The Rise and Fall of the Corvair

Corvair fans often state that the Mustang vehicle model, manufacturing costs, horsepower, and cheap gas were the main reasons why the Corvair line ended its production in 1969. There are some fans who have stated that the Corvair's legacy was affected by the controversy that surrounded its handling, which was mentioned in Ralph Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed. There are many fans who think that Ralph Nader helped prolonged the Corvair line, as it is more than likely that General Motors did not want to give the impression that Mr. Nader had crushed them.

In the 1960, the Corvair and Falcon fought for dominance on the market, but Falcon came out as the winner, as it had the most successful sales debut in vehicle history. This made Chevrolet want to go the extra mile to be ahead of its competitors. In the same year, Chevrolet opted to add a fancier interior and bucket seat to a Corvair coupe, and it was a total hit in an auto show. For this reason, it was immediately decided to put into production and was named Corvair Monza. In 1961, this model accounted for 50% of the Corvair car sales, which caught the attention of Ford Motor Company. Ford began to manufacture the now famous Mustang in 1964, which was inspired by the Corvair Monza. This model from Ford set a new sales record; therefore, it hurt the sales of the Corvair.

In 1965, Chevrolet introduced the second generation of Corvair, which had a great success due to its new style. Car and Driver magazine wrote, “It is undoubtedly the sexiest-looking American car of the new crop and possibly one of the most handsome cars in the world.” It was one of the best performing vehicle models of the year, but the competition for Chevrolet was still strong with the Ford Motor Company's Mustang.

The Corvair suffered from a 56% drop in sales through 1965-1966. For this reason, Chevrolet decided to design and manufacture a new model (Camaro) to compete with the Mustang. But, Ford was still able to beat Chevrolet in sales during the 1960s. As a final note, the Falcon by Ford didn’t last much longer than the Corvair by Chevrolet.


If you need any Corvair Performance Parts please go to Monza Auto Parts.

Anthony Johnson Nascar   

About the author:

Anthony Johnson is the owner and President of Monza Motion, LLC which owns and operates two companies out of Hamilton, Ohio. Monza Auto Parts which is the retail side of the business and Monza Energy is the powerplant research and development division. Anthony is an avid motorsports fan and classic car collector. He has a passion for the Chevrolet Corvair, which is a car that has forever changed America. He has a degree in Computer Forensics and Network Security from SWFC and is considered an Information Security expert. Anthony has worked with the DoD and major financial institutions across the United States.


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