Er, we mean a re-badged Corvair. Still though, as nifty as the Corvair was, it would have worked much better as a Pontiac. After all, what builds more excitement than flipping over? Oh we know, we know. Mean old Ralph Nader said nasty things about the poor little Corvair. And he wasn't alone. Here's what a Pontiac brand manager named John Z. Delorean had to say about the Polaris,
"Frank Winchell, now VP of Engineering, but then an engineer at Chevy, flipped one of the first prototypes on the GM test track in Milford, Michigan. Others followed. The questionable safety of the car caused a massive internal fight among GM's engineers over whether the car should be built with another form of suspension."
That's from a book of his called, On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors. Obviously, the Corvair's propensity for falling on its roof is the greatest thing that has ever happened, because instead of building the Polaris, Pontiac released the Tempest — which sucked — but into which John Z. eventually shoved a 389-ci engine, creating a little thing called the muscle car. Still, would Delorean have felt the need to run off and
party like Stevie Nicks start his own company if the Polaris had been allowed to live? We're sure GM brass would have let him add gullwing doors to the mid-cycle refresh. Oh, and below is a picture of Oldsmobile's badge-engineered Corvair clone. Rumor has it that Buick was set to make one, too.
Swing Away, Eddie! The Corvairs that Never Were [autopuzzles.com]
Unsafe at Any Altitude: Corvair-Powered Plane Crashes [Internal]