Richard G 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa 2dr Convertible

Can't stop a Corvair. Really!

Just before graduating from college, my 1959 Austin-Healey 100-6 got damaged and I got talked into trading it for a bright red 1966 Corvair Corsa with a white convertible top and 4-speed with only 20,000 miles. This was Spring 1968. It was more appropriate as a new employee work car and was promised to be more reliable. I had a daily commute on Route 128 which circles Boston. Heavy traffic, stop and go sometimes. It wasn't long before one of the rapid stops caused me to learn that little drum brakes glide really. Right into the back of the old pickup truck. Scratched his bumper a bit. Took out all 4 headlights and the front fascia and bent the hood back in half. This is like 2 months into my new job and commute. Got the car fixed alright but learned to leave more distance between me and the car/truck ahead. Also learned that my 140 hp 6 was blowing a mist of oil out the back coating that nice silver cove panel at the rear. Fixed the gaskets and it started again 2 months later.

Now it WAS a cute car. It did run reliably. It did get decent gas mileage. I just hated it. And I had a 24-month car loan on it. So I focused on paying off the loan as soon as I could. It took 9 a bad pregnancy. I went car shopping every weekend. Brought the bottle of 409 cleaner with me and paper towels to clean the silver cove from the oil mist. And by sheer luck, while I was looking at a low mileage 1968 Olds 442 with 4-speed and a GM Warranty, a guy was looking at MY Corvair. He and I spoke, I spoke to the car salesman and we did a double deal that gave me a super price on the 442, the poor guy got my Corvair and the dealer was left with a cheap little Toyota.

I'm sorry this isn't one of those 'my favorite car' stories, but the Corvair just wasn't my kind of car. It did teach me to be a fanatic about cars stopping quickly. That has continued to the present day even.

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