13 February 2017

Instagram Jump Start: Corvair roars to No. 1 (now there’s something you don’t read every day)

Quick, call Ripley’s. Believe it or not, a 1960 Corvair blew past a ‘63 split-window Corvette last week. We saw it with our own eyes. OK, so it happened on Instagram, not real life, but it was still pretty amazing – much like the photo that we posted showing the Corvair three-wheeling.

The image, captured by photographer Richard Pardon, is one of several documenting Hagerty Vice President of Media Larry Webster’s attempt to prove Ralph Nader’s assertion that the car is “Unsafe at Any Speed” – the title of Nader’s 1966 book. It’s also on the cover Hagerty magazine’s Spring issue with video coming soon.

For now, here are the five most-popular posts on HagertyClassicCars over the last week:

  1. 1960 Chevrolet Corvair (2,020 likes) – We tried. We really did. But despite our best efforts to prove Ralph Nader's contention that early Chevrolet Corvairs are "Unsafe at Any Speed,” we concluded this 1960 model isn't any more dangerous than similar cars of the day. Read all about it in the Spring 2017 issue of Hagerty magazine. It may already be in your mailbox.
    1960 Chevrolet Corvair

  2. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette (1,800 likes) – Buyers of the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette had four V-8 engines to choose from, but it was the car’s unique split rear window that made it so memorable.
    1963 Chevrolet Corvette

  3. 1954 Porsche 356 Speedster (1,463 likes) – The 1954 Porsche 356 Speedster is powered by a rear-mounted 1,500cc air-cooled flat-four engine.
    1954 Porsche 356 Speedster

  4. 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder (1,407 likes) – Eighty six years ago today – on Feb. 8, 1931 – actor and aspiring race car driver James Dean was born in Marion, Ind. Although Dean made only three films during his short movie career, he became a Hollywood legend following his death in a car crash on Sept. 30, 1955. This photo of 24-year-old Dean behind the wheel of his 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder – nicknamed "The Little Bastard" – was taken shortly before his fatal collision with a Ford Tudor near Cholame, Calif.
    1955 Porsche 550 Spyder

  5. 1970 Plymouth Superbird (1,380 likes) – Seven colors were available on the 1970 Plymouth Superbird: Alpine White, Lemon Twist Yellow, Limelight Green, Blue Fire Metallic, Petty Blue, Tor Red and this one – Vitamin C Orange.
    1970 Plymouth Superbird

You Liked It, We Love It – Every week there’s a photo on HagertyClassicCars that we think deserved a lot more “likes” than it received. This close-up shot of an ice-covered Volkswagen Beetle bumper is one of those.
Extreme Car Frost

Best of the Rest – Jeremy Borkat (@jeremyborkat) offers stunning portraits of his everyday encounters in San Francisco – and the rest of the world. Although his camera generally focuses on animals and scenery, it also finds automobiles on occasion. Borkat’s colorful shot of a race car zooming past at Sonoma Raceway, also known as Sears Point Raceway, is our favorite post of the week.
Sonoma Raceway

2 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Robert McKeen South Bend, Indiana 46628 February 13, 2017 at 16:24
    I read your article about the Avanti, I can add to it if you like. I worked for Avanti Motors for 24 years and I have photos you might be interestede in seeing.
  • 2
    Leigh Schubert Calgary, Canada February 14, 2017 at 22:36
    Just finished the latest issue and have a few comments. I'm old enough to have had friends who rolled their Corvairs due to that early rear suspension design. All it took was going around a curve and hitting a bit of a frost heave or other change in the road surface that caused the car to bounce a bit. One friend described it as if a big hand had grabbed the rear of the car, lifted it and tossed it over. He was only in the hospital overnight and wore a neck brace for a few weeks. Early VWs had the same design and the same vulnerability. One of my friends rolled his after encountering the same kind of situation due to a frost heave on a street in Montreal. His back was broken and suffered acid burns to his face and neck due to the battery being under the rear seat but eventually walked again. One of the safety defects of the Corvair that wasn't mentioned in the article was the non-telescoping steering wheel with the box right behind the left front bumper. An old fellow I worked with died from his steering column ramming into his throat after he rear ended a Pinto with the left front corner of his car. On a another subject in the same article. the Fiero, I recall one of these passing me on a winding road one morning while driving to work. Just as he got ahead of me, and I wasn't going all that fast, certainly not racing him, his car did a 180 and was going backwards into the ditch. There was nothing in the way, the road was dry pavement and he suffered no damage so I just carried on, only to be passed by the same guy a couple miles further on, same result, he did a 180 and this time there was a wire fence in the ditch that stopped him rather quickly. I gave him a ride to town so he could get a tow truck and go back for his wreck. Thanks for the latest issue. It brought back some memories.

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