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1965 Chevrolet Corvair Monza : Classic Cars

The Chevrolet Corvair was a compact automobile produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors for the 1960–1969 model years. It was the only American designed, mass-produced passenger car to feature a rear-mounted air-cooled engine.

The Corvair range included a two-door coupe, convertible, four-door sedan, and four-door station wagon body styles, as well as in passenger van, commercial van, and pickup truck derivatives. The range competed with imported cars such as the original Volkswagen Beetle, as well as the Ford Falcon, Plymouth Valiant, and Studebaker Lark, that were new entries in the compact car market segment that was established in the U.S. by the 1950 Nash Rambler, which was reintroduced in 1958 as the Rambler American.

The Corvair's legacy was affected by controversy surrounding its handling, which led to its inclusion in Ralph Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed. Subsequently, in 1972, Texas A&M University conducted a safety commission report on the Corvair for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; it found that the 1960–1963 Corvairs possessed no greater potential for loss of control than its contemporaries in extreme situations.

A dramatic redesign of the Corvair came in 1965. The new body showed influence from the Corvette Stingray and the 1963 Buick Riviera. The mild coke bottle styling set the trend for GM cars for the next fifteen years, foreshadowing the 1967 Camaro. For the first time, none of the passenger cars had a "B" pillar, making all closed models true hardtops. The 4-door hardtop model was the only compact ever available in the U.S. with this body style. The second generation's styling was rated timeless when new, and considered contemporary today in comparison to the first generation. A new fully independent suspension, similar in design to the Corvette, replaced the original swing axle rear suspension. However, the Corvair used coil springs at each wheel instead of the Corvette's single transverse leaf spring unit.

Car and Driver magazine's David E. Davis Jr. showed enthusiasm for the 1965 Corvair in their October 1964 issue:

"And it is here too, that we have to go on record and say that the Corvair is — in our opinion — the most important new car of the entire crop of '65 models, and the most beautiful car to appear in this country since before World War II." "When the pictures of the '65 Corvair arrived in our offices, the man who opened the envelope actually let out a great shout of delight and amazement on first seeing the car, and in thirty seconds the whole staff was charging around, each wanting to be the first to show somebody else, each wanting the vicarious kick of hearing that characteristic war-whoop from the first-time viewer." "Our ardor had cooled a little by the time we got to drive the cars — then we went nuts all over again. The new rear suspension, the new softer spring rates in front, the bigger brakes, the addition of some more power, all these factors had us driving around like idiots — zooming around the handling loop dragging with each other, standing on the brakes — until we had to reluctantly turn the car over to some other impatient journalist ... The '65 Corvair is an outstanding car. It doesn't go fast enough, but we love it."

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Sources : 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Photo | 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Article

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