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  1. 1

    John Mahan

    As a middle-age American auto enthusiast, the Corvair's and Pinto's role on this dubious list are no surprise. Nader's book and the Pinto's media coverage remain clear in my memory. To the contrary, however, the '84 – '88 Mustang and Corvette are a very big surprise.

    As usual, a well done article. Perhaps a publication date of Friday the 13th might be fitting?

  2. 2


    You have a list of real winners there, but I can think of two others that should at least be honarable mentions. The Suzuki Samurai and the Ford Bronco 2 were great rollover queens.

  3. 3


    The key word in the article is "subjective". Here's a link to some fact-based, OBjective safety information:


  4. 4

    Sharon Potere

    My husband and I each had a Corvair and we loved them! They got an unfair shake (especially by that nut, Nader) because people would replace the required tires with something other than those recommended and then that would cause them to be unstable. With the engine in the rear, we had much better traction for the Michigan winter driving than most. We each never had a bit of a problem with our Corvairs, one a two door and the other, a four door.

  5. 5


    I had and loved both a Pinto and a Corvair. The crash tests I read on the Smart for Two gave it high marks for safety.

  6. 6

    T Bray

    I am saddened by the Corvair being on the list. The car got a really bum rap back in the day and its biggest problem is that it got caught up in a really stupid legal battle. It was actually more stable than the VW Beetle which GM had based the swing axle design used in the rear of the car.

    The net effect of the Corvair fiasco is that American car companies stopped innovating and I am of the opinion American's in general became wary of new designs. Even today, many of our popular pickup trucks and SUVs all pretty much have the same suspensions that were developed in the 1950's.

  7. 7


    I don't agree about the Corvair. I owned a '60 that would turn 'inside' of a MG-TC at speed. A '61 that I Drag Raced winning many trophies. A '63 convertible that I drove all over the Philippines while stationed there, and NEVER had a problem. All were new as well as a new '65 Turbo and two used ones, a '64 and a '66. Am I a "Fan"? You betcha…

  8. 8


    A bad driver always ends in a crash.

  9. 9

    Mark Peacock

    The later Corvair models were much improved, fun to drive and pretty good road cars. We had both, including a '61 wagon that even FELT unsafe as it drove. Our later model 2 door was a good car.

  10. 10


    Obviously a subjective list. Corvette! Mustang! The Corvair reference was started by an admitted car hater, Ralph Nader. Any car can be dangerous when driven by dangerous drivers.

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    Peter Scripture

    The Volkswagen Beetles where the most unsafe car ever made. Why aren’t they on the list? The VWs had the same problems as the Corvair, only much worse. But the Idiot who wrote “Unsafe at Any Speed” completely missed that. Of course, he did not even drive! Those who are really drivers had no problem with any of these cars. I’ve owned four of them in my 60-plus years as a driver. Now all I see is idiots on the road.

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    dear sir I have had both the car and the van [Corvair] and they were very good ..if they were being made and sold I would buy the van any time ..I think covair was given a bum rap..I put a lot of miles on the van in flat and in mountains with no problems ..if oil changed regular the motor was a good one ..if screen benith the intake was dirty from bad oil it did leak oil .as the blow by could not get out and had crank case pressure pushing the oil out through the seals..ford was to blame for the bad press…remember the arrow comerical ?? JIM

  13. Pingback: Unsafe at any speed - G35Driver

  14. 13


    I learned to drive at age 16 on a stick shift Chevy Corvair convertible, way back in the late 1960s. Some days I would head out with mom on a frontage road and we would buck along as I learned to shift. Other days I would head out with dad and buck along in the empty parking lot of a nearby supermarket. I lived to tell.

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    How do you figure the Bricklin is unsafe? There have only been two recorded fatalities in a Bricklin, and that’s cause thay drove it off of a cliff.

  16. 15


    The Pinto wasn’t any worse than any other small car. I had a ’74 which I drove for ten years and put 150,000 miles on. I got hit four or five times, never rear-ended, never burned. I did see two Japanese cars burst into flames after being rear-ended by larger vehicles, which forced the gas tank down onto the pavement and pushed it along, causing a rupture and lots of sparks. Fire was in the passenger compartment within 15 seconds. But they didn’t get the publicity that the Pinto did.


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