As usual, having never actually driven one of these, the writer is an
authority on the subject of worst cars. The Corvair wasn't a worst
car. I've driven them. The objections to it should be compared to the
plastic bubbles with plastic bumpers on the roads today. Having driven
both, the Corvair is a much safer vehicle, even without airbags.
Go by the wrecking yards or compounds and have a look at what's left
of "better, modern" jellybean style car.
Jim Higgins wrote:
The Corvair had the engine in the back which made the front end lite,
so when turning a corner at speed the front had the tendency to keep
going straight, but the VW Beetle use to do the same thing, but the
Beetle was never a target of Nader. The VW was also cheaply made but
heck it was foreign made so that made it special.
Ya, well we used the old pickup truck solution. A couple of bags of
sand in the front trunk and no problem on the highway. The push button
automatic shift was great. Lots of leg room in that car. If I remember
my friend only had problems with the belt that wrapped over the top
and down the back of the engine on his Corvair. I owned four beetles.
One I turned into a dune buggy. The beetle had no power for passing,
but always got us home. I think the Corvair was shown the the movie:
"Mr. Hollands Opus". (Opius? what ever)
Al Falpha wrote:
On Wed, 25 Mar 2009 21:17:20 -0700 (PDT), Al Falpha
The Corvair was a target for Nader because his friend, a well known
comedian who was an absolutely terrible driver was killed driving a
Corvair. No other reason. Nader didn't target terrible drivers,
instead put all the blaim on the Corvair in his bid to gain fame and
fortune. Sadly, that bid succeeded and he became a folk hero for
idiots and irresponsible people.
I've owned both a beetle & Corvair.
Beetle is a mega death trap compaired to the Corvair.
Other than being rear engine cars it's a no contest. Corvair was a
dependable car, and a Monza w/turbo car was a lot of fun.
Not much to go wrong. Except the jugs allowing blow-by and
compression loss after about 60-70k miles, requiring engine rebuild.
Clutches weren't the most robust either.
The mechanically bent found them easy to work on with that one book
as a guide. I used it to rebuild my engine. Zen something?
But I believe they were popular for most others not because of
dependability, but because they were damn cheap to buy.
The one I had - a '64 - was bought new by a buddy when he went to
college for $1300 as I recall.
By the time it got to me in '70 the jugs were worn out - with
about 70k miles. Think I paid $400.
The body dissolved - Chicago - by '74.
Jeez. When I think of the crap cars back then, you're exactly right.
It WAS dependable.
I had a Karmann Ghia with much of the body shot but it still ran great. It
was a convertible and with the top down, I could grab the top of the
windshield frame and make the headlights move up and down.
Had a '62 Corvair Monza. Great car and handled well. I was broadsided by a
TT and survived with a small scratch.
1971 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron Two-Door Hardtop
This wasn't a worst car either. I've also driven one of these, owned
by my boss. This car was a beauty, designed for long trips. It was
over powered, I admit that, but so quiet on the road you had to check
the speedometer to make sure you weren't going too fast. It would go
from 0 - 100 very quickly, but you never felt it in the extremely
comfortable seat. I've only seen one over the last few years and it
brought back fond memories. It wasn't much fun to get into my four
banger vw for the ride home after a ride in an Imperial. What a let down.
Oh, and potholes? What potholes? This car never knew they existed.
Jim Higgins wrote:
Someone else posted a link to this article last November. The
article's writer is obviously an English major who knows nothing about
cars. I had the following comments the first time the article came
around and see no reason to change my opinion:
First complaint - can anyone actually know what are truly the worst
10, or 50, or 100 cars of all time? What is you frame of reference?
Second complain - some of the "worst cars" were not even real cars or
Comments on some specific selections:
1909 Model T - come on, no way this make any list of worst cars if you
keep it in context. Was a 1929 Model a fairly poor car compared to
other cars in 1929 - probably. But a 1909 compared to other 1909 cars
in its price range? No way.
1933 Fuller Dymaxion - this wasn't even a production vehicle.
1934 Chrysler/Desoto Airflow - Maybe unpopular, but worst? No way.
1956 Renault Dauphine - horrible in America, loved in France. I'll
admit I hated them, but hardly one of the worst 50 WORST OF ALL TIME.
1957 Waterman Aerobile - not a real production vehicle.
1958 Ford Edsel - Like the Airflow, unpopular, unsuccessful, but not
one of the worst 50.
1958 Lotus Elite - ??????? A great car for it's intended use.
1958 MGA Twin Cam - If this is on the list, you might as well list
every other Post WWII British Sports Car, and then they would fill the
1961 Corvair - Geez. This is ridiculous. Compared to anything from
Japan in 1961 and most things from Europe, a 1961 Corvair was a great
car. It shows up on these lists because a wacko liberal wrote a
misleading book trashing the Corvair.
1970 AMC Gremlin - Odd looking, yes, one of the worst 50, no way.
1971 Ford Pinto - on the list based solely on lies. The Pinto was not
particularly fire prone, and the memo alleged to exist in the article
never existed. A lazy journalist repeating the lies of another lazy
journalist repeating the lies of a liar....
1976 Chevy Chevette - although it was actually more likely to catch
fire than a Pinto, it wasn't a bad car at all.
1980 Ferrari Mondial 8 - if this is one of the worst, I want to be
1995 Ford Explorer - this is on the list because the guy hates SUVs,
not because it is inherently a bad vehicle. So it seems at least some
of the vehicles are on the list because they are not politically
2000 Ford Excursion - same sort of BS as with the Explorer. He
basically says there was nothing wrong with the vehicle, except the
wrong people bought them.
2002 BMW 7-series - another car on the worst list that makes me want
to go over to the dark side.
After looking through this worst list, I am convinced it is mostly a
list of the most "Politically Incorrect Cars" with a few "Poor
Marketing Decision Cars" and a few truly bad cars thrown in by a lazy
writer trying to meet a deadline. Any "worst car" list that doesn't
include the Copper Cooled Chevrolet cannot be trusted. How many cars
are so bad that the company buys them all back and sinks them in lake
Michigan (well all but 2).
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