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Corvair: The American Porsche?

Cleveland History Center

Cleveland History Center

The Cleveland History Center houses diverse exhibits that narrate the history of Northeast Ohio through various collections of items, documents, and artifacts. It offers a sense of identity in our mobile society and a platform for learning about innovation and... more

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.

Corvair: The American Porsche?


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