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[column grid=”2″ span=”1″] Corvair was the brain child of chief engineer Edward Cole. The 1960 Corvair rear engine was to be 6-cylinder, 140 cu. in. air cooled at 80-90 hp. In 1961-63, it went to 145 cu. in., in 1964 went to 164 cu. in. and up to 150 hp. Instead the engine was heavier and more complicated causing a miscalculation in weight design having a negative effect on handling. Through its nine years of production significant improvements were made, however not enough to off set the legal problems brought by Ralph Nader and competition from Ford’s Falcon.
The problem with Corvair was its radical design which made it too costly as an economy car competitor competing against Volkswagen and Renault. In the mid 1950s Volkswagen was starting a craze in the economy market which was initially answered by Nash with the 1955 Rambler and the 1957 Metropolitan and Studebaker’s 1959 Lark. In 1960, the Corvair entered with the sedan and coupe at $2,200-$2,300 base price.