- Written by webmin
The Corvair folks made an excellent showing at this year’s New England Concours d’Elegance, which you’ll be able to read about in the October issue of Hemmings Motor News. Included in that excellent showing was a group of three Corvair display engines, each with a unique history. The cutaway engine was pretty self-explanatory, and the prototype fuel-injected engine with its stacks and finned rocker covers showed that the hot-rodders were plenty active at GM in the 1960s. However, it was the modular engine, proposed for 1964, that was the most interesting.
According to the placard that went with that engine, GM started developing the modular engine in 1961 to solve oil and head gasket leaks, then went ahead and developed two-, four-, six- and 10-cylinder versions of the engine. (Eight- and 12-cylinder versions were designed, but never built.) The 200hp 10-cylinder version was actually placed in a 1962 Impala converted to front-wheel drive, while the two- and four-cylinder versions were tested in subcompact two- and four-passenger cars.
Chevrolet had the engines all ready for production, but needed other GM divisions to use the design to help bring production costs down. When additional uses beyond the Corvair never materialized, Chevrolet scuttled the program, leaving a handful of prototypes.
Now, where’s that 10-cylinder front-wheel drive Impala…?