Cool things with wheels since 2006
I know the early Corvairs had some real problems (not just the swing axles) and Nader had a point in his criticism, but it's too bad they didn't get the second generation done sooner. I think it was one of the nicest designs of its time, fast and compact with belatedly good handling, and if owners of the first generation had not been unwitting beta testers, it might have been more successful. For those not so familiar with the older Corvairs, the swing axle oversteer and tuck-under issue that Nader hammered on was only one problem. As I recall, there was also an added tendency in early ones of the front end to fail, causing it to spin out and go ares-first through curves; early versions had problems with the long fanbelt, which on an aircooled engine also keeps it from melting down; there were exhaust leaks in the first iteration of the engine-air heater; and though Henry Ford figured it out in 1927 or so, apparently the Chevy engineers did not consider it necessary to put a screen in the filler of the front mounted gas tank, making it a serious explosion risk in a collision. I believe all those issues were taken care of by 1965, when the second gen. came along, so it was a mechanically decent car along with looking really good.
were the problems happening during ordinary driving? Or only evident at high speeds and when driven unsafely to make the problems happen, outside the ordinary driving envelope?
I agree, the late Corvair is one of the finest looking US cars ever made, especially the Monza version here.
That looks great, and it probably drives and handles well with the mid-mounted LS engine.