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YAK Car Pic of the Day

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This 1961 Corvair 700 sedan was pretty high-tech back in its day. Although things turned out pretty badly for them after Ralph Nader criticized their safety record, they were actually pretty interesting cars. Having an air-cooled, rear-mounted engine wasn’t great for cabin heat in the cold weather (ask any old VW owner), but the optional “aircraft-type gasoline heater gives low-cost heat in less than 30 seconds!” That, I guess, would be comparable to today’s heated seats for almost instant warmth — except for the “gasoline” part, which probably wouldn’t go over too big these days with prices what they are. The 700 was the plusher of the two Corvair sedans, with the 500 being a bit more plain-looking. Also offered were two-door coupes and the Greenbrier Sports Wagon (which today we’d call a minivan). This green one was spotted recently on Grand Island.

— Jim Corbran, You Auto Know


  • MaxPlanck

    I think GM abandoned the ‘Vair prematurely, after bungling the ‘secret’ investigation of Ralph Nader in attempt to smear him. They would have been better served by spending money on engineering reworks. There was not a rear-wheel drive car that didn’t suffer the same issues. The later iterations of this car – ’65 and forward – were really exciting machines and exhibited improved handling manners.

    Jim, another great find! I don’t know what your take is – but the fender skirts on this car look out of place to me.