Some say GM wanted to prove Ralph Nader wrong about the Corvair, others say that to save face in the light of Nader’s book, Unsafe At Any Speed, and the subsequent effect it had on Corvair sales, Chevy redesigned the Corvair just to say that Nader didn’t force them to kill it. Actually, work on the 2nd gen Corvair begain in 1961, before the Corvair brand was damaged by Nader pointing out the car’s handling peculiarities. Whether or not the corporation was 100% behind the air-cooled compact, the designers and engineers gave their all. The Corvair’s tricky handling was addressed by replacing the car’s swing axle rear suspension with a fully jointed three-link IRS design pretty much shared with the Corvette (the Corvair used coil springs instead of the ‘Vette’s transverse leaf spring). The designers, working under Henry Haga, joined in by penning what is considered by many to be one of the most attractive American cars ever. It’s slightly larger than the original Corvair, in every dimension, longer, wider and taller, though that pillarless elegant roof and glasshouse looks very trim.
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