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Both my father and my uncle each had one.

In 1960, my father bought a 4-door corvair and my uncle bought a 2-door convertible. The next year my father bought a corvair van for work and then he added a pickup. My uncle followed suit with his own and my older sister bought a convertible.

Folks used to harp about how dangerous those cars were, based on what Ralph Nader was carping about on the news at the time, but they always started and when it snowed - and it snows a lot in Amenia, NY in the winters - the O'Handley clan was the only ones who were out driving around.

My dad would walk out into the driveway surrounded by 3ft. of snow, climb in and then drive right up over the hill and all the way to the highway and then push the plow row out of the end of the driveway, turn around, come back in and then repeat the process three or four more times to ensure the driveway was well cleared of snow and the tracks were well packed.

He kept the van and the truck for about 4 - 5 years and then upgraded to a big Dodge powerwagon crew cab and got rid of the Corvairs. After that, we went back to shoveling out that 200 meter long driveway every winter. Even the friggin big Dodge would get spinning.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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My uncle had a power wagon he plowed with. One winter he broke his leg and had to spend time in the hospital. I did his plowing while he recovered. Did you know you could get the face of a snowplow in a vacuum lock with wet snow? I didn't. That was an expensive lesson. LOL!

I had the thing buried to the axles when the tow guy got there. He took a shovel to the wet snow in front of the blade, and out I went.

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Seems like the Ford A-100 was a copycat of the Chevy Corvaire rampside.

Marc

Not exactly...the A-100 was a Dodge, and it was a front-mid engine design driving the rear wheels. The Corvair "truck" was a rear engine design driving the rear wheels.

VW had a rear engine/rear drive "truck" similar to the Chevy. I am too lazy to google it to find out the official name, but it was as homely as the Corvair version. Maybe more so. Doubtless it was even slower.

As Mike said, the Corvairs were good on snow. Especially when going uphill, due to the engine weight over the rear tires. Steering uphill on snow was another matter...

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VW's was just a modified Transporter (Hippie Bus), single cab or double cab (the double cab was made by a custom coach-builder).

The bed was very high to place it flat above the rear engine. The single cab had doors on the side to the empty space below the bed between the engine and cab, called the "treasure chest".

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Isn't this the model in your photo Gary, with the gate open?

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tn_2010102317496_1961CorvairRampsidePickup.jpg

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Marc

Looks like it. This one said 63 on the reggie

Now imagine that design after 10 or 15 years of exposure to road salt and you know where they disappeared to. Nader was right.

I believe the Dodge and Ford versions had a real frame for the conventional engine up front. There are still a few of those on the road up here.

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I love it!

Reminds me of all the Chevy Corvairs my father use to buy. Perhaps all the CO explains the reason I turned out like this. Anyone know if Nader is still alive?

Funny - I always immediately see the Corvaire as well. They were cool cars - horrible design, but I think it would be fun to restore one. A friend of mine has a fully restored convertible Corvair. It's a thing of beauty.

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I love it!

Reminds me of all the Chevy Corvairs my father use to buy. Perhaps all the CO explains the reason I turned out like this. Anyone know if Nader is still alive?

Funny - I always immediately see the Corvaire as well. They were cool cars - horrible design, but I think it would be fun to restore one. A friend of mine has a fully restored convertible Corvair. It's a thing of beauty.

I had the plastic model of the Corvair Monza 2-door hardtop, a good-looking car. They fell down in the engine dept. GM was trying to build a bigger and better VW, I guess. There's a long fan belt that goes up from the crankshaft, takes a 90 degree turn over two idler wheels to a big fan on top of the engine. I remember that fan belt being a source of misery for many people coming in to the gas station where I worked. That engine was a pain to work on.
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S'funny how Nader went on and on about how dangerous the suspension was on those things when half the cars today have the identical setup.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Well, there are some notable differences. Today's compact cars are primarily front wheel drive, so they steer differently and the weight distribution is different. Also, besides better tuning of the suspension from all the years of research, we now have radial tires to grip the road better.

The early Corvairs were apparently missing sway bars and anti-roll bars, which were added to the later models. The engine was heavier than what the design called for. Stiffer springs were added to help keep the car on the road. So they say the later models were OK. It just took them a few years to get it all right and by then, maybe it was too late to turn public opinion around.

BTW, the front tire pressure needed to be kept below 18 psi for the car to steer properly! Oh, now they tell me! [:0]

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