Chevy Corvair : When you are a kid in grade school people will make fun of you if you copy what someone else is doing with the schoolyard chant of “monkey see, monkey do.”
However, when it comes to automobile manufacturing mimicking the success of others is simply good business.
When you look at the history of the industry you find that many vehicles that we have come to know and love were “inspired” shall we say by a model produced by another company that had great success.
Along these lines Chevrolet came out with the Chevy Corvair in 1959 for the 1960 model year in an effort to have an entry in the compact car marketplace.
The Volkswagen Beetle was beginning to have success around this time, and the big gas guzzlers were not entirely attractive to everyone, including women and people looking for a second car.
The Nash company and then American Motors had a lot of success with their compact, the Rambler, and Chevrolet was not be left behind.
The Chevy Corvair was originally offered in a number of different body styles including a two-door coupe, a two door convertible, a four-door sedan , station wagons, and even a couple of different types of vans and a pickup.
One of the things about the Chevy Corvair that is historically significant is the fact that it was powered by an air cooled engine that was mounted in the rear. This is the only American car that was mass-produced that did in fact have an air-cooled, rear mounted engine.
The Chevrolet Corvair was successful from the start with total sales exceeding 200,000 units during its very first production year. That success was sustainable, and it took just five model years for the Corvair to eclipse the 1 million sales mark.
The Corvair remained in production through the 1969 model year, and it was a vehicle that helped change the face of the American roadways as smaller and more economical domestic cars started to come into vogue.