General Motors registers the Corvair name on Aug. 6, 1959.
The Corvair, built between 1959 and 1969, was a small, rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive compact car that would live on in infamy with the publication of a book by consumer and safety advocate Ralph Nader.
The two-door Corvair was priced at about $2,000 and designed to compete with the Volkswagen Beetle and British sports cars from Triumph, MG, Austin-Healey and Sunbeam.
Instead of tail fins or a giant chrome grille, it featured a boxy shape and no-fuss styling similar to that of European small cars.
Initially, it was powered by an 80-hp, air-cooled aluminum flat-six engine that was placed behind a transaxle. The Corvair also featured unibody construction and swing-axle rear suspension. It was light -- 2,382 pounds -- and got about 25 mpg on the highway.
Several body styles such as a van, pickup, sedan, coupe and convertible were released.