Reading the spec sheet for the Chevrolet Corvair, you might confuse it with more expensive—and more desirable—cars of the era. This air-cooled flat-six sports a turbocharger, is mounted at the rear, and is mated to a four-speed transaxle. More notable, it isn’t a Porsche. While the Corvair was a groundbreaking American car, it did face some significant backlash, the most high-profile being Ralph Nader’s assessment of the car in his book Unsafe at Any Speed. Jay Leno points out, however, the biggest challenge facing the Corvair was actually Ford’s Mustang. The wild success of Ford’s pony car put Chevrolet and Chrysler on notice and pushed the Corvair out of the limelight.
Leno’s ‘66 Corvair is a prime example of the nameplate. This turbocharged Corsa model is one of the most desirable Corvair configurations, behind only a convertible version and the incredibly rare Yenko Stinger. Leno makes a strong argument for the Corvair as a great way to enter the collector car hobby. The relatively low entry point for a well-maintained Corvair combined with the sizable support network should be intriguing for folks that want some vintage iron that isn’t worth its weight in gold.
Watching Leno lovingly drive his Corvair around is also fun; given that his collection is stuffed with big-ticket cars, it’s great to watch him show this Corvair with pride. You can check it all out in the video above.
Would you add a Corvair to your stable? Let us know in the comments below.
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