Early Corvair emblem (3646 bytes)

Craig Cadwell's 1960 Corvair 700

It's been 40 years since the induction of the 1960 Corvair, on October 2, 1959. Of the 250,007 Corvairs produced in the United States during the first model year, the 700 sedan accounted for 139,208 units, or just over 55% of total 1960 model year production.

In its first year, the stock Corvair was put to the test, and racked up impressive performances, averaging 27.03 miles per gallon in the 2,061 mile, 1960 Mobilgas Economy run. The same car then went on to prove its robust performance by scaling a snowy Pike's Peak to its 14,110 ft. summit!

The 1960 Corvair was also chosen by Motor Trend magazine as Car of the Year. MT called the Corvair, "the most significant car of 1960," and applauded it for "engineering advancement," as well as "four-wheel independent suspension totally unlike any other U.S.-built car," and for its rear engine and transaxle "allowing a flatter floor and lower roofline."

The example below, a Corvair 700 owned by Craig Cadwell, was delivered out of a showroom in La Mesa, California, in 1959. Since then, it has clocked 350,000 miles of safe and happy motoring! Currently, it is driven daily, and is routinely taken on trips totaling as much as  2,000 miles, round trip.

Two-tone paint schemes were popular in 1960. Craig's 700 combines a Horizon Blue body with an Ermine White top.

Also popular in the 1960 model year were the wide white wall tires Craig uses to maintain the stock appearance.

The sedan is equipped with a 140 cubic inch displacement, 80 horsepower engine and Powerglide trans-axle.

1960 Corvair 700 sedan (30222 bytes)

Craig is justifiably proud of the condition of the car, and keeps it in such good shape through a program of regular maintenance and replacement of parts "as they wear out." He says he plans on keeping the car "forever!"

1960 Corvair 700 (front 3/4 view) (55938 bytes)

The 1960 model is distinctive among early model Corvairs because of the concave panel between the headlights, and the Corvair "wings" grill bar. The 700's accessories include wheel trim rings, side view mirror, and bright trim around the gas hatch. Other accessories, seen in the picture below; back-up lights, bright trim around the rear license plate recess, and a chrome extension on the exhaust pipe.

1960 Corvair 700 (rear 3/4 view) (55885 bytes)

When originally purchased, this Corvair 700 was at the top of the model line. Stock trim differences over the base 500 model included stainless trim around the belt line and roof drip rail, as well as around both the windshield and the rear window.

Later in the model year, in May, 1960, Chevrolet introduced the Monza club coupe as the new top model Corvair, and it became an instant success and went on to outsell the 700 in the 1961 model year. For 1960, however, the 700 sedan was the undisputed best seller.

Photos by Craig Cadwell

End of Craig Cadwell Corvair 700 feature.

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