1960 Corvair Is Named Motor Trend's
"Car of the Year"

Motor Trend's "Car of the Year" Award - 1960 Corvair In the 50-year lifespan of Motor Trend, no more widely recognizable symbol has emerged from its pages than the words "Car of the Year." Since its first appearance in 1949, Motor Trend's Car of the Year award has become the longest-running award program in the automotive publishing world. "Car of the Year" remains the most prestigious and coveted prize in the industry.
In retrospect, one of the most controversial cars ever to be named Car of the Year was the '60 Chevrolet Corvair. Its appropriateness for the award as the most significant engineering achievement of the model year made it a natural choice.

The Corvair, a revolutionary departure from previous domestic car fare, introduced a number of innovations to the American scene, including a rear-mounted, air-cooled aluminum flat-six engine, rear transaxle, and four-wheel independent suspension with front and rear components each mounted to their own subframe (subsequent models included convertible, wagon, and even minivan). Seldom do you see this many significant technological strides on one vehicle.

The Corvair enjoyed moderate popularity in its early years, but suffered from some supposed handling problems that inspired Ralph Nader to make it the focal point of his consumer safety campaign against Detroit, labeling the Corvair "Unsafe at Any Speed." This untimely attack sounded the death knell for GM's smallest car, and it was retired from production in '69. The ensuing controversy led to the formation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a greater government involvement in consumer products of all kinds.

Excerpts and Photograph from Motor Trend Magazine Online

Past Motor Trend "Car Of The Year" Winners

2007 Toyota Camry
2006 Honda Civic
2005 Chrysler 300
2004 Toyota Prius
2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe / Sedan
2002 Ford Thunderbird
2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser
2000 Lincoln LS
1999 Chrysler 300M
1998 Chevrolet Corvette
1997 Chevrolet Malibu
1996 Dodge Caravan
1995 Chrysler Cirrus
1994 Ford Mustang
1993 Ford Probe GT
1992 Cadillac Seville Touring Sedan
1991 Chevrolet Caprice Classic LTZ
1990 Lincoln Town Car
1989 Ford Thunderbird SC
1988 Pontiac Grand Prix
1987 Ford Thunderbird
1986 Ford Taurus LX
1985 Volkswagen GTI
1984 Chevrolet Corvette
1983 American Motors Renault Alliance
1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
1981 Chrysler K-cars, Dodge Aries/Plymouth Reliant
1980 Chevrolet Citation
1979 Buick Riviera S
1978 Chrysler, Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon
1977 Chevrolet Caprice
1976 Chrysler, Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare
1975 Chevrolet Monza 2+2 V-8
1974 Ford Mustang II
1973 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
1972 Citroen SM
1971 Chevrolet Vega
1970 Ford Torino
1969 Plymouth Road Runner
1968 Pontiac GTO
1967 Mercury Cougar
1966 Oldsmobile Toronado
1965 Pontiac Motor Division
1964 Ford Motor Company
1963 American Motors Rambler
1962 Buick Special
1961 Pontiac Tempest

1960 Chevrolet Corvair
1959 Pontiac Motor Division
1958 Ford Thunderbird
1957 Chrysler Corporation
1956 Ford Motor Company
1955 No Award
1954 No Award
1953 No Award
1952 Cadillac Motor Car Division
1951 Chrysler Corporation
1950 No award
1949 Cadillac Motor Car Division

 

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