Off-Road at Any Speed

The 1961 Chevrolet Corvair was a brilliantly interesting car. Designed to take on Volkswagen, the Corvair was powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled flat-6 engine, which even came with the option of turbo-charging (the first production car in the world to do so).

Unfortunately however, the Corvair also featured a significant design flaw; the suspension tried to kill you.

The bean-counters at GM omitted anti-sway bars to save cost, which – when combined with that rear-mounted flat-6 engine and swing-axle suspension – caused the wheel camber to vary drastically when cornering. This created a car with wildly unpredictable handling, and therefore one that crashed a lot.

In 1965 attorney Ralph Nader published a book on the Corvair titled ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’, and Corvair sales plummeted. Of course GM did the default ‘evil corporation’ thing and attempted to smear Nader rather than fix the car, before conceding and equipping the Corvair with independent suspension.

The damage had been done though, and the Corvair carries a crashy reputation to this day. Cue Flickr’s Volker Brodkorb, who has fixed his Corvair station wagon’s handling issues by, well… turning it into an off-road monster truck.

OK, if anything the handling would be even worse, but look how cool it is! Volker’s model is in fact based on a real Corvair monster truck, which has got the Elves very excited. There’s more to see of Volker’s version via the link above, and you can check out a video of the real-life monster truck on which Volker’s model is based by clicking this link, where – amazingly – no one is killed at all.

4 thoughts on “Off-Road at Any Speed

  1. Pingback: Off-Road at Any Speed - Toy Newz

  2. matthew lawrence

    I believe this is modeled after Matt’s Offroad Recovery Moorvaire!. Cool build, but maybe give recognition for where this idea came from 🙂

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