Autos: The Last Corvair

When the Chevrolet Corvair was introduced in 1959, its fresh engineering was hailed as the forerunner of a new age of innovation in Detroit. The compact auto, designed to stop the imported car invasion, featured an air-cooled rear engine made largely of aluminum. It was the creation of Chevy General Manager Edward N. Cole, now president of General Motors. But the Corvair's plain Jane appearance did not seduce as many buyers as G.M. had expected. Restyled with bucket seats and a four-on-the-floor shift, the car gained popularity as something of an American sports car. Enthusiasts...