AUTOROTICA: Chevrolet Corvair Rear-Engine Madness

Time Magazine ranked the 1961 Corvair as one of the 50 Worst Cars of All Time. As they said, “Rear-engine cars are fun to drive and even more fun to crash.”

We’d rather focus on the “fun to drive” part, and avoid the design flaws that made the car easily spin out of control and a single-piece steering column could impale the driver in a front collision…oops.

The Chevrolet Corvair was produced between 1960-69 and had an awesome an air-cooled, flat-six engine oriented in the back and a totally cool 1960s vibe to its design. It sold 200,000+ cars over each of its model year runs. We love the coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon designs. I recently saw a beautifully restored Corvair convertible cruising through the Mission District of San Francisco—with a 20-somethig Hipster dude at the wheel. He looked awesomely cool.

And while Time was nice enough to point out that the Corvair had other problems like the tendency to leak oil “like a derelict tanker,” and that “Its heating system tended to pump noxious fumes into the cabin,” we still say the Corvair is one cool car. And, at the top of our AUTOROTICA list.

 

 

 

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