What Is the History Behind the 1969 Corvair Convertible?


Quick Answer

The history behind the 1969 Corvair Convertible lies in the facts that this was the last year the car was produced, only 521 were made, and most of these were hand-assembled. By the end of its production, Chevrolet had clearly lost interest in the vehicle and wanted to focus on other models. Dealers were apathetic toward the Corvair as well, since declining sales were preventing them from acquiring new models to sell.

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Full Answer

This future of the Corvair seemed bright when it was introduced in 1960. However, after several deaths, including that of comedian Ernie Kovacs, were attributed to a design flaw in the rear suspension, Ralph Nader targeted the vehicle in his 1965 attack on the auto industry, “Unsafe at Any Speed.” Rather than dispute his claims or make corrections, GM had Nader followed by detectives, and he successfully sued GM for harassment.

Even though the design flaws had been corrected, the public was unwilling to give the car another chance and a decision to cease production for 1969 was made. Only 6,000 cars were slated for production, and Chevrolet would not grant the Corvair assembly line space so it could produce more Impalas and Novas. Corvair workers were moved to an outlying assembly plant and virtually assembled the last batches by hand. The last Corvair was produced in May 1969.

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