Got Six Cylinders And Uses Them All: NASCAR's Falcons, Valiants, and Corvairs

Illustration for article titled Got Six Cylinders And Uses Them All: NASCARs Falcons, Valiants, and Corvairs

When we think of NASCAR in the early 60s, we think of big cars. Impalas. Furies. Galaxies. But for two glorious years, Detroit's new compacts took to the tracks in NASCAR-sanctioned events.


NASCAR Maximum Warlord Bill France saw that the new American compact cars- the Ford Falcon, Chevy Corvair, and Plymouth Valiant- were getting a lot of attention in the marketplace, so he created the Compact Series, which ran during 1960 and 1961. Some big names participated, including Curtis Turner, Richard Petty, and Fireball Roberts, and a few Volvos even got into the act. The Valiants utterly dominated, thanks to the Hyper-Pak Slant Six engine, but the Corvair managed to earn an all-important NASCAR racing pedigree, 49 years before UDMan's 24 Hours Of LeMons Corvair really put the rear-engined Chevy on the racing-history map. Thanks to UDMan (who else?) for the tip!

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I wish Murilee posted these images, so I will.