Corvair: The American Porsche? Crawford Auto Aviation Museum

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September 20th, 2024


Crawford Auto Aviation Museum


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The Chevrolet Corvair’s history is one of triumph and trials, but it is undeniably one of the most fascinating in American automobile production.


Born of the need to compete with increasing foreign car sales, the Corvair incorporated several ‘firsts’ in American manufacturing; first to utilize an all-aluminum, flat six air-cooled engine (three years before the Porsche 911), first mass-production car to feature a rear-mounted engine and transmission, first to incorporate independent suspension for each wheel, first to use a unitized body, and the first American production car to employ turbocharging.

Throughout its relatively short build life, the Corvair appeared in many interesting variations, from family sedan to convertible, and sport coupe to passenger van. The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum’s exhibit “Corvair: The American Porsche?” examines the history of an experiment that was either well ahead of its time, or one that was doomed to eventual failure.

Prepare to be surprised by the vehicle that Ralph Nader called “unsafe at any speed,” and discover what we’ve learned in the interim as we celebrate the fabulous Corvair.


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Western Reserve Historical Society is the oldest cultural institution in Northeast Ohio, the region's largest American history research center, and one of the leading genealogical research centers in the nation.

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