18 August 2014

Generation Gap: Cult Classics

Today on “Generation Gap,” the guys bring a pair of cars that fall firmly in the “cult classics” category. Davin’s choice, a 1967 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible, has been called “unsafe at any speed.” The Corvair boasts a 2.7L, 2,683cc flat-6 engine behind the rear wheels. Matt’s pick, a 1986 Pontiac Fiero SE, has been known to catch fire at the most inopportune times. The Pontiac has the mid-engine 2.4L “Iron Duke” inline four. Matt and Davin discuss the incredibly passionate following for these classics, and try to figure out the magic behind their cult status.

Voting for this episode of “Generation Gap” has ended.

74 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Bob Goldson Bahamas August 19, 2014 at 17:01
    I also drove early Porsches that handled the same way. When you knew how to handle oversteer it was great. I also like the H12 in the background!
  • 2
    trish burton ohio August 19, 2014 at 18:16
    We have 3 corvairs and one fiero in the family. I am passionate about my corvairs. I find them a pleasure to drive and comfortable and easy to drive. The Fiero...not so much. Sit to low, crammed in there and visibility stinks. Just my opinion. But, my son would disagree.(the Fiero is his).
  • 3
    okie Oklahoma August 19, 2014 at 18:25
    Even if I could shoehorn a LS motor into the Fiero, why bother.
  • 4
    Ray Dyreson Rockford IL August 19, 2014 at 22:17
    I own five Fieros and three Corvairs. I like them both for different reasons. I know several guys who have both.The Corvair is more fun to drive but the Fiero is more practical with A/C, heater etc. Love em both
  • 5
    Derek Sutton Falmouth, MA August 20, 2014 at 17:18
    They should have compared an 88 Fiero GT to a 66 Turbo Corsa. I (like may others) have owned both; they attract similar buyers. My nod goes to the Corvair. It is more fun to drive, and the styling is sensual and timeless. Even though the suspension in the 88 Fiero GT and Formula was vastly superior to the earlier cars, it wasn't a "tossable" car (maybe due to the short wheelbase). Ironically too, the Fiero was too good; aren't sports cars supposed to be a little rough around the edges? Even with the V-6, I thought the Fiero was under powered. Not so the Corvair. Two outstanding cars, but for me, the edge goes to the Corvair.
  • 6
    Clint San Jose, CA August 20, 2014 at 17:22
    I can't vote. I've owned both as daily drivers and love them equally!
  • 7
    Don Seelye Charlevoix, MI August 20, 2014 at 17:51
    I bought a new 61 Corvair Monza, (first new car) a used 64 Spider and overhauled and sold it, a used 69 in 70 because i couldn't buy a new one. Drove the 69 until it dissolved into rust. Loved them all. Still have the GM dealer shop manuals for Corvair and maybe someday will have another one.
  • 8
    Wm. Steed So Cal August 20, 2014 at 17:53
    he early Corvairs, '60-64 had a lot of issues, mainly the poor suspension, the '65 and latter cars are a whole new game.. Many people are not aware that GM really did their home work when they re-engineered the '65's.. The rear axle assembly is very similar to the Vets, being independent. The front assembly is also greatly improved.. GM even put Chevelle front brakes on the rear axle of the '65 and later. The power to weight ratio is also very good.. The 140 and larger engines run very well, especially in a vehicle that weighs less than 3,000.lb. I have a '65 Corsa 140 4spd. The car was a one owner car, currently has 31,k on the odometer. It had not been in operation since '93 when I bought the car in Mar. 2014.. I'm currently fixing all of the little things that go wrong when a car is left sitting in a garage for 21 years...
  • 9
    Don Seabeck Washington August 20, 2014 at 17:55
    Motor Trend said that the 1964 Corvair was the best handling car built in America with exception of the Corvette. I know of no one (except you)that applied Nadar's comment in his book to the 1965 and above Corvair. I bought a 1962 Monza coupe new and drove it 70,000 miles. Loved the car, tires and pressure were very important to handling.
  • 10
    John Fenrich Owasso, OK August 20, 2014 at 18:09
    I have owned a 1962 Corvair convertible and a 1967 Corvair Monza and loved them both...wish I had either back now. I used to drive the guys crazy at the local drag strip during bracket racing since I knew exactly what the Monza would do in the quarter mile and I would dial that number in. Then I would come up against some guy in a fire breathing 429 Mustang and he would watch me take off, tooling down the track with the radio on and my arm out the window while he waited and waited and waited for his green light. He would either red light or break out and then come looking for me to express his "displeasure."
  • 11
    TN Tate East Peoria, IL August 20, 2014 at 18:09
    Owned three corvairs in my youth. Loved driving them and yes they were quirky. My 1960 four door had a gas heater. Had to keep a close eye on the gas gage in the winter. My 1963 was a "beater with a heater" complete with rust holes in the floor pans. My favorite was my 1965 Monza four speed. The faster you drove it, the better it performed. All were great on snow with so much weight over the rear tires. They were unstopable.
  • 12
    Larry Davis Palm Desert, CA August 20, 2014 at 18:38
    Had a 1966 Corvair Turbo-charged Corsa. One of the best cars I have ever owned. Ralph Nader was an ass!!!
  • 13
    Russ S.W. Oregon August 20, 2014 at 18:39
    I've owned 12 Fieros and 3 corvairs in the past 10 years or so but I'm sure others have owned many more of each. very few can own just one example of either car. they're both an addiction. two of my Fieros received V-8 swaps, so I tend to bias towards those cars, but if the Corvair was easier to do an (v-8) engine swap, I'd prefer it over the Fiero.
  • 14
    Al Ellish Highland Mi. August 20, 2014 at 18:40
    I'm a Corvair guy, Have been for 40 years. But if I had the room there might also be a Fiero in my garage. It would have to be an 88 GT V6 with the upgraded suspension ( Real Nice Car). I've always been a fan of rear and mid engine cars. If you have ever driven a Corvair with a good set of radial tires it's amazing how much more modern they feel than most of the other 60's cars with the same upgrade. I think they were way ahead of their time which is what keeps this comparison to a Fiero with 20 years of technological advancement from being just a joke.
  • 15
    Joe Richmond, VA August 20, 2014 at 19:24
    I like both cars, but why bother with a car like this unless you can drop the top? Thus, the Corvair gets my vote.
  • 16
    roger thibault west sacramento ca. August 20, 2014 at 19:35
    This corvair is a 110hp Monza not the top of the line Corsa which had 140hp. Nader went after the earlier series corvair which had a swing axle whereas the later model (1965-69) are indepedent suspension. As a matter of fact the half shafts are interchangeable with a vette. Corvairs are waaaay cooler.
  • 17
    Pete Wenzel windsor ont August 20, 2014 at 19:41
    own a 1965 corvair corsa conv. with a few modifications to the 140 hp engine the car is fast and very enjoyable to drive
  • 18
    P.Johnson Rochester Hills Mi. August 20, 2014 at 20:01
    Both cars were great. GM finally got them right in their last year of prduction, but by that time it was to late, no one wanted one...
  • 19
    Sarah Vancouver, BC August 20, 2014 at 20:02
    I voted for the 1967 Corvair convertible, but if we had been given the choice of that and a 1988 Fiero GT, my choice would have been different. Too bad that GM didn't fix the Fiero until it was too late!
  • 20
    Jason Comstock kansas August 20, 2014 at 08:06
    O think to really do the comparison justice you should have gone with the much more desirable 88 Fiero GT with the coupe like body or Indy with the new for that year suspension tat was tuned by Lotus. This Fiero would be the best that ever was because it was the last year it was made. To be fair I have always also liked the corvair, Volkswagen Carmen Giea, the Tucker, and a plethera of other odd cars.
  • 21
    Bill D Pennsylvania August 20, 2014 at 20:15
    I worked for Pontiac dealer from 81-93. The launch of Fiero was not without issues. It was basically a parts bin car mechanically. Chevette front suspension and X-body drive unit moved to the rear. Handling was not well sorted. Fires came from low oil capacity and spirited cornering causing starvation at rod brgs and subsequent rod through block. Usually front side of engine onto catalytic converter causing fire that followed wire harness into cabin between seats. Fix was different dipstick to add one qt oil,fix all leaks, add shield between exhaust and block,and wrap all harnesses with heat resistant tape. Even 6cylinders got the fix. I only saw a couple actual fire victims at our dealer. The 1988 Fiero is the one to buy. It had all the suspension ,steering and brake upgrades the 84 was supposed to have been released with.
  • 22
    Tom Lisbon, Ohio August 20, 2014 at 20:24
    Obviously neither gentlemen understand the passion Corvair owners have for their cars. Until I purchased one neither did I. After owning one, I do now.
  • 23
    jack metro detroit August 20, 2014 at 20:28
    Had to vote for the Corvair. I owned an early Fiero, and it was the worst car that I've ever owned, and I've owned a few!
  • 24
    Jan Snider Indianapolis, In August 20, 2014 at 21:13
    I owned a '68 Corvair in the early eighties. The car ran great and handled well. I was driving in the snow, got behind in my steering, and backed the Corvair into a snow bank . I put a clutch in a Fiero for a good customer of mine. While it wasn't a hassle, the space frame had to be cut to get to the cradle bolts to get the trans out of the way. It was an eight hour job. It drove fine, sat too low and it didn't feel strong or built well like the Corvair. Now I wish I had my Corvair back, just for fun driving.
  • 25
    Flori-duh Interlachen FL August 20, 2014 at 09:38
    To be more fair, since the Corvair Monza was the top of the line car in the last year of production. the 1987/88 Fiero GT with a V6 engine should be the car to compare.
  • 26
    Alden Space Coast, FL August 20, 2014 at 22:03
    The late body style, had suspension similar to the Vette of that era. I had 2 early body style 4 door, 3 late style 4 door and a '67 convertable, with a full race cam in the 140 HP, 14 inch polyglas tires on '69 Chevelle SS wheels. It cornered like glue often raising the inside wheel 4 inches, and would do 140 in the straight. Currently I am rebuilding a '63 4 door. Parts are not hard to find.
  • 27
    Karl Thoma Milwaukee, WI August 20, 2014 at 22:23
    Owned Corvairs for close to 50 years. Currently have a rare 66 Corsa turbo-charged convertible. Great cars unfairly maligned. Loads of fun and always draws a crowd where ever I go. Nader didn't help but in reality, the horsepower race killed this car along with GM's miss-management.
  • 28
    martin Rochster,MN August 20, 2014 at 22:44
    Had a red '64 convert. 4 sp, Of course I wished I still had it. The oversteer was exciting at times :)
  • 29
    Craig Lechowicz Waterford, MI August 20, 2014 at 10:54
    An interesting contrast between two very innovative cars in their days, that are both so similar, and so different. I really like them both, but voted for the Fiero, since I've always owned one or more since the V6 came out in 1985. Since you tested a newer design Corvair (newer body style and non-swing axle) you should have tested the '88 GT with the V6 and updated (non-Chevette) suspension and brakes. While both leaps in mechanical design with rear or mid-engine designs, the Corvair had a very unique (to GM) engine and fairly conventional body and chassis, while the Fiero had conventional and carryover powertrains, with a very unique space frame chassis and sheet molding compound body panels. (SMC or "plastic" to the uninitiated). Fiero's made an important contribution to passive interior safety and were close to being able to pass upcoming airbag safety standards without using an airbag. They also advanced GM's interior fit and finish. Similarities along with the non-traditional weight distribution included a strong racing history for both cars, with the Corvair's Yenko, and D Production SCCA presence, while the Fiero had a Pontiac sponsored as well as independent IMSA GTU presence. And, as covered in the video, both cars do have a strong cult following along with heavy aftermarket parts and restoration suppliers.
  • 30
    Brent Baker Seattle, WA August 20, 2014 at 22:57
    The style of the Corvair Monza convert just cannot be beat by a Fiero. However, the Fiero has some utility beyond what the air-cooled Corvair could muster. I have this indelible memory from about 1989. I was driving my Mustang on US 2 coming down Stevens Pass. Speed limit was double nickels and I was going maybe 65. Behind me, I saw this car pulling out to pass me, going at least 80 down this two lane grade. It was a Fiero, pulling a tandem axle trailer with a 20 foot boat, big enough to have a cuddy cabin. The trailered rig had to be at least twice as long and heavy as the mid-engine Pontiac. As the Fiero pulled back into the right lane in front of me, the trailer began oscillating back and forth, taking the car with it in a clear case of the tail wagging the dog. In retrospect, I find this incident rather humorous, though at the time I feared that car and trailer were going to careen off of the road!
  • 31
    Ken Jenkins New Jersey August 20, 2014 at 23:11
    I can still remember the Corvair our family had in the late 60s and the 86 Fiero I had a couple of years ago.. I was crazy about the Fiero and was very sad when Super-storm Sandy's flood finished it off..
  • 32
    T Mel Texas August 20, 2014 at 23:23
    The fiero is a great car, but neither the first nor the only mid-engine sports car by an American manufacturer as the video states. The Ford GT was the first and the last mid-engine sports car produced by an American manufacturer. If they would have added "mass produced", then I would agree with their statement. They also state in the video the fires affected only 0.35% of all Fieros. This is incorrect, 135/370,168=0.036%, but nice try guys.
  • 33
    Fred Rehders Garland, Texas August 21, 2014 at 01:04
    I'm a Corvair guy and like most Corvair guys, I own several Corvairs, a nicely restored '68 convertible w/ 140 HP & Power Glide trans. a '68 coupe 110 HP w/PG, a '63 4-door w/PG and two '62 station wagons w/PG, one under restoration, now. I'm pretty typical of Corvair owners and don't see that with Feiro owners. We can't have just one!
  • 34
    Ted Ansbacher White Plains, New York August 21, 2014 at 13:45
    "Unsafe At Any Speed" was a catchy title for a book, but please let us—particularly a car enthusiast publication—stop using it as an epithet for the Corvair. Two points: 1) While the 1960-64 early model did have some handling problems, the 1965-69 late model cleared them up with its sophisticated four-link rear suspension. 2) Nader's book was not an attack on the Corvair, its target was General Motors and the auto industry more generally for its propensity to cover up safety problems. The early Corvair was used as a case in point. (And GM seems to be still learning its lesson.)
  • 35
    Bruce Napa,ca, August 21, 2014 at 02:04
    I owned one,the Spider Turbo Model. It was quick. At about 90MPH the front end like to float(no down force). At that speed old Ralphie was right !
  • 36
    Peter K. Pleitner Ann Arbor, MI August 21, 2014 at 14:05
    Just a couple of hours ago I drove my 140hp '66 blk/blk Corsa, first time in two months. And a lovely experience it was. Three guys commented to the effect it looks better every year. Darn right, what with that classic GM bubble top look married to the styling cues from the C2 Corvette and Buick Riviera, the Corvair wears the best elements of the GM look from the mid sixties in a contemporary scaled package. The guy who rode with me said it's surprisingly comfortable. Hagerty's guys failed to mention that the rear suspension in the series two is the same as that in the C2 except for coil springs. Plus the series two more rare, contributing to only a quarter of the total production due to the introduction of the much cheaper to manufacture Mustang and the impossibility of increasing engine displacement. Its much better than modern ventilation, plus no heat from the engine or exhaust contributes a lot more to your comfort than you'd expect. What surprised my wife was her rediscovery of seats with springs instead of foam for additional suspension travel. That blast-from-the-past, plus the mandatory low inflation pressure in the tires, helps a lot where our roads compete for the bottom with some in the 3rd world. It's front suspension was the favored unit of hot rod and custom builders until Ford Fox platform units became plentiful. Mine has the quick steering and rare factory A/C with 4 speed and posi-traction option. I like it just as much as my vintage British and Italian sports cars.
  • 37
    Carl Wager Slidell, LA August 21, 2014 at 14:14
    I have both, a 1965 Corsa restored and a 1988 Fiero GT restored. Love them both. I voted for the Corvair as it is my 1st love.
  • 38
    Cesar P Houston August 21, 2014 at 14:21
    On the Corvair, to correct the over steer. If people would read the owners Manual and it tells you to run the tires on a lower air pressure on front and rear, it would handle great. I love driving my 68 Monza
  • 39
    Rayce (Pat) Hall Los Lunas, New Mexico August 21, 2014 at 15:15
    We have seven fully insured Corvairs that we love to drive. Our only problem is deciding which one of our great cars to drive and show off on any given day. We also have over fifty Corvairs in various stages of restoring. Parts are not a problem for us to find.
  • 40
    John Lanning Kentucky August 21, 2014 at 16:23
    Currently I own 2 late model Corvairs and have driven a Fiero. Comparing the two cars is like comparing apples to oranges, but I like both for different reasons. The Corvair is probably a little more practical. My Corvair with a 4.5 liter Caddy engine isn't real practical, but it sure is fun to drive.
  • 41
    Ken Dixon Oregon August 21, 2014 at 17:05
    I drove a Corvair van in college (besides my 69 SS396) and helped my roommate with the two he welded together for a V8 project. In the years since we have both come close to buying Fieros as V8 projects and kid cars. This was the best matchup imaginable. But I am totally disappointed at the contrived tie because passion points went to the Fiero side. Here's the fact: Fiero's still fall out of the trees on craigslist as cheap transportation and I know people who use them for nothing more. Other's are passionately owned and maintained. However nobody owns or buys a Corvair for anything but passion. Check today's WSJ My Rides article. Sorry, but the passion points were dead wrong.
  • 42
    Ron Scantlin Augusta, Ga August 21, 2014 at 18:25
    I'm torn. Being a Fiero enthusiast, I feel funny about liking the corvair. I've always liked it. But if you're going to compare the two, you should have compared the 88 Fiero Gt to the Corvair Monza. Then it would be apples to Apple's. A far better comparison would be to run them both on a Solo course and then review them. Also, you stated that the Fiero was produced with a four cylinder, but failed to mention that it was also produced as a 6 cylinder model as well.
  • 43
    Brian Hagerty Seattle August 21, 2014 at 06:36
    I owned a Corvair just like that one ( same color!) in 1966 when I was a senior in high school in Arlington VA, and really loved it. One night during an ice storm, the back end broke loose coming around a curve at 25 mph, but when I took my foot off the gas pedal, because the motor was in the back, it straightened right up and held the road. It drove real good in snow with snow tires!! Just like my VW bug!
  • 44
    Jim Palermo GA August 21, 2014 at 06:47
    Very many points of these cars were left unsaid, and some just plain wrong. The drive configurations weren't "weird" per say if you look at the global market. VW and Porsche used (and in some cases still use) the rear engine flat opposing RWD layout. They were air cooled for decades. Mid-engine RWD is a staple layout for every exotic supercar with few exceptions. These cars were designed in times and in a market that aim directly at straight line and oval performance. They have handling characteristics above and beyond a front engine/FWD and front engine/RWD car that make them exceptional road cars. Would you say Porsche and Ferrari are wrong?
  • 45
    Ricky Fiero Oregon August 21, 2014 at 19:50
    I had a Corvair convertible in the '60s and while it was ok, I like my '84 Fiero much better especially after I installed a supercharged 270 V6 into it. I liked the Corvair's roominess but it liked to switch ends around curves while the Fiero seems to stay straight. The Fiero should have had the 3800SC engine instead of the wimpy 2.8. Two good cars but give me the Fiero!
  • 46
    Harold Hyatt United States August 21, 2014 at 07:56
    i have one each, why does it seam a lot have the same choice, I almost bought another, except insurance is killing me.
  • 47
    Dave C Blairstown August 21, 2014 at 08:03
    Very hard decision... I like both very much, but when the final cont is taken, its the Corvair. I have a 69 Monza Convertible, My daughters have a 62 and 63 Monza Convertibles. One correction to the video. Corvairs have a number of companies that supply very high quality reproduction parts. In addition, NAPA and other major parts houses still offer many mechanical parts.
  • 48
    John W Massachusetts August 21, 2014 at 08:36
    I like and appreciate the Fiero, but my passion is for the Corvair. Keep in mind, Chevrolet introduced more than a car, they introduced an entire unique product line - 2 doors, 4 doors, convertibles, station wagons, vans (the first American van) and a pick up truck version. In addition to the features most people know about (rear engine, air cooled, independent rear suspension), the drivetrain was one subassembly installed in a unit body design, as is seen in most cars today. The influence of the Corvair styling can be seen in many other cars from the time. The Corvair was targeted for affordability and the economy car market, yet it may have sparked the market for an American sports car. So the 67 Corvair is more than just a car. It is one part of this historically significant product line in the American automotive landscape.
  • 49
    John Konkal Cedar, Mich August 21, 2014 at 09:11
    Since this my car in your presentation I am very happy that it was shown. I had three Corvairs, 1963, 1965, 1967 all were good cars the '63 & 65 were passed down to my boys. THANKS!
  • 50
    Joshua Terrell, TX August 21, 2014 at 10:40
    Most of the Fiero info Jason Comstock posted was incorrect, the Fiero NEVER had SUSPENSION by LOTUS. The indy Fiero was pretty close to the Fiero they test drove with the exception of the paint job and painted wheels. The v6 came along in 1985 and while it is not a very potent engine it made the Fiero much more fun to drive, in 85 the GT was released as well but was still a notchback. 1986 was the first year for the fastback GT, 87 got better headlights engine updates and the coupe/base model lost the bumper pads and got more attractive. 1988 got a all new suspension not shared with other cars, NOT DESIGNED BY LOTUS and the Formula was introduced, the Formula was like the GT, but had the base model, notchback and bumper body work that was lighter than the fastback GT with the aero bumpers. I agree with most people here, the Fiero used in the video wasn't bad, but a 88GT or Formula would have been a better comparison and would have made us Fiero nerds happy.
  • 51
    Jim Jimenez Two Rivers, WI August 21, 2014 at 23:29
    I have 2 of each, including a 1964 Spyder that I have been driving since 1977, and 2 '88 Fieros. Love them both for different reasons, but my friends tell me that the '64 is the best one of the bunch!
  • 52
    Joseph Griffin Plymouth Mi August 21, 2014 at 11:55
    I currently own a 65 corvair 500 coupe with the 110 hp engine and 3 spd non synchro trans, I have also owned 2 Fiero's, one an 86 gt with 2.8 v6 and auto, the other with the iron duke and a 4 speed, the Fiero's were nice cars but they don't have the character of the corvair, the corvair feels light, the Fiero's always felt heavy and ponderous in comparison!
  • 53
    Larry Tustison Valley Center,Ca August 21, 2014 at 00:39
    Actually, 1969 was the last year of production, and the Corsa was the top line ,available only in 65-65. 67-69 was available in the Monza trim .My first 10 cars were corvairs, all late model except a freeby 60 4 door. I still own 3 today.
  • 54
    John W Mass August 21, 2014 at 00:41
    With the Corvair, Chevrolet didn't introduce just a bold new car, but a whole product line - 2 door coupe, 4 door sedan, convertible, station wagon, the first American van and a pickup truck. The influence of its styling is reflected in many of the other cars of the time, and some will argue that it greatly influenced the market for American sports cars. I like and appreciate the Fiero, but my passion is for the Corvair.
  • 55
    John W Mass August 21, 2014 at 00:43
    With the Corvair, Chevrolet didn't introduce just a bold new car, but a whole product line - 2 door coupe, 4 door sedan, convertible, station wagon, the first American van and a pickup truck. The influence of its styling is reflected in many of the other cars of the time, and some will argue that it greatly influenced the market for American sports cars. I like and appreciate the Fiero, but my passion is for the Corvair.
  • 56
    Larry Yoder Colorado August 21, 2014 at 00:57
    I own both cars. Love them both. Have development projects for both. e.g. suspension, brakes, power. If it doesn't go faster, stop quicker, handle better, why do the project?
  • 57
    rod st pete August 22, 2014 at 01:51
    i have owned both cars.my 66 corsa was a blast to drive and pretty easy to work on the 4 rochester carbs were a pain from time to time.my fiero was cheap to buy good performance great gas milage and the girls loved it.i met my wife driving one.
  • 58
    howard s Parrish FL August 22, 2014 at 15:14
    So now "the heater core rots out" of a Corvair. Hmm…. I've dismantled a few Corvairs, and haven't found a heater core yet in one of them! I have owned both of these cars, and much prefer the Corvair. The Fiero waas too small, underpowered, had horrible rearward vision and overheated at the drop of a hat. The only time I had a Corvair overheat was if he fan belt broke, like most other cars. No contest in my book.
  • 59
    Scott Tenn August 22, 2014 at 16:12
    My dad had a 1964 Monza with the standard 2 carb pancake six and a 4 speed. It was white with a red interior. Actually, still has the car, but it's been sitting outside for the past 40 years, and is in sad shape. I'd like to restore it someday. Can someone point me to a site where you can buy used parts or where there is a swap-meet for corvairs? I know about Clark's Corvair parts, but I need other stuff too. I'd pick the Corvair. It really isn't fair to compare a Corvair convertible to the Fiero. Should have compared a hard-top to a hard-top. That would have been a more fair way to judge between them, IMHO.
  • 60
    steve plainview ny August 22, 2014 at 07:09
    As far as I know, the Corsa was a 140hp four-carb version of the Monza. Above that was a 180hp spyder version with a turbo. I know they were phased out around '66 but the Corvair hunkered on until '69 in the basic package (110hp). I had lots of fun with them and NEVER had any issues with the suspension. For their time, they could out-handle most conventional cars. Also owned an '86 Fiero GT with a stick in the early '90's and loved everything about it (reliable, predictable, slot-car-like handling, appearance, etc.)
  • 61
    Steve Calandra New Milford NJ August 22, 2014 at 21:26
    It is hard for me to vote because I like both cars. I don't own a Fiero but I have my eye on one that needs a timing chain and head work. I do own 4 Corvairs a 65 500 sedan a 66 Monza sedan with a 4 speed. a 63 Corvan with a 4 speed and a 61 700 Lakewood wagon. I've owned Corvairs since I was 13 I'm 57 now. My dad was a Corvair specialist in a local dealership. It rubbed off on me I guess because I am now the local specialist and club members come to me for repairs. One of the biggest problems on a Corvair is oil leaks. Once you change the O-rings with viton seals the leaks are gone. Radial tires have greatly improved handling and stability. Under inflated bias plies were a disaster. the heating and defroster system leaves much to be desired.
  • 62
    Rich Storlie Minnesota August 22, 2014 at 00:29
    I've restored two Corvairs ('63 & '65) and have a '65 Convert that I need to restore. I wasn't aware how passionate I was about my '65 until a friend convinced me to look into getting a Corvette. I found one that fit my criteria and then realized that if I bought the Vette, it would sit at home and could never match the unique beauty of the '65 coupe.
  • 63
    Roger Ringelstetter Madison Wi August 23, 2014 at 08:48
    I have 4 Corvairs my son had an 86 FieroGT I like them both but the Corvair is by far the winner. The LM corvair is easily modified for more performance and even better handling and no one gets bent because you did it to your car, Just my opinion of course
  • 64
    Michael Ocala, FL August 25, 2014 at 21:06
    I had a 1986 Fiero (or more accurately, my Mom did). Still, I drove that car a lot and pretty much took it away from her for a time. This one was the V6 version ... difficult shiftier but I beat a Porsche 911 Carrera (also a 1986) around the curves of 441 in Sarasota by Sarasota Bay. I doubt I'll ever attempt such stupidity again, but, I'm tellin' ya, that Fiero was awesome!
  • 65
    Curtis Washington August 27, 2014 at 23:51
    Having driven several Fiero's, and currently owning 4 Corvairs of various types and vintages I have I have to vote for the Corvair hands down, no contest. The Fiero's can be fun, and they do have their place, but for the sheer joy of driving and ownership pleasure, the Corvair takes the cake. Since they are comparing a late model Corvair, I think it is unfair they keep talking about being unsafe at any speed. That was Nader's bash at the early model, which with its swing axle rear suspension and low tire air pressure compensation for the engineering shortcuts could be a handful for those unprepared. The late model (65' through 69') didn't suffer any of the ill handling of the early model. In fact the suspension upgrade was so well done late model Corvairs are still beating more contemporary cars out on the road courses. And the gas heater they complained about, was only available until 1963. Now, about the mechanicals and parts availability where the Fiero scored two points? Sure it may share parts from other GM models, but try to buy all but the most common parts for your Fiero. Just try to replace those cracked plastic body panels or as mentioned, a simple radiator (Why?). Good luck. With a Corvair you have parts suppliers that have been in business since the sixties and seventies from Oregon to Massachusetts where you can get almost any part you need, at least for the cars. And finally to be able to work on one yourself? Corvairs aren't much more challenging than air cooled VW's. As one final comment, as far as I know the Corvair was the only car proven safe by the US government and anybody doubting it, can order a copy of the report and prove it to themselves.
  • 66
    Ted Garrett Nova Scotia August 29, 2014 at 15:45
    While living in San Franciso in the 60's owned a 66 Corvair convertible and it was a very impressive car and even today it is good looking car. Wish I had not sold it . Mine was the same color as in the completion but had a white tops
  • 67
    John Atkins Mclean, VA September 15, 2014 at 13:12
    I have to point out that the 1988 Fiero is the last and most desirable since it was the only year that had suspension components that were not from other cars. It handled like a dream. I have owned a 1984 SE and a 1988 GT. The later also had a 2.8l V6. I still say (to anyone you will listen) - "If GM kept building them, I would still be buying them". Lately, I made due with a Porsche. Drove nice but a repair nightmare.
  • 68
    Roger S Alpena, Mi. 49707 September 26, 2014 at 11:23
    8 Fiero's and counting. Greates car ever. wish you would have spread some info on the v-6 model though.
  • 69
    Allen Kelly Michigan March 14, 2015 at 15:31
    I've always loved the Fiero & my dad has had countless Ones over the years and even had the Lamborghini Countach kit car. I currently own A 1984 4 speed stick Fiero (originally a 4 cyl) now with a 350ci 400 horsepower small block chevy motor and it is such an awesome car to drive and a head turner when people hear that sound come out of it and an i tell then that its a v8. I also own 1988 Fiero that has a 4.9 Cadillac motor with automatic transmission and that things a little rocket by itself also but my 84 was still beat my 88. I did enjoy witching the fiero Video. Thanks :- )
  • 70
    Chris NY August 31, 2015 at 17:48
    Big Fiero fan, the styling on all trims is really cool imo. BBP!
  • 71
    Ozzy Nuzzo Maine May 5, 2016 at 00:24
    I have a 64-67corvair sounds tough 4door flat six 2x1bbl Monza interior faded,needs minor restoration top and hood could use front drums and brakes.What's the story.$worth,sell or keep?
  • 72
    Don Michigan October 8, 2016 at 10:25
    I have 3 Corvairs, 65 Monza Coupe, 61 Rampside P/U, 61 Lakewood wagon and a 1986 Fiero SE, 2.8L. Love the Corvairs!
  • 73
    Don Cook Gilbert, SC December 7, 2016 at 21:07
    I love my 1965 Corvair Convertible. It is just plain fun to drive, and no one else makes a American Air Cooled engine but GM's Corvair. It's fun to go to a gas station and pup the front hood, and stair at it while scratching my head. Other look and see that it is missing the engine. They ask me what happened to it? I say, darn, guess some one took it. :-)
  • 74
    Keith Watts Illinois February 5, 2017 at 22:40
    Own 1965 Corvair Corsa 140 4 speed convertible. Fully restored. Absolutely beautiful car. Drives Great. Handles great. Show stopper. No Fiero for me.

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