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(Telegram)   47 years after Ralph Nader's moment of glory, Kevin is still driving his souped-up 1965 Corvair with license plate "UNSAFE"   (telegram.com) divider line 111
    More: Cool, Ralph Nader, Moment of Glory, Sparta, Mustang GT  
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13700 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Jul 2012 at 3:33 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-29 12:09:50 PM
Hah.

Saw a Corvair here in NJ many years ago with a vanity plate that read RNADER
 
2012-07-29 12:10:24 PM
Nader wouldn't mind his having it towed across the country. That seems like a pretty safe way of driving that car.

// Bet he doesn't pick up a lot of chicks though when it is being towed.
 
2012-07-29 12:58:08 PM
Nader was as full of crap then as he was in 2000.
 
2012-07-29 01:39:19 PM

Generation_D: Nader was as full of crap then as he was in 2000.


Well, the survival of a few Corvairs capable of being towed from show to show certainly doesn't prove anything either way.
 
2012-07-29 02:16:47 PM

notmtwain: Generation_D: Nader was as full of crap then as he was in 2000.

Well, the survival of a few Corvairs capable of being towed from show to show certainly doesn't prove anything either way.


Up until Nader, Detroit made quite a few compact (for the day) cars, After Nader Detroit focused more and more on only making larger cars. One of the reasons: Nader had put the idea that small cars were "unsafe at any speed." To coin a phrase.

Result, 8 years later? When the Oil Crisis hits, Detroit has to scramble around to re-learn how to build small cars, and by then the Japanese were kicking our ass and handing it to us in the form of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

Thanks to Nader's impact on popular opinion, based on slipshod research and "after the fact logic," Detroit quit building an entire niche of vehicle, the exact niche that as luck would have it came into demand less than a decade later.

So Nader more or less contributed to the fall and decline of Detroit.

And he's a pompous arrogant jerk who would pat himself on the back and think he saved lives in doing so.

If "unsafe at any speed" were true, then .. maybe. But he also helped start Detroit down the road to building only dinosaur cars. A fact I think he rarely gets enough credit for helping to cause.

Between this achievement and helping Gore lose Florida in 2000, thus unleashing the Bush presidency on us, Nader has had an undeniable impact on the quality of American life.

Just not the impact he would probably think of first.
 
2012-07-29 03:05:17 PM
Someone down the street had a Corvair. I think they looked cool.
 
2012-07-29 03:31:21 PM
He's driving a 1964 Monza Spyder.

The book Unsafe at any Speed referred to (from Wikipedia:)

The subject for which the book is probably most widely known, the rear-engined Chevrolet Corvair, is covered in Chapter 1-"The Sporty Corvair-The One-Car Accident". This relates to the first (1960-1963) models that had a swing-axle suspension design which was prone to "tuck under" in certain circumstances. In substitution for the cost-cutting lack of a front stabilizer bar (anti-roll bar), Corvairs required tire pressures which were outside of the tire manufacturer's recommended tolerances; ... The suspension was modified for 1964 models


But hey, don't let ignorance interrupt a good joke.
 
2012-07-29 03:41:17 PM
"And it's a chick magnet. You know who gives me thumbs up? It's the ladies."

Translation: "I have never had sex with a real, live woman."
 
2012-07-29 03:42:24 PM
Generation_D: Nader was as full of crap then as he was in 2000.

Morbidity and Mortality Statistics between the late 1960s and the years before the introduction of mandatory, manufacturer installed seatbelts and the training of professional Emergency Services in the United States disagree with you.

/fun fact, before 1964, you could wait hours or days for trained help to see you. Many people who helped, even ambulance and fire crews, were untrained in even basic first aid.
 
2012-07-29 03:42:51 PM
My 'sister's mother' had a Corvair when we were in junior high, it's how we learned to drive. We would take it in the middle of the night and drive around (It had a standard transmission, so I also learned how to shift). My sister was scary though, somehow she thought that she had to press the gas pedal as far as it go!
 
2012-07-29 03:43:00 PM

Generation_D: Up until Nader, Detroit made quite a few compact (for the day) cars, After Nader Detroit focused more and more on only making larger cars. One of the reasons: Nader had put the idea that small cars were "unsafe at any speed." To coin a phrase.


The Corvair's size had nothing to do with it being "unsafe at any speed." Its weird suspension that caused it to oversteer massively when cornering was the problem.
 
2012-07-29 03:47:38 PM

FuturePastNow: Generation_D: Up until Nader, Detroit made quite a few compact (for the day) cars, After Nader Detroit focused more and more on only making larger cars. One of the reasons: Nader had put the idea that small cars were "unsafe at any speed." To coin a phrase.

The Corvair's size had nothing to do with it being "unsafe at any speed." Its weird suspension that caused it to oversteer massively when cornering was the problem.


Hush, you're interfering with the narrative that trying to make product safety regulation is the cause of all that plagues America. Stop confusing them with the facts!
 
2012-07-29 03:48:22 PM

Sir Anal of Leakage: "And it's a chick magnet. You know who gives me thumbs up? It's the ladies."

Translation: "I have never had sex with a real, live woman."


2.bp.blogspot.com

It sounds like something Carl would say.
 
2012-07-29 03:48:32 PM

bratface: My 'sister's mother' had a Corvair when we were in junior high, it's how we learned to drive. We would take it in the middle of the night and drive around (It had a standard transmission, so I also learned how to shift). My sister was scary though, somehow she thought that she had to press the gas pedal as far as it go!


Your sister sounds AWESOME.
 
2012-07-29 03:50:13 PM

FuturePastNow: Generation_D: Up until Nader, Detroit made quite a few compact (for the day) cars, After Nader Detroit focused more and more on only making larger cars. One of the reasons: Nader had put the idea that small cars were "unsafe at any speed." To coin a phrase.

The Corvair's size had nothing to do with it being "unsafe at any speed." Its weird suspension that caused it to oversteer massively when cornering was the problem.


Porsche 911s had pretty much the same problem, for much the same reasons (rear engine weight bias). But they were an enthusiast's car, not one that was being sold to middle America much. Standard American cars are designed to understeer at the limit on purpose - people with marginal driving skills know to lift the throttle when the car starts to plow. Too many people will react incorrectly to oversteer, causing them to spin the car, often into the oncoming traffic lanes. As my brother used to always say "Detroit iron has suspension designed by lawyers."
 
2012-07-29 03:50:32 PM
Nice, subby. Kevin is driving a Monza, not a Corvair.
 
zez
2012-07-29 03:52:20 PM
My parents' neighbor restores Covairs, so it's really no big deal for me to see one.
 
2012-07-29 03:52:25 PM
My dad had a 1965 Monza convertible, painted red of course. He bought it in 2003 or 2004, and sold it a few months ago because it got to the point where my mom was having panic attacks if he even thought of driving that thing. He now has a 2007 Mustang GT, which is nice, but just not the same.

We went to the Corvair convention in 2004, in Lexington KY. My favorite was the Rampside, so-named because of the ramp on the side of the truckbed.

/Cool story, bro
//My bet is that the Corvair conventions will stop in the next 20 years... too many old geezers for it to be sustainable.
 
2012-07-29 03:53:33 PM
Kevin is a super cool guy and his engine and car are amazing. I aspire to his car's level of performance myself. Here's mine.
 
2012-07-29 03:54:41 PM
Had one as my first car. Drove like a maniac, too. If it had been "unsafe", I probably would have found out about it.

Tire pressures on that car were supposed to be something like 15lbs front, 40lbs rear, because of the very rearward-biased weight distribution. Problem was, the car owners of the day didn't RTFM and put in the usual "about thirty or so" all the way around, which resulted in the front tires having a smaller contact patch due to the overinflation and thus poor grip.

Rear-engined cars also react differently to front-engined ones if you overcook a corner. A front-engined car will understeer--that is, it will tend to slide wide. You fix this problem by applying more steering lock in the direction of the turn. A rear-engined car will tend to swing the rear wide. You fix this problem by applying *opposite lock*--steering into the skid. The problem is that this is contrary to most peoples' seat-of-the-pants instincts, because most people are used to front-engined cars. The Porsche 911 and its cousins are the only mass-market rear-engine cars on the market today and to this day when one of 'em wrecks during spirited driving those cars still stuff ass-first.

The "weird suspension" was the swing-axle independent rear suspension setup. Supposedly this would result in tuck-under during hard cornering. Dunno if that's true, but it was a common design on the sports cars of the day, and none of them had problems with it. (Triumph used that design on Spitfires through the end of production in 1981.)
 
2012-07-29 03:55:04 PM
 
2012-07-29 03:55:41 PM
Mithiwithi: FuturePastNow: Generation_D: Up until Nader, Detroit made quite a few compact (for the day) cars, After Nader Detroit focused more and more on only making larger cars. One of the reasons: Nader had put the idea that small cars were "unsafe at any speed." To coin a phrase.

The Corvair's size had nothing to do with it being "unsafe at any speed." Its weird suspension that caused it to oversteer massively when cornering was the problem.

Hush, you're interfering with the narrative that trying to make product safety regulation is the cause of all that plagues America. Stop confusing them with the facts!


Just let it play out. Pretty soon, we'll get the "We should let the free market work itsself out!" Crowd!
 
2012-07-29 03:55:50 PM

AssAsInAssassin: Nice, subby. Kevin is driving a Monza, not a Corvair.


You sound young. The Monza was a Corvair variant. You know, all Monza's were Corvairs, but not all Corvairs were Monzas? There was a Chevrolet Monza in the 70's, but that was a completely different car.
 
2012-07-29 03:56:15 PM
I forgot to add that the Corsa in the first pic of TFA looks very similar to the Monza my dad had... although some owner before my dad thought it would be great to upholster the seats in a two-tone white and red.
What's really funny is that the front door of the car in TFA doesn't really close all the way, just like my dad's car :)
 
2012-07-29 03:56:40 PM
Only thing unsafe on the road today are all the Asian drivers.

/ oh, and the wimmins too.
 
2012-07-29 03:57:54 PM
Don't wreck it, dude, the steering box is still forward of the front axle centerline.
Mr. Face, let me introduce you to Mr. Steering wheel
 
2012-07-29 03:59:14 PM

lionfish: SIGH. Image still to big. click me instead.


Nice!
 
2012-07-29 04:00:39 PM

lionfish: SIGH. Image still to big. click me instead.


Nice. I'm not a fan of large, visible mufflers, but it's still a cool car. When I look at those later Corvairs, I see how the first generation Camaro designers borrowed some of the body shape and lines.
 
2012-07-29 04:01:47 PM

Sir Anal of Leakage: "And it's a chick magnet. You know who gives me thumbs up? It's the ladies."

Translation: "I have never had sex with a real, live woman."


Chinese police just rescued the perfect girl for him.
 
2012-07-29 04:02:17 PM
Here's Chris Mcreery's car, known for it's Rear LS engine Link and a shot of the whole car Link
 
2012-07-29 04:02:59 PM
47 years ago, Nader was the smartest, angriest motherfarker on the planet. Nothing he said about the Corvair, or Detroit's attitude towards safety, was wrong. Unsafe at Any Speed is basically just a bunch of pull quotes from internal GM documents, and it's so horrifying it's hilarious. (The Corvair is only one small part of the book.)

Just one example. Someone wrote to one of the Big Three complaining about a particularly pointy dashboard that their kid had chipped a tooth on in a fender-bender. One of the engineering honchos wrote back saying that yeah, I have the same car, and that happens, but here's what you do: just train your kids to throw their hands up in front of their faces whenever you shout "STOP!" That way they'll be safe from the pointy dashboard when you have to slam on the brakes. Genius, right?

That's basically the whole book--cut and pasted stuff like that. Kind of hard to disagree with his thesis. Just because he's history's greatest monster now (don't even get me started) doesn't mean he was wrong 50 years ago when he pointed out that 2+2=4.
 
2012-07-29 04:04:08 PM
Aaaand Here's Kevin's car doing what it does best. Link
 
2012-07-29 04:07:26 PM
And here's a youtube car of what Kevin's car sounds like and drives like. Youtube, shakey and loud. That's how he rolls.
 
2012-07-29 04:09:48 PM
Alright, Corvair thread!

When I had my fire engine red 62 coupe, 3 speed w/ 4 carbs I found a copy of "Unsafe at any speed" and read it and then used it to hold my 8 track player in place in said Corvair.

It was a perfect fit.
 
2012-07-29 04:10:59 PM

Repo Man: Porsche 911s had pretty much the same problem, for much the same reasons (rear engine weight bias). But they were an enthusiast's car, not one that was being sold to middle America much.


Porsches had (and still have) a similar suspension, but they has (and have) anti-sway bars to mitigate its problems. By '64 or so the Corvair also had anti-sway bars that fixed its handling problems, but it should have had them from the beginning. Chevy didn't use them initially just to save a few bucks.
 
2012-07-29 04:11:22 PM

lionfish: Aaaand Here's Kevin's car doing what it does best. Link


Sitting idle?
 
2012-07-29 04:11:42 PM

Generation_D: notmtwain: Generation_D: Nader was as full of crap then as he was in 2000.

Well, the survival of a few Corvairs capable of being towed from show to show certainly doesn't prove anything either way.

Up until Nader, Detroit made quite a few compact (for the day) cars, After Nader Detroit focused more and more on only making larger cars. One of the reasons: Nader had put the idea that small cars were "unsafe at any speed." To coin a phrase.

Result, 8 years later? When the Oil Crisis hits, Detroit has to scramble around to re-learn how to build small cars, and by then the Japanese were kicking our ass and handing it to us in the form of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

Thanks to Nader's impact on popular opinion, based on slipshod research and "after the fact logic," Detroit quit building an entire niche of vehicle, the exact niche that as luck would have it came into demand less than a decade later.

So Nader more or less contributed to the fall and decline of Detroit.

And he's a pompous arrogant jerk who would pat himself on the back and think he saved lives in doing so.

If "unsafe at any speed" were true, then .. maybe. But he also helped start Detroit down the road to building only dinosaur cars. A fact I think he rarely gets enough credit for helping to cause.

Between this achievement and helping Gore lose Florida in 2000, thus unleashing the Bush presidency on us, Nader has had an undeniable impact on the quality of American life.

Just not the impact he would probably think of first.


==============

I don't know where you got the happy horse-shiat posted above, but here are the facts.

Detroit figured out back in the 1950's, with the market success of the Volkswagen Beetle, that there was a large untapped market for smallish cars in the US. George Romney, head of American Motors, and father of the current presumptive GOP presidential candidate, was a big promoter of "reasonable" sized cars. The elder Romney being quite sane, unlike his son. Remember the AMC Rambler? It was a big seller for American Motors Corporation back in the 60s.

Remember the Ford Falcon? It as a compact car. When the Falcon went on sale in late 1959, as a 1960 model, it broke the sales record for first year model sales. This record held until 1965, when it was broken by sales of the original Ford Mustang, which was nothing more than a Falcon with a sexy new body.

The same year the Ford started selling the Falcon, Chrysler came out with the Dodge Dart/Plymouth Valiant twins, also big sellers.

In 1960, GM introduced the Corvair. At first it sold well, but Nader's book changed that. Sales of the Chevy II/Nova (another compact) which came out in 1962 actually INCREASED.

It wasn't Nader who killed off the small car in the days leading up to the first oil crisis, it was Detroit itself. The suits in Detroit noticed that large cars carried bigger profit margins than small cars. As a result, they did everything they could to convince American consumers that what they really wanted was a large car. They did this through advertising that convinced people that small cars were for cheap-ass losers. By 1973, the year of the first oil crisis, the majority of cars on US roads were V-8s. The Yom Kippur War burst that bubble.

The US auto industry, through its own actions, was caught flat footed. Instead of admitting its mistakes and doing something reasonable to correct things, it pointed fingers of blame. It was Nader's fault. It was drugged up hippies. It was 'Merica hatin' commies. It was mooslimes. It was everyone except the board of directors and management at American auto companies.

My advice to you is to pull your head out of Rush Limbaugh's ass and read some history books, or remain a childish nitwit your entire life.
 
2012-07-29 04:11:43 PM

Repo Man: lionfish: SIGH. Image still to big. click me instead.

Nice. I'm not a fan of large, visible mufflers, but it's still a cool car. When I look at those later Corvairs, I see how the first generation Camaro designers borrowed some of the body shape and lines.


Thanks, Im not a fan of my own mufflers, but they were free, and work well with my headers. Since the engine dumps literally right there at ground level theres little choice for routing them, just like a vw beetle. But I'm working on a two into one system that will tuck the muffler up behind the back tire and all you'll see is the snoot of the tip sticking down.
 
2012-07-29 04:12:51 PM

mekkab: lionfish: Aaaand Here's Kevin's car doing what it does best. Link

Sitting idle?


That's it on a road coarse. watch this video to see where the pic was taken.
 
2012-07-29 04:13:33 PM

Generation_D: Up until Nader, Detroit made quite a few compact (for the day) cars, After Nader Detroit focused more and more on only making larger cars. One of the reasons: Nader had put the idea that small cars were "unsafe at any speed." To coin a phrase.


LOL you make that up yourself ? might as well of said it was Aliens , would have had more truth to it ..

So then the 1965 Ford Mustang never existed in your alternate universe , as did the Chevy Nova or the Dodge Dart Ford Falcon they don't exist in your world ...

And the problem was that the design for the Corvair started as sports car , Chevy lacked anything small when the economy took a down turn and they were being killed in the compact/midsized market by Ford and Chrysler so they shoe horned the Convair in but cheaped out in using the swing axle design and in making it a " "Family Car" with a bigger back seat they moved the engine farther back making the tail end come around and the car rolling much more likely .

if they had left the design as a two seat sports car with a live rear axle to people looking to buy an American " European sports car " then there would have been no problem
 
2012-07-29 04:13:55 PM
FuturePastNow: Chevy didn't use them initially just to save a few bucks.

Which is why Ford has always, and will always be, superior to Chevy.
 
2012-07-29 04:13:59 PM
notmtwain: Well, the survival of a few Corvairs capable of being towed from show to show certainly doesn't prove anything either way.

What's this "survival of a few Corvairs" nonsense? I had my '65 convertible out on Woodward Avenue last night, and it wasn't being towed. And it wasn't the only one out there, either.
 
2012-07-29 04:16:17 PM
It wasn't Nader who killed off the small car in the days leading up to the first oil crisis, it was Detroit itself. The suits in Detroit noticed that large cars carried bigger profit margins than small cars. As a result, they did everything they could to convince American consumers that what they really wanted was a large car. They did this through advertising that convinced people that small cars were for cheap-ass losers. By 1973, the year of the first oil crisis, the majority of cars on US roads were V-8s. The Yom Kippur War burst that bubble.


Only to hit rewind, and replay the same scenario in the nineties/early 2000's with SUVs.
 
2012-07-29 04:17:36 PM
oh, and here's why it's interesting to drive a corvair hard.
all that power and weight out back makes driving at the edge very exciting indeed.
 
2012-07-29 04:19:19 PM

Repo Man: It wasn't Nader who killed off the small car in the days leading up to the first oil crisis, it was Detroit itself. The suits in Detroit noticed that large cars carried bigger profit margins than small cars. As a result, they did everything they could to convince American consumers that what they really wanted was a large car. They did this through advertising that convinced people that small cars were for cheap-ass losers. By 1973, the year of the first oil crisis, the majority of cars on US roads were V-8s. The Yom Kippur War burst that bubble.


Only to hit rewind, and replay the same scenario in the nineties/early 2000's with SUVs.


=============

The mark of an insane person is someone who keeps doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome each time.
 
2012-07-29 04:19:34 PM

AssAsInAssassin: Nice, subby. Kevin is driving a Monza, not a Corvair.


Um, the Monza was a Corvair sub-model. It wasn't until the '70s that Chevy trotted out a separate Monza model for a few years, which might be what you're thinking of. Your snark-fu is weak when the facts aren't on your side.
 
2012-07-29 04:24:57 PM

BronyMedic: FuturePastNow: Chevy didn't use them initially just to save a few bucks.

Which is why Ford has always, and will always be, superior to Chevy.


In sixties Mustangs, the trunk floor is the top of the gas tank - in a serious rear impact, the tank gets crushed, and often would send gasoline splashing into the passenger compartment. While you can't really argue that it was unsafe by the standards of the time (lots of other cars were that way, and there were still pickups that had the tank in the cab), my '67 Camaro at least has an actual trunk floor.

Mustang: A Classic Danger?
 
2012-07-29 04:25:01 PM
Here's my baby. *sob* Miss that car.


media.motortopia.com
 
2012-07-29 04:25:34 PM
Because wearing ignorance on one's sleeve in such a brazen manner=cool

You got it, subby.

Bonus: you don't recycle because you don't like liberals telling you what to do.
 
2012-07-29 04:26:26 PM

ALLRIGHT! an excuse to post a picture of me in my '65 corvair monza!

img593.imageshack.us

engine pic!

img443.imageshack.us


and the article that convinced me to buy one (not a slideshow... well sort of)



The 50 Worst Cars of All Time

 
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