It was the only American-designed, mass-produced passenger car to use a rear mounted air-cooled engine. Corvair models included a two-door coupe, convertible, four-mr2 spyder repair manual pdf sedan, four-door station wagon, passenger van, commercial van, and pickup truck variants.
Contemporary competitors included the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Falcon, Plymouth Valiant, Studebaker Lark and the Rambler American. 1963 Corvair possessed no greater potential for loss of control in extreme situations than its contemporaries.
The name “Corvair” is a portmanteau of Corvette and Bel Air. The name was first applied in 1954 to a Corvette-based concept with a hardtop fastback-styled roof. In 1952, Ed Cole was promoted to chief engineer of the Chevrolet Motor Division.
Four years later, in July 1956, he was named general manager of Chevrolet — GM’s largest automotive division — and a vice president of General Motors. At Chevrolet, Cole pushed for many of the major engineering and design advancements introduced in the Chevrolet car and truck lines between 1955 and 1962. He was the moving force behind the development and production of the rear-engined, air-cooled Corvair. Despite its infamous history, the Corvair was a ground-breaking car in its day.
As chief engineer, he was heavily involved in the development of the Corvette sports car. He is also known as the “father” of the small block Chevy V8, one of the most celebrated engines in American automotive history. However, a successful modern “compact car” market segment was established in the U.