Chevrolet film demonstrates safety of new Corvair in 1960

(March 16, 2020) When Chevrolet introduced the rear-engine Corvair for the 1960 model year, General Motors also began a campaign to convince skeptical new car buyers that it was a safe vehicle. This film was produced to demonstrate the economy car’s handling, braking, reliability, structural strength. Chevrolet tagged it “the compact car that people could count on.”

In the film watch as the rear-engined car is driven up a stream, through all types of rough terrain and put “through its paces” on both the road and race track. The automaker also included crash tests conducted with a 1959 Chevrolet and a rollover test to prove that it was also structurally sound.

The Corvair's reputation and legacy, as well as those of General Motors, were tarnished by accusations about its handling ability: the car was scrutinized in Ralph Nader's 1965 book "Unsafe at Any Speed." The accusations were later proven false after testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  

The Corvair was produced from 1960 through 1969.