Ford's Kill List

Some interesting commentary:

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In the old days, our car companies sometimes killed model names.
Fairlane went at Ford, Bel Air went at Chevy, and who has heard of the
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On 25 May 2006 20:58:10 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

While I have not done so, have you also gone through the list of GM products and compiled a list of the models they have killed off?
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Spike
1965 Ford Mustang Fastback 2+2, Vintage Burgundy
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wrote:

I heard the name Chevy Corsica mentioned today. That, and its companion two-door version, the Beretta... Ahhhh, now THERE was a piece of automotive beauty.
dwight
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Let us not forget the wonderfulness of the Vega, the Corvair, the Monza, the Citation, the Chevette and all the other incredible pieces of automotive history Chevrolet has given us.
Then there's Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, Buicks and Cadillacs, each with many, many, many "killed" names.
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Now, don't start on the Corvair. The last gen was a truly wonderful car that was unfortunately killed off by a paranoid nut case.
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I can't even begin to imagine why people think Ralph Nadir had anything to do with killing off the Corvair? Corvair sales were not high the first year, dropped the second year, dropped again the third year, etc. etc. By the time Nadir wrote his book, the handwriting was on the wall.
Every year it was produced it was outsold by the Ford Falcon and the Plymouth Valiant and THAT, boys and girls, is why GM stopped making it.
BTW, the Corvair was also a total piece of crap, unreliable, uncomfortable, sluggush, bad handling and worst of all, for a car supposed to be an economy car, it got poor gas mileage.
The design was also unsuitable for change, as Ford and Chrysler realized what the public wanted the Falcon and Valiant got air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, V8 engines, etc.
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wrote:

Ever own or drive one? The last year turbo models were a real kick in the ass. They go for semi-big bucks nowadays. Nobody can say that about an Edsel.

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Yes, unfortunately.

Have you checked Edsel prices lately? Those in decent condition are going for around $10,000.00 or so and the Corvair turbos around the same. Personally, I'd rather have the Edsel. A LOT less maintainence.
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His name is spelled 'Nader'. And the reason you can't even begin to imagine why people thought he had anything to do with killing off the Corvair is because you're an idiot.

The Corvair basically failed because: a) It was too radical for its time and people weren't ready for it. b) Ford introduced the Mustang. c) Nader wrote 'Unsafe At Any Speed'. d) The Camaro was soon to be released.

That's one of the reasons, but it's far from the only reason.

Obviously all spoken out of ignorance. All of the above is simply nonsense.

And the ignorance continues.
At any rate, the Corvair was years ahead of its time, and was eventually sold as a higher-performance alternative to the Falcon, which it consistently beat. Even with the 260 V8, the Falcon couldn't keep up with the 150-hp Corvair Spyder.
In 1965 GM put a Corvette-style IRS into the car along with a n/a 140-hp motor (4 single-barrel Rochesters and dual exhaust) and the top-of-the- line turbocharged 180-hp motor.
Even with it's increased power and unmatched handling, the car died for the aforementioned reasons. Most people who trash the Corvair have never driven or owned one; they only know heresay.
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And facts, which you seem to be short of.
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Idiot. LOL!
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Me? You're the one who spouted all the hearsay and ignorance.
BTW, while I appreciate your attempt at playing spelling teacher, "Nadir" is correct, you might look up the word. He earned the title because his book reached the depths of yellow journalism. Obviously you've not heard him referred to that way but that doesn't surprise me.
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Dude, you are truly stupid. If you had an ounce of brain in the rock you call a skull, you could've easily verified anything I said with a few simple searches.

me.
The name is Nader; if you were trying for a pun (and a bad one at that) you certainly missed the boat big time.
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I have and it's all your (incorrect) opinion. The Corvair died because people didn't buy it, they didn't buy it because it was a truly dreadful car. It was on it's way out before Nadir wrote his book and proved how low journalism could sink.
My comments about the unsuitability of the design for modification were a major reason it died, as I pointed out, while Falcon and Valiant attracted buyers with V8 engines and lots of big car accessories the Corvair wasn't able to join the group which additionally reduced sales of the later years and that was reported and commented on by most of the trade magazines.
But you keep right on believing your fantasies, I'm sure you know so much more than people who were there....
"Unmatched handling" indeed, and you call me truly stupid? Obviously there are two possibilities, you never drove a late model Corvair or you never drove any other car.
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Now that's interesting. You say you've verified everything I said with a few searches, but then you say it's my opinion. Stupid? Yup.
BTW, opinions can't be incorrect by definition.

And this is fact as opposed to your opinion? LOL!

Uh, we basically agreed on this. It's not a point of contention. Hullo? Anybody home?

were

Your comments are basically uninformed opinion. You really don't have a clue as to what you're talking about. As an example, you mentioned "air conditioning". It's a simple fact that Corvairs had air conditioning. D-oh.

Too funny.

You betcha.

And here's where youre idiocy shines. I've driven over a dozen last-gen Corvairs and owned three of them at different points, two of which I built. I know these cars inside and out from first hand experience, and all of the ones I've owned would easily run rings around your Falcons and Valiants. I currently own a '93 5.0 LX with a few goodies, and it's a safe bet that any of my Corvairs would've easily outhandle a stock- suspensioned Fox Mustang.
So what do you _really_ know about Corvairs except what you read on the Internet?
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<snip>

While it did have some excellent handling characteristics, most who drove them to their upper limited where very unfamiliar with the dynamics of driving a rear-engine high-powered light car. This caused many an unnecessary crash and is partly what prompted Nader's book.
The fact is, no matter how much anyone try's to deny it, there was a definite problem with the 1960-1963 Corvair. And that problem, a weakness in the rear suspension, was not a problem of design - as the original designs for the Corvair in fact took this into account. The problem was clearly that marketing and cost-cutting won out over intelligent engineering. The designers that planned the Corvair knew that anti-sway bars would be needed to support the added weight of the rear-mounted engine. But to save a measly $4 per car, those bars were not included in the final product, and the inevitable disaster struck.
Here's an interesting quote from "Car And Driver"'s 1959 article on the Corvair (the complete text of which can be found at the Car And Driver Web Page on the 1959 Corvair ):
Let us be honest, as usual: The Corvair is fundamentally a profound oversteer. With 62-percent of its weight on the back wheels it could only be otherwise if very ingenious suspension techniques had been called into play. This was not the case. As cornering forces on the Corvair chassis increase there is an initial very mild understeer tendency, probably attributable to the rear suspension geometry, but then, well within the average driver's range of slip angles, oversteer sets in in a gradual way that is easily countered by the excellent steering-whose very lightness, of course, is in part a function of the oversteer. Having heard that Uncle Tom himself had declared that he "tried but just couldn't lose the Corvair", I asked Chevy's affable engine development engineer Bob Clift to keep a path clear to the basement while we tried some very fast turns. By making extremely deep corrections it was possible to hold the car on a line but, as in any automobile ever built, there was a point beyond which it wasn't prudent to proceed. For a moderately skilled driver the Corvair is a genuine ball to drive, it being possible to hustle hard into tight corners and bring the tail around with just a twitch of the wheel, counter-steering until the slide stops and the time for acceleration arrives. This is not, of course, everybody's way of driving. Chevy spokesmen have said that they didn't feel a front anti-roll bar was needed because the car's center of gravity was so low that it doesn't roll much. This is true enough, from that standpoint, but such bars are also powerful tools for adjusting handling, and one of the first things that should be done to this car is to replace that anti-roll bar. Since this would only actually counterbalance the difficulties that exist at the rear, however, thorough redesign should commence at that end. With the conventional design methods used, the high spring rates needed to support the rear end weight have resulted in unduly high roll stiffness at the rear, a sure harbinger of oversteer. A solution like that on the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster is called for, having a single central coil or a pivoted transverse leaf spring to support loads without affecting roll. For all its novelty the Corvair is surprisingly nave in this major respect.
Whatever the reason for the problems, by the time that the '65 redesign fixed all of Corvair's shortcomings (except its relatively high cost to build), it was too late - Corvair's name was mud with the public. This would not have been an unsurmountable problem had Chevrolet believed in the Corvair, but the fact was that several Chevrolet executives of the time did not like or understand the Corvair, and as a result Chevrolet's solution to the PR problem was to kill the line... a sad, and completely unnecessary course of action, but perhaps perfectly in line with GM's tradition of picking the lowest cost solution over the most innovative or intelligent.
Now lets fast forward to the Pontiac Fiero, another rear-engine Sports Car that was nit-picked by the bean counters into an economy car. Again the last generation of it showed what it could become, but by then it was to late and alas another rear-engine GM Sports Car bit the big one.
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wrote:

Exactly. GM basically gambled that drivers wouldn't push the car to that extreme, thereby masking the issue. However, because the car was considered more or less "sporty" for its time, some people did push it with unfortunate results.

To sum it up, the last-gen cars basically had Corvette IRS; the pre-'65 cars had VW swing-axle setups. The last-gen cars were truly the "Poor Man's Porsche", with fabulous handling and decent power with the 140 and 180 hp engines. With simple tire/wheel upgrades to 14" or 15", those cars were unbelievable.

Actually, the Fiero is mid-engine (like the Toyo MR2), and it had both front and rear trunks (if you want to call them that). As for the bean counters, marketing, and engineering, you'd think GM would've learned by then, but no. They still have yet to learn.
BTW, there's an LS2 Fiero that comes to Friday night cruise every so often down here. Real slick install - looks totally stock until you lift the deck lid.
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According to a Car and Driver article published when the car was new, GM allowed the bean counters to de-sport the car but supposedly GM planned to fix the car by upgrades over the years, suspension one year, engine the next, etc. But sales were slow and the rumored upgrades never happened.
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wrote:

The upgrades sure as hell happened with the final years suspension being developed by Lotus. The 88 GT is fairly sought after and demands a premium price compare to any other 88 model.
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If I recall, it died with pretty much the same engine choices it originally had although there was an upgrade to the V6 as an option and as for the suspension, it was improved but still assembled from stock GM parts. How much Lotus had to do with it is open to question as GM didn't acquire Lotus until later... Supposedly the 1989 was the one that could have sold like hotcakes but it never made it to market, probably killed by the bean counters or who knows?
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