serious competition.
As for Nadar

:unsure: :plasma:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Nader
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
No need to speculate too much on how the Corvair would have developed, at least in the early 70's. The image posted here is a scan from a really cool book I have called "Cars That Never Were" by the folks at Consumer Guide. It's a collection of clay renderings and concepts that never made it to production. Specifically, these are pictures of mock-ups for the third-generation Corvair.

There are a couple of additional pages of pictures, including earlier mock-ups, but I'm not sure if I should be reproducing these images at all, so I'll just include this one to we'll call it a plug for the book. :blink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,840 Posts
By now the Corvair (a marval in it's time) would probably be sharing a Daewoo platform or some Saturn platform. So would the Vega (not a marval but a disaster "fill it up and check the gas" all aluminium 4cyl) Look at the Beetle
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top