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1962 Oldsmobile Jetfire Jay Leno's Garage


STEVE POLLARD
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What is near criminal is the number of Oldsmobile people who know nothing about Jetfire or its significance as first turbocharged American production car.

 

Might add that Eric's Jetfire took a best postwar car at 2021 Oldsmobile Club of America National meet. In a sea of 50s Rockets, Toronados, Starfires and 442, for a Jetfire to win was an accomplishment in itself.

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Or the FACT that the Corvair Spyder was THE FIRST production turbocharged American car in recent time, NOT the Olds!😲

 

Read through this:

 

http://corvaircenter.com/phorum/read.php?1,1015870,page=2

 

Ah, controversy of the non-political type!😁

 

Hey, at least Corvairs did not require Turbo Rocket fluid, so the turbocharged models stayed in production for 5 model years! Many Jetfires were de-turboed by dealers due to complaints.

 

 

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And Glenn and I were getting along....😆

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The Corvair people are wrong. Turbo Corvair debuted at the auto shows first, but Jetfire was first on the sales floor by a couple of weeks.

 

Either way their engineering was too advanced for their typical buyers, and Olds especially botched what could have been technological leadership by refusing to drop their 10.25:1 "Ultra High Compression" to something more tolerant of the Garrett turbocharger's 6 pounds of boost.

 

Course a little 63 Monza coupe blew a smartass kid's claim that the 80s Turbo Regals were the first production turbo cars all to hell at an air and car show here in early 2000s. Kid had his Turbo Regal displayed with a nice carshow sign indicating it was the first production turbocharged American car. Me being a devil's advocate made small talk and strung the boy along like a marionette for several minutes. Me: "first turbo huh?" Kid (with chest puffed out): "yes sir, the first!" Me: "you might want to go look at that little white Corvair out there by itself."

 

He came back and put his sign face down in the Regal's trunk.

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24 minutes ago, rocketraider said:

Course a little 63 Monza coupe blew a smartass kid's claim that the 80s Turbo Regals

Course a little 63 Monza Spyder coupe...

 

TIFIFY  (There, I fixed it for you). 

 

Trivia, 1962 and 1963 Spyders were an option package on Monzas (turbocharged engine, nameplates, instrumented dash, etc), whereas the 1964 Spyder was a model all to itself, even had 600 as the model designation, Monza still being the 900 series models. So you can tell if a 1964 Corvair was turbocharged just by the VIN. For 62 and 63 you have to see the body plate.

 

28 minutes ago, rocketraider said:

The Corvair people are wrong.

Hey, them's fighting words.😁 We were first to show off our stuff. That must have spurred Olds into sending them into production earlier. Lot's of rivalry between divisions.  None of that Chevrolet engines in Oldsmobiles back then!😉   Even Buick and Oldsmobile did not share the 215 cu in V-8.

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4 hours ago, Frank DuVal said:

 

 

Hey, them's fighting words.😁 We were first to show off our stuff. That must have spurred Olds into sending them into production earlier. Lot's of rivalry between divisions.  None of that Chevrolet engines in Oldsmobiles back then!😉   Even Buick and Oldsmobile did not share the 215 cu in V-8.

Please tell me more. I understood the 215 all aluminium engine went into Oldsmobile, Buick and a handful of Pontiac Tempests. Knew the Olds had differences in the head bolt configuration. Interested as the owner of a ‘63 Buick Skylark.

Rodney 😊😊😊😊😊😊

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6 hours ago, Frank DuVal said:

Course a little 63 Monza Spyder coupe...

 

TIFIFY  (There, I fixed it for you). 

 

Trivia, 1962 and 1963 Spyders were an option package on Monzas (turbocharged engine, nameplates, instrumented dash, etc), whereas the 1964 Spyder was a model all to itself, even had 600 as the model designation, Monza still being the 900 series models. So you can tell if a 1964 Corvair was turbocharged just by the VIN. For 62 and 63 you have to see the body plate.

 

Hey, them's fighting words.😁 We were first to show off our stuff. That must have spurred Olds into sending them into production earlier. Lot's of rivalry between divisions.  None of that Chevrolet engines in Oldsmobiles back then!😉   Even Buick and Oldsmobile did not share the 215 cu in V-8.

Oh yes they did - it was a Buick design - although as noted in the wiki article re the Rover V8 the Olds and Buick engines had some important differences - Buick 215cid / Oldsmobile 215 aluminum V8 Engine Identification Guide (britishv8.org)

 

And after being taken over by Rover it came in a gazillion different variants and used in many cars - Rover V8 engine - Wikipedia

 

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11 hours ago, Frank DuVal said:

Hey, at least Corvairs did not require Turbo Rocket fluid... Many Jetfires were de-turboed by dealers due to complaints.

Methanol injection was a carryover from war years aircraft engine turbocharging and goes back to Oldsmobile's refusal to drop the 215's compression. Excellent high octane (100+) pump fuels were available in 1962 but not for an effective CR of 15:1. Olds shot itself in the foot with that.

 

The Jetfire's figurative "girl popping out of a cake" introduction didn't help. Dealer service departments had no advance notice or training on the turbo engine and weren't prepared to service it when the cars suddenly arrived in the showrooms.

 

Jetfire expert Jim Noel estimates 80% of Jetfires were converted to the standard four barrel setup.

 

Like the Rochester Ramjet fuel injection, the turbo cars were an engineering breakthrough. But when the people selling them didn't know how to fix a complex system when it broke, the public rejected it out of hand. 

 

I still believe GM has never again been as innovative or adventurous as they were in the early Space Age. Air cooled rear mounted engines, turbochargers, aluminum engines, flexible drivelines, fuel injection... the list goes on. What a shame.

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7 minutes ago, rocketraider said:

I still believe GM has never again been as innovative or adventurous as they were in the early Space Age. Air cooled rear mounted engines, turbochargers, aluminum engines, flexible drivelines, fuel injection... the list goes on. What a shame.

 

A lot of that loss of innovative experimentation was a result of emission testing and certification along with duplication of engines between the different divisions. 

 

Think as an example each division except maybe Cadillac had their own 350 engine and the parts were not interchangeable.  It made sense to consolidate to one corporate engine, both for manufacturing and emission certification. 

 

This is especially true when at the time it was said that to build an engine plant alone was over $1 Billion dollars because of the close tolerance machinery required. 

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Larry Schramm said:

 

A lot of that loss of innovative experimentation was a result of emission testing and certification along with duplication of engines between the different divisions. 

 

Think as an example each division except maybe Cadillac had their own 350 engine and the parts were not interchangeable.  It made sense to consolidate to one corporate engine, both for manufacturing and emission certification. 

 

This is especially true when at the time it was said that to build an engine plant alone was over $1 Billion dollars because of the close tolerance machinery required. 

Most of that innovative experimentation was over at the dawn of the muscle car pony car, except the OHC Pontiac six. The beginning of the emission period did start in 1961 for California and exhaust emission standards started with 1966, but real emission standards began in earnest in the early 70's and by the mid 70's most car makers had to put most of their money in Emissions and Safety regulations.

As far as G.M. engines go you have to remember back in those days the "engine WAS the brand". 

It's true most internal parts on G.M.'s 350 engines were not interchangeable but accessories like P/S pumps, carburetors depending on brand of car, A/C compressors, alternators were.

 As far as Pontiac is concerned, the 350 (really a 354 and change) is dimensionally the same as a 400, 428, 455 and they can use the same intake manifolds, exhaust manifolds, in some cases heads. (I have large valve 400 heads on my 455). distributors and all accessories, timing cover etc.

Dimensionally the Pontiac V-8 from 1955- 1981 is the same and use the same bore center. The 1955 287 connecting rod will interchange with a 455! The 336, 326, 350,389, 400 all use the same crankshaft.

So, you can see from Pontiac's point of view it's easier to do it the way they did. 

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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As far as the 215 Buick engine in the Tempest is concerned consider this. In 1961 Pontiac sold 98,779 Tempest, and of those only 2,004 had the Buick engine, and that figure tells you a lot about the engine being a huge part of the brand. Pontiac Tempest standard engine was 1/2 of the 389 V-8 cut in half or 195.5, I-4. It used the same pistons, rods, valves, pushrods, head, as the 389 V-8. The 4bbl version of the I-4 made the same HP as the Buick V-8 at 155HP.

 So, look at those sales figures 98,779 and only 2004 with the V-8.

Now in 1963 the Buick V-8 is gone and Pontiac de bores the 389 for the Tempest and makes it a 336. How many 1963 V-8 Pontiac Tempest with a REAL Pontiac V-8? 56,569 ! 

 

 

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, nzcarnerd said:

Oh yes they did - it was a Buick design - although as noted in the wiki article re the Rover V8 the Olds and Buick engines had some important differences - Buick 215cid / Oldsmobile 215 aluminum V8 Engine Identification Guide (britishv8.org)

And it is those head differences why I said Oldsmobile and Buick did not share the 215 engine. They had to make the engines different from a performance and look standpoint, not just an air cleaner decal.😉  They even drilled the block different so it is not a direct swap.🤔

 

Looking back I should have bought that Jetfire being sold by a classic car dealer in Joe's neck of the woods back about 1982 near Marymount College. Still was turbocharged.😡  Instead I have several Spyders.

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54 minutes ago, Frank DuVal said:

And it is those head differences why I said Oldsmobile and Buick did not share the 215 engine. They had to make the engines different from a performance and look standpoint, not just an air cleaner decal.😉  They even drilled the block different so it is not a direct swap.🤔

 

Looking back I should have bought that Jetfire being sold by a classic car dealer in Joe's neck of the woods back about 1982 near Marymount College. Still was turbocharged.😡  Instead I have several Spyders.

Phil Baker215 combustion chamberOlds (left) and Buick combustion chambers differ significantly. The Olds head also requires an extra head bolt, so it won't bolt onto Buick blocks.

Rare Olds turbocharged blockRare Olds "turbocharged engine" blocks had taller, beefier main caps retained by 12-point fasteners. 

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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This 1951 Aluminum 215 Buick engine was what Buick didn't offer because of cost in 1953.

All Buick Nail Head V-8's come from this engine, and you will notice the familiarity with this engine and the production Buick on the intake side of the head. For cost reasons the production engine moved the exhaust side of the head up next to the intake (creating a 1/2 "Hemi" head. By doing this the exhaust port suffers in size and heat because of the extreme bend of the port, also limits the valve diameter size which was also the problem when racing nail heads.

This 1951 design is better than the Chrysler Hemi because the lifter gallery bores are at different angles for intake pushrod and exhaust pushrod. Too bad this engine was compromised for production.

20211110_082647.jpg

 

Production Nail Head below.

1959 Buick Engine Description - Hometown Buick

 

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I used to kid with people in the early days of emission requirements that the requirements to meet emissions were,

 

1. Does it meet emissions?  Hint: a non running engine meets emissions.

2. Will the engine start & run?

3. Will it allow a car to move forward & backwards?

4. Will it operate at a level of performance that a customer will accept?

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16 hours ago, Frank DuVal said:

Or the FACT that the Corvair Spyder was THE FIRST production turbocharged American car in recent time, NOT the Olds!😲

 

Read through this:

 

http://corvaircenter.com/phorum/read.php?1,1015870,page=2

 

Ah, controversy of the non-political type!😁

 

Hey, at least Corvairs did not require Turbo Rocket fluid, so the turbocharged models stayed in production for 5 model years! Many Jetfires were de-turboed by dealers due to complaints.

 

 

Nope! I am 47 and was not there so I know, lol. Just kidding.... All I can go by are the GM Heritage center documents. There are documents that you could purchase a Jetfire early April and there is no document like this for the turbo Corvair. The only dated documents is that production started in April for the Corvair Spyder turbo. I have to assume that the Jetfire was first to purchase because the production started to late for the chevy to be sold early April. All that said, From what I understand, the Corvair Spyder concept/prototype was at the auto shows a couple months before the Jetfire prototype was. If someone can find documents to prove otherwise I would love to know about them. I sure have an open mind to the subject but at the same time, I want to keep playing this game of who was first for many more years, lol. Adds to the fun

IMG_9182.JPG

Edited by jensenracing77 (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Pfeil said:

This 1951 Aluminum 215 Buick engine was what Buick didn't offer because of cost in 1953.

All Buick Nail Head V-8's come from this engine, and you will notice the familiarity with this engine and the production Buick on the intake side of the head. For cost reasons the production engine moved the exhaust side of the head up next to the intake (creating a 1/2 "Hemi" head. By doing this the exhaust port suffers in size and heat because of the extreme bend of the port, also limits the valve diameter size which was also the problem when racing nail heads.

This 1951 design is better than the Chrysler Hemi because the lifter gallery bores are at different angles for intake pushrod and exhaust pushrod. Too bad this engine was compromised for production.

20211110_082647.jpg

 

Production Nail Head below.

1959 Buick Engine Description - Hometown Buick

 

Is the first cross-section of the 215 engine in the 1951 LeSabre Motorama show car?

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6 hours ago, rocketraider said:

Methanol injection was a carryover from war years aircraft engine turbocharging and goes back to Oldsmobile's refusal to drop the 215's compression. Excellent high octane (100+) pump fuels were available in 1962 but not for an effective CR of 15:1. Olds shot itself in the foot with that.

 

The Jetfire's figurative "girl popping out of a cake" introduction didn't help. Dealer service departments had no advance notice or training on the turbo engine and weren't prepared to service it when the cars suddenly arrived in the showrooms.

 

Jetfire expert Jim Noel estimates 80% of Jetfires were converted to the standard four barrel setup.

 

Like the Rochester Ramjet fuel injection, the turbo cars were an engineering breakthrough. But when the people selling them didn't know how to fix a complex system when it broke, the public rejected it out of hand. 

 

I still believe GM has never again been as innovative or adventurous as they were in the early Space Age. Air cooled rear mounted engines, turbochargers, aluminum engines, flexible drivelines, fuel injection... the list goes on. What a shame.

As far as ram jet fuel injection goes, Chevrolet stayed with it more than most and I have a few friends with it on a 65 and 66 and they seem well sorted.  1957-1958 Fuel injection Pontiacs on the other hand could be sorted but most people opted out and dealers either swapped a 4bbl. or Tri-Power for free to the customer. A friend of my dads who did our racing valve jobs on our Catalina had a whole bunch of intakes and injection units for Pontiacs on storage shelves at the back of his shop. What a waste! 

 

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18 minutes ago, Pfeil said:

Yes.image.jpeg.9dbfa567d6ffa59240558c9da6acd426.jpegimage.jpeg.8e2c9af4955b7936f40bd01a699b548c.jpeg

Interestingly enough, this engine used an alcohol, methanol type mixture, engine made 335hp on 215 cu in.

I recall reading about this engine in the old Special Interest Autos magazine article on the history and engineering advancement in the chassis of the 1951 Motorama LeSabre.  I didn't realize it influenced the design of the Buick 'nail-head' V8 production engines.

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1 hour ago, jensenracing77 said:

Nope! I am 47 and was not there so I know, lol. Just kidding.... All I can go by are the GM Heritage center documents. There are documents that you could purchase a Jetfire early April and there is no document like this for the turbo Corvair. The only dated documents is that production started in April for the Corvair Spyder turbo. I have to assume that the Jetfire was first to purchase because the production started to late for the chevy to be sold early April. All that said, From what I understand, the Corvair Spyder concept/prototype was at the auto shows a couple months before the Jetfire prototype was. If someone can find documents to prove otherwise I would love to know about them. I sure have an open mind to the subject but at the same time, I want to keep playing this game of who was first for many more years, lol. Adds to the fun

IMG_9182.JPG

I watched that very enjoyable Jay Leno episode a couple of days ago.  I remember when my daughter was about 13 - she is 27 now - she had teeth braces fitted. We could have bought a perfectly good go-to-work car for the price.

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Eric,

I knew that Oldsmobile made the turbo cars, but I never knew very much about them. I am just amazed how very little press they received in 1962. I have collected 1962 Chevrolet's for the past 35 years and always looking at publications and can't recall seeing ever ever seeing any articles on those cars written back when they were new. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to West's article, and hopefully I will get to see it in person one day.

 

 

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Well, Here is another side of the story. This is from a thread on corvircenter.com       http://corvaircenter.com/phorum/read.php?1,1136271,page=1

 

Sorry but this is a little bit of a rant. Misinformation bugs me and some of it has been floating around for years.

Just started looking at updating my Corvair Gold Book and start researching again
and just got ticked off with all the "Oldsmobile Jetfire was the first American Turbocharged production car" BS!!

Obviously someone put this bit of misinformation out years ago until people over time just take it for granted it is true. I'm here to tell you it is not true!!!
I'll have more details in the update, here are the basic facts.

Both Chevrolet and Oldsmobile were working on Turbocharging programs in late 1961.There was a definite rivalry among divisions within GM.
Chevrolet was always very secretive regarding their programs, and did not leak anything about the Corvair Turbocharging program.
On the other hand Oldsmobile was not nearly as secretive and released some preliminary details of their turbocharging program in late 1961. This is the main reason many think Olds was first.

Now both programs were not anywhere near completion in 1961 and both Oldsmobile and Chevrolet produced Turbocharged "Pilot" show cars for the large and prestigious February 1962 Chicago Auto Show. The Oldsmobile Jetfire at the show was a hardtop, and the Corvair Spyder was a convertible.
After the show ended Chevrolet immediately began production of both the new Convertible and Spyder Turbocharging option in early March 1962. Official announcement for both the Convertible and Spyder options was on March 27th 1962 which was several weeks after production began. The Convertible and Spyder option was then available to order in April 1962. Early production was primarily to supply showroom display cars to the thousands of Chevrolet dealers nationwide. These cars were to be displayed for several months before they could be sold.

Oldsmobile started production several weeks after the Corvair Spyder but also could be ordered by April 1962.

So it was practically a dead heat. Both developed around the same time. Both shown at the same time at the same Chicago show, and both available to order from the public in April 1962, but Chevrolet beat the Oldsmobile to production by several weeks so the Corvair Spyder is actually the first American Production car to have a turbocharger.

PS: This information is sourced from GM documents and period automotive articles from March and April 1962 and information from the 1962 Chicago Auto Show among others sources.

Bigwave Dave Trull, Sierra Vista Arizona
Former owner 1966 Turbo Convertible Pilots 23 & 27
Former owner 1969 Convertible #5997

 

 

 

I'm still going with Spyders were first. Bigwave Dave has been spot on in other research he has done, along with Dave Newell.

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1 hour ago, Frank DuVal said:

 

Sadly, All I have to go by are the GM heritage documents and they will not allow me to have a copy of them. Their documents show that the Corvair Spyder started production in April. Do you know of any that have an earlier production build date? I am more than willing to accept the other way around with documents but I am not sure we will ever know till we document build dates on the cars themselves or original sales paperwork. I have not checked out your link yet and will tonight. I enjoy this stuff myself. I spent an entire day at the Heritage center doing research a few years back but my larger focus was documenting Jetfire information and less of who was first. 

 

I will say that the earliest build date I have found so far for a Jetfire is first week of April but there are not many left to document. 

Edited by jensenracing77 (see edit history)
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Here is another post by Bigwave Dave, this one is about a 1962 Spyder convertible that was dolled up for the GM meeting at the Greenbrier hotel in West Virginia (a resort, a hiding place for Congress, but I digress....). I should have bought this car when it was offered to me for $18K. But, no place to store it indoors at the time.

 

"A really nice "showcar". An example of an early 1962 Spyder convertible That was Spiffed up by GM Engineering because it is a "SHOW" car. GM Engineering often is used to doll up a car that is going to be exhibited! That does not make it a prototype or the first Spyder or the first 1962 Convertible. As far as I know there are no significant custom items on the car other than the racing stripe, that was not available to regular Production 1962 Corvairs. Just a really nice regular production Spyder convertible that was gone over by GM engineering so it would look it's best for the April 1962 show which was a month after both the Convertible and Spyder were first introduced in March 1962. Frankly I think its a great seniors division level early 1962 Spyder Convertible that was massaged into a showcar by GM engineering, and that fact alone makes it a Historically significant car

My issue is with the ebay seller and the unsubstantiated or deceptive claims in the AD. I've highlighted some of these claims below.

"This is the first or, some believe, one of four “first†1962 Corvairs (the others have gone missing), hand finished by the Special Vehicles division of the Engineering Department. The engine was removed in the pre-production process and blue printed and the block has the special work order number stamped in it. It was finished red on red with white stripes. It was finished in a way that no production Corvair would ever again be finished with the point being to give this new Spyder Convertible a inspirational coming out to Chevrolet dealers across the country. There are photos of it at a GM senior management meeting at the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginian in March 1962."

1. This is not the First Spyder or the first 1962 Convertible. The body build date for this car is 04B (second week of April 1962). I have bodytags for Spyders and Convertible that predate this car by several weeks with March body build dates.

2. Since both Spyders and Convertibles were being built for several weeks before this car was built, that eliminates it as a preproduction/prototype. GM Engineering massaging it into a show car does not make it a prototype. I do not recall there being any special parts or option on the car that were not available to regular production Corvairs during that model year, other than the hood stripe. If there was any one of a kind parts on the car, I did not see them in the photos. I does have some Sprint parts and aftermarket stuff installed.

3. The statement that it was finished in a way that no other production Corvair would ever again be finished is baloney. I saw a 1964 Spyder convert at the fanbelt toss several years ago that was also a GM showcar that was massaged by GM engineering, and it received a finish just as nice as the 1962 Spyder. Actually The 1964 Spyder was "Finished" even nicer with a custom non stock color and a custom interior that was not available with regular production cars. It even has a GM engineering tag next to the bodytag.

4. He lists a "SHOW" date of March 1962 in which the car was shown and photographed and this coincides with the time the Spyder and Corvair convertibles were introduced. The bodytag build date is 04B (2nd week of April) It's impossible for this car to have been shown in Mar when the Spyder and first Corvair convertibles were released as this car had not even been built until several weeks later.


This is a great looking senior division car and one of only a few GM engineering massaged display cars out there. That makes it special and historically significant, but don't try to make it into something it's not. Its not a prototype, and its not the only specially finished by GM engineering Corvair out there. It is an outstanding early example of the 1962 Spyder convertible, quite possibly the earliest known so far, but I highly doubt it is the first Spyder Convertible. Its body number is just too high (body# 2232) and the build date of 04B too late to be the First one. The first Spyders in both Coupe and Convertibles were undoubtably built no later than March 1962.

I hope it sells on its own merits as a senior division, earliest known Spyder Convertible, that was given special treatment by GM engineering to be a Display/Showcar. I don't want the future buyer to buy into the any of the statements that infer that its the first Spyder or first Convertible or first Spyder convertible, or that it is the only Corvair out there that got the GM engineering treatment."

 

"Bigwave Dave Trull, Sierra Vista Arizona
Former owner 1966 Turbo Convertible Pilots 23 & 27
Former owner 1969 Convertible #5997"

 

So, Dave seems to have some body tags from March production of Spyders. He is a very infrequent poster on Corvair Center. But we are still talking a week or so of difference and is producing the car or selling the car first make it the first?

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That's Marketing 101, Frank. Hype, hype, HYPE! And hype sells stuff!

 

Sounds like even by 62 someone at GM had figured out where the real Corvair fan base was. If the marketing had been handled (no pun intended) right Corvair could have been GM's sporty car for any pocket or purpose, much like Lee Iacocca's vision for Mustang.

 

But Mustang was conventional, and the GM Y and Z platforms were anything but. Still say those were the last cars GM really stuck its neck out. Ford proved conventional sells, innovation not so much.

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Dave sent me a picture of a March produced Spyder.

 

On ACC line, A is direct air heater, D is Spyder, H is padded dash, L is convertible top -10 is its color.

 

The 03C at the top left is build date of third week of March.  62- number shows it is a 1962 model Corvair.

 

There you have it, Spyders were produced in March of 1962.

 

Let's see those Jetfire codes showing March production dates. 😁

March 62 production Spyder tag.jpg

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I am for sure open to research and more information but I would need to see this tag in person. This tag has obviously been modified. The font is not even consistent. I am not an expert on those cars at all but I have never seen a GM tag that was this inconsistent. Maybe there is an explanation to it< I have no idea. Just not what I am use to seeing in a cowl tag. 

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2 hours ago, rocketraider said:

That's Marketing 101, Frank. Hype, hype, HYPE! And hype sells stuff!

 

Sounds like even by 62 someone at GM had figured out where the real Corvair fan base was. If the marketing had been handled (no pun intended) right Corvair could have been GM's sporty car for any pocket or purpose, much like Lee Iacocca's vision for Mustang.

 

But Mustang was conventional, and the GM Y and Z platforms were anything but. Still say those were the last cars GM really stuck its neck out. Ford proved conventional sells, innovation not so much.

Although Corvette cannot be described as a high-volume car from the C5 on until the midship car, the concept of engine in the front and transaxle in the rear could not be described as conventional but is considered successful. At least the concept survives today in Corvette, and some Porsche and Mercedes cars along with turbochargers in those same cars and more. Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile brought those realities to the public at a very low price.

image.jpeg.6e946d6d4ff9c9c5f603bfdad71d5be0.jpegSecrets of the 1961 Pontiac Tempest Rope Drive | Mac's Motor City Garageimage.jpeg.261cc7b93733a3a602d10a3d4b64b526.jpeg

 

 

And who can forget this 1963 Tempest at the Daytona 250-mile Challenge cup anything goes invitational where this Tempest with its transaxle in the rear competed against Ferraris, Porsches, Corvettes etc. The Tempest won the race by 5 miles of its nearest competitor!

 

 

Shown passing a Ferrari 250GTOBangShift.com Super Duty Pontiac Tempest

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57 minutes ago, Pfeil said:

Although Corvette cannot be described as a high-volume car from the C5 on until the midship car, the concept of engine in the front and transaxle in the rear could not be described as conventional but is considered successful. At least the concept survives today in Corvette, and some Porsche and Mercedes cars along with turbochargers in those same cars and more. Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile brought those realities to the public at a very low price.

image.jpeg.6e946d6d4ff9c9c5f603bfdad71d5be0.jpegSecrets of the 1961 Pontiac Tempest Rope Drive | Mac's Motor City Garageimage.jpeg.261cc7b93733a3a602d10a3d4b64b526.jpeg

 

 

And who can forget this 1963 Tempest at the Daytona 250-mile Challenge cup anything goes invitational where this Tempest with its transaxle in the rear competed against Ferraris, Porsches, Corvettes etc. The Tempest won the race by 5 miles of its nearest competitor!

 

 

Shown passing a Ferrari 250GTO

Now that is fantastic information I never knew! That is really cool! Now I need to read up on that. 

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And that is the greatest thing about these Forums. People have information and share it.

 

Joe P was helping someone with a 66 Chevelle body tag in another forum and it too looked weird to me. It was a Baltimore Assembly Plant car and the stamped-in information did not align well with the plate's pre-stamped lines.

 

We won't even get into the GM  Fremont CA plant body plates. I'm sure people working there knew exactly what all that arcana meant, but 50 years down the road it runs people nuts.

 

 

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One of the things Chevrolet should have known and would have really taken down the sails of Nader was something Porsche/VW and Pontiac division knew about the swing axle systems. The Corvairs 13" wheels really put the swing axle design at a disadvantage- also combined was weight bias. Originally the "Y" body Tempest was to have a trans axle and engine in the back and Knudsen rejected this outright. The very early VW Beetle and 356 Porsche were equipped with 16" wheels, later revised to 15" wheels. DeLorean knew the reason why such small cars had such large diameter wheels and so equipped the Tempest (the only "Y" body car) with 15" wheels instead of 13's. Corvairs problem with wheel tuck under certain cornering conditions was reduced in the Tempest transaxle by just increasing the wheel diameter. By doing this the tuck angle is reduced by forcing the incidence to happen in the most severe condition, certainly a compromise that worked for VW, Porsche, and Tempest. When it became time to promote Pontiacs general manager Bunkie Knudsen from General Manager of Pontiac to General Manager of Chevrolet, Knudsen said that he would not take the job unless he was able to fix Corvair. After he became GM of Chevrolet at the end of the 1961 production, he had suspension changes made to the swing axle and was determined to make Corvair have a double-jointed axel system which is what finally happened. VW and Porsche also went to double jointed system and while Chevrolet used universal joints (like Corvette) Porsche and VW chose to use constant velocity joints.

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