Chevrolet 1965 Corvair Corsa Two-door Hardtop

Chevrolet 1965 Corvair Corsa Two-door Hardtop

Once in a while things change from the everyday and someone tries something new.

If you are on top, and things are going great, this tends not to happen. So it was with some surprise that the great General Motors, leading vehicle manufacturer of the world, with more than 30% total global market share, tried something ‘new’.

Having successfully built its huge empire, primarily in the US, by producing ever larger Body-on-Frame (BOF) full sized cars, exhibiting more chrome, more fin and more engine than the facing competition, it was a small (by US Standards), rear-engined, bath-tub shaped car named Corvair (after a Corvette-based concept from 1955), that showed that the big dog could learn a new trick.

The ‘new’ was not without precedent. In the back rooms, GM engineers were trying all sorts of interesting things, but Styling and Marketing were more than happy to fill up customer orders faster than the factory could build them. However, as the facing ‘Independent’ US manufacturers were in terminal decline during these early post war period, a new competitor was slowly gaining ground, not by copying GM’s flash and fins, but with a little, ugly, slow car from Germany. The badge said VW, but the car was known as the ‘Beetle’.

The Beetle template was straight forward: engine in the back, behind the rear axle. The engine was made of aluminium to help with the weight distribution, and featured horizontally opposed pistons to keep the engine height down. The ‘chassis’ was a simple platform, with the engine hung out the back by four bolts and a throttle cable. The bodywork, designed prior to the war under Adolph Hitler’s close watch, wore an aerodynamic profile, grilleless nose and room for four passengers. The original brief for the car was to be capable of 100 km/h on the new Autobahns, all day long, reliably and economically. Not only was the car designed to a tight, modest brief, it was also intended to put the German populace on wheels, much the way the Ford Model T had in the US 30 years earlier.

Such a modest car was not within the ‘competitive set’ for any of GM’s US product lines, but it was an irritating itch during a prosperous 1950s post-war America, and GM’s crystal-ball readers had forecast that the economy could not continue you grow in an interrupted manner, and there would be a market for a cheaper, more modest car that wore a well-known US manufacturers badge. Ford had similarly crystal-balled this scenario, and produced the cost-focused Falcon, and similarly Chrysler with the Valiant.

Of these products though, GM was the most ambitious, and reset the US-made template.

The car: Corvair.

The Legacy: Disaster!

How could it all go so wrong?

The same drivers that led to the very modest Ford Flacon found their way into the specification of the Corvair’s rear suspension. Missing the stabiliser bars of high-spec performance models, the base Corvair developed a reputation for falling off the road. The …

Buick GSX – 1970

Buick GSX - 1970

The 1970 Buick GSX marked a 6-year march to automotive legend.

Starting in 1965 Buick fitted the largest V8 parent company GM would allow it to fit in the Skylark intermediate, a 400 CID (6,555 cc). Incidentally, the engine was actually a 401 CID (6,570 cc), and was rated at 325 hp (242 kw) and 445 lb.ft (603 Nm). Known in 1965 as the Skylark Gran Sport.

Over the next 5 years engine capacity and power increased progressively, and in 1970 the Gran Sport 455 received a ‘Stage 1’ 455 CID (7.4 litres) V8 of 360 hp and 510 lb.ft (691 Nm). These Gran Sport 455 Stage 1 cars were tested at the time, and in future years showing 360 hp SAE Net (this is the engine ‘as installed’ and with all power consuming systems in place, rather than the SAE gross which excluded these itesm, and had been the method for stating power output on all American cars prior to 1972). The 360 hp SAE Net corresponded closely to the figure that was tested on a dynomometer for a 455 CID ‘Stage 1’ at 471 SAE gross.

A rare ‘Stage 2’ part set was also available, not much of which is known. A total of 75 ‘Stage 2’ kits were created spread over the 1970 – 1972 model years.

The GSX of 1970 was a halo car top sit over atop the Gran Sport sub series. The GSX found 678 homes. A total of 278 GSXs were fitted with the standard 455 CID V8, the remaining 400 were equipped as ‘Stage 1′ cars. The GSX was a statement, the way the W30 4-4-2s of stablemate Oldsmobile were used as an ultimate expression of intermediate V8 fire-power. The car was available in two colours only for 1970 – white and yellow. All cars featured front and rear spoilers, and a large section of the bonnet (hood) was painted black.

The 1970 Buick GSX shown here has been recreated in Lego miniland scale for Flickr LUGNuts’ 83rd build challenge, – ‘Only in America’, – specifically featuring cars built in the USA. The late 1960’s muscle car era typified the US at the time, and mark vehicles from this period distinctively as American.

Posted by lego911 on 2014-09-16 07:21:05

Tagged: , Buick , GM , General , Motors , GS , GSX , 1970 , coupe , hardtop , auto , car , moc , model , miniland , lego , lego911 , challenge , 83 , ldd , render , cad , povray , Only in America , lugnuts , USA , america , classic , 1970s , 455 , V8 , gran , sport …

1968 Dodge Charger R/T – The Trio (In Good Business)

1968 Dodge Charger R/T - The Trio (In Good Company)

There was a 4 calendar year time period from 1986 through 1990 when these 3 cars saved every single other firm, tucked absent in a non-descript storage building around an industrial place in Yakima, WA.

This grainy, awful (and priceless) image tells the tale about how the Charger, a 1969 ½ 440 6-Pack Super Bee, and a 1967 440 4-speed Plymouth GTX had been in storage with each other when I went again to college many miles absent.

Early in 1983 I persuaded my dad we required a family job that we could turn wrenches with each other on and potentially turn a profit at the conclude. I uncovered a 1967 Plymouth GTX in “rough” problem and immediately after 2 yrs of sweat, cash, and exertion, it turned out awesome.

Very unexpectedly, I uncovered an previous drag racer with a stable 1969 ½ 440 6-Pack Super Bee (ran 11’s) in 1985 and with some luck persuaded him to sell it to us. An additional calendar year later with much more sweat, much more dollars and much more exertion, it also turned out awesome.

This remarkable Trio remained with each other, dusty and frozen in time, until early 1991 when each the Super Bee and GTX had been marketed.

I typically imagine of the heady times when I owned, at minimum partially, 4 traditional muscle mass cars, (my day by day driver was a 1969 G.T.O.) but some of my fondest recollections are of the times my dad and I expended with each other restoring the GTX and Super Bee.

Posted by 1968 Dodge Charger R/T | Scott Crawford on 2011-08-02 04:36:52

Tagged: , 1968 , Dodge , Charger , R/T , Mopar , 440 , Magnum , V8 , Metallic , Green , White , Interior , Vinyl , Best , Musclecar , 60’s , Muscle mass , Automobile , Bullitt , B-Human body , Basic , Classic , Automobile , American , Sedan , Collectable , Automotive , Reflections , Reflection , Shadows , Shadow , Wheels , Exciting , Road/Monitor , Spokane , Valley , Washington , Photograph , Pentastar , Chrysler , Driving , Cruising , Automobile Display , Inland Northwest , Jap Washington , Authentic , 1968 Dodge Charger , 1968 Dodge Charger R/T , 1968 Dodge , Charger RT , sixty eight , Horsepower , Sixties , Transportation , Nostalgic , Yesteryear , Retro , United States , 1968 Charger , Hardtop , Cars , Scott Crawford , Scott …