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In 1960 Chevrolet set new sales records with the introduction of its new economy car, the Corvair. Considered to be GM´s answer to the Volkswagen Beetle, the Corvair was a radical departure from standard American car design. Innovations began with an air-cooled aluminum engine mounted in the rear. The new engine, transmission, and drive axle were combined in a low-weight unit that permitted a virtually flat, unobstructed interior floor. Another important advance was the "Quadri-Flex" suspension system which was the first 4-wheel independent suspension on any modern American car.
Public response was good with a production of over 250,000 Corvairs being built in 1960. The 1960 model was available as a two or four-door hardtop, convertible, station wagon, pickup or van and was available with America's first mass-produced turbocharged engine.
In 1965, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, began making a major effort to have the Corvair taken off the market, claiming the new suspension system was unsafe. Even though later proven safe by a congressional investigation, Corvair sales began to decrease as a result of the bad publicity and 1969 was the last year Corvairs were produced.