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Factory RHD 1962 Chevy 2 3 row wagon
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Many of you may have read the story of my '62 factory rhd 3 row Australian delivered wagon in the member introduction section, I thought I'd start a new thread in this section so I can post my progress as I go along(rather than continue along in the member intro section, as it kind of got out of hand) and anything related to whatever I manage to find out about the very few of these cars that were sold here in 1962, believed to be 10. There was a couple of tests done by GMH here in '62 and also tested by motoring magazines when the model arrived, to see if the car was going to be suitable in the Australian conditions.
It was suggested that my car may not have been sold here new, as there is no paperwork or proof of ownership and origin to prove it being sold here in '62. I believe the number plates on my car are the original 1962 issued plates, as the number plates that were on the test car in these magazines are similar to the letter configuration on my plates which proves mine was here around the same time as the test car, give or take a few months. So, I set out to find and buy the magazines, which was reasonably difficult, considering they are 60yo. Anyway, I found and bought them, and they arrived today. I've taken a few pics and thought I'd share them with you all, for a read. The reporter wasnt correct with the information about the transmission, stating it was a hydramatic, when its actually powerglide and in true motoring expert style picks the thing to bits. Enjoy.
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Interesting article on a number of fronts. If they only were selling in the double digits for units of cars, why the article? Some other things I noticed:

-the car is equipped with some SERIOUS donuts on the wheels
-anyone remember getting 61 mph in a 6 banger in first gear with a power glide?
-if the writer likes the styling of a '62 valiant better than a Nova, already his judgment is in question (I had a '61 Lancer)
-the trim is 'plastic'?
-whoever built that particular test car isn't great at fender to door alignment

All in all an interesting article.
 

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Factory RHD 1962 Chevy 2 3 row wagon
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Motoring Expert Ralph Nader didnt help the corvair in your country, how is any vehicle going to be a big seller when picked to pieces? So, what makes a motoring expert an expert, anyway. How to they get their qualifications to be one? Most have no mechanical hands on knowledge. Its all about how the car feels when 'they' drive it, how ergonomic the gearstick or armrests are, how shiny the paint is, noisy the ride, etc and how they report it. I mean there are some cars I feel more comfortable in when driving and some I do not, some features I note in some cars that I think are neat, that may suit 'me' and some I do not. And there are a lot l do not like working on, for whatever stupid idea their engineers have come up with. Motoring experts need to be non biased, but they actually are, today swinging towards anything european, maybe it comes down to how much money they are persuaded with to make judgement. I am a qualified motor mechanic and have been for over 30 yrs, does that make me more of a 'motoring expert' than some of these reporters who call themselves motoring experts because they see what things on a car 'they' find appealing. How many 'motoring experts' have scars on their hands to prove their claim? Most are wannabe journalists that like driving unique cars.
 

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Ralph Nader wasn't a motoring expert. He was a lawyer, political activist, lecturer, and author. He championed consumer protection issues and that prompted his book
'Unsafe At Any Speed', which targeted the safety issues of all North American built automobiles, specifically the early 60s Chevrolet Corvairs. As did most North Americans, he
knew little about the mechanics and unique driving qualities of a rear engine car, or any car for that matter. Most of the accidents he highlighted were the result of unskilled
owners driving beyond their understanding of how these cars handled. By 1963, GM made numerous upgrades to the Corvair and owners were beginning to understand the
differences between driving the Corvair and their grand father's Impala. The Corvair was around until 1969, and in several years outsold the Chevy II.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oops, an error on my part. I'm from a younger generation, and was never really into corvairs, so perhaps I need to do more research into American motoring history. Still, the result is the same, someone who is able to get their opinion across to the widespread public can result in how successful an idea, a product or a person for that matter can be.
 

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Respectfully, take issue with a few comments on Nader. He was not a motoring expert, nor was he an engineer, so I can get with both of those knocks at least at the onset. But like any person, he researched the engineering work of both GM engineers and the work done on early products liability cases by engineers and experts. Doesn't make him an engineer, but the process made him very informed about Corvair engineering, handling tests on the Corvair and similar automobiles, and well-versed in the data. I would agree that at the outset, he knew very little about the engineering of the car or the data gained from the handling tests, but he got up to speed pretty quickly. Like any attorney who delves into these cases with any depth, or for whom the litigation becomes an area of specialization, they get up to speed pretty quickly about the engineering. They need the engineers or experts to make them understand what's going on.

As far as the skill set of the typical American driver, any car that will have a handling tendency to oversteer will present a problem. Front engine, rear drive American cars typically plow (understeer), so when one doesn't and drivers aren't used to that or trained for it, bad things happen. That said, typical driver skill is only a baseline, and not even necessarily a factor in products liability litigation, believe it or not. Product liability cases in the U.S. have only three causes of action: design defects, manufacturing defects and failure to warn. In the case of Corvair, the allegations were design defects, and that the suspension and car design were defective for foreseeable road conditions and predictable American drivers' skill sets. It's not hard, even at lower speeds, to get a Corvair to roll. Same with a VW beetle made with a swing axle, or other swing axle rear engine vehicles. Seen it done on film and once in person.

What makes a 'motoring expert'? Complicated question. Anyone can write an article in a magazine or online, and they can call themselves whatever they want. In court, it's another story. USED to be that anyone could be called an expert, but the standards that have to be met today are higher. I have had the experience of getting to know a number of these experts over the years, and typically they come from one or more of 3 backgrounds: Academic (engineering degree, PhD, etc, including design engineers from manufacturers), Automotive construction, repair or race car building (repair shop owner, race car builder/driver, etc.) or Legal, as in engineers who know the law and have a long history of these types of cases involving automobiles. I've seen that ANY of the top experts coming from any of the 3 different backgrounds can be very effective and knowledgeable; on occasion, you'll find a person with 2 of these backgrounds and very rarely, even 3 backgrounds. I know one attorney in the field who was an in-house engineer at one of the Big 3, has a PhD in M.E., and has an extensive racing history. Makes for a potent skill set.

In fact, I got to meet Bill Thomas this way. Bill was an expert witness used by the law offices of David Harney, not only on Corvair cases but on other automotive product liability litigation. In fact, one of the first vehicle inspections I witnessed was attended by Bill, Harley Copp (designer of the Ford Falcon, Lincoln Continental, and many others) and Rodger Ward, 2-time Indy 500 winner. All three were automotive experts on a case, and all three came from slightly different backgrounds. Had no idea who any of them were at the time. Both Bill and Harley Copp were instrumental in Ford Pinto litigation in the '70's as well, as experts. So there are a lot of folks who call themselves experts, but they have never turned a wrench and rely on their book learnin'. Others don't have degrees, but come from the skinned knuckles background. And, for all of the shortcomings of Nader and myriad lawsuits that came after him, federal law was established to set safety standards.
 

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Interesting article on a number of fronts. If they only were selling in the double digits for units of cars, why the article? Some other things I noticed:

-the car is equipped with some SERIOUS donuts on the wheels
-anyone remember getting 61 mph in a 6 banger in first gear with a power glide?
-if the writer likes the styling of a '62 valiant better than a Nova, already his judgment is in question (I had a '61 Lancer)
-the trim is 'plastic'?
-whoever built that particular test car isn't great at fender to door alignment

All in all an interesting article.
first thing noticed: those tires!

-Rusty
 

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Factory RHD 1962 Chevy 2 3 row wagon
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
first thing noticed: those tires!

-Rusty
Much like the tyres that are still on my car. Yes, they are past their use by date well and truly, but they still hold air and theyre ok to roll it around on while I restore it. But, man, they're scary looking, hard to believe people drove at those speeds with tyres like that
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Could anyone be kind as to advise me of the quality of this ebay product. The brand is OER. My 60 year old grille in my 62 wagon is a bit beyond help, and am in the market for a new one. It's got to come to Australia and I want to make sure it's good before commiting. Thanks in advance.
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An actual picture. Long rumored to be reproduced, I have never actually seen one in person. '62 grilles were pretty easy to ding up from the outset, and finding a decent used one or an NOS one can be difficult and very expensive. Before I plunked any money down at all, I would contact an actual person allegedly selling one, ask their name, and have them show you in real time the one they are sending you. It was a running joke for years that the grille was in catalogs or could be ordered, but not actually available. Anyone actually able to buy one? Let us know.
 

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I purchased two of these grills myself i picked them up in person at classic industries over a year ago We did have to go through about four boxes to find one that I considered in the best shape


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ouch, that's enough to have me sweating on it being a good one turning up. Very hard to return to seller from here if not in great condition. 😩
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, another nice day. My new fuel tank was ready to be picked up from radiator shop. For those of you that dont know, my original tank was pretty badly beaten up (from living in dirt road country), so was really lucky to find a brand new tank for a Nova already here in Australia, seller was selling it after buying it in from US for customer that changed his mind. Only problem being it was for all Chevy 2 models except 3 row wagon. So, I had my radiator guy move the filler tube to the other side of the of the tank as tank is in the car 180° to the normal location. Really happy with the job he has done for me.
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I purchased one from Classic Industries for my project and sent it back last June. Not because of the condition it arrived in but because I determined that fitment would be an issue. For example, the repro grill uses the grill rivet bolts that look like the original rivets yet they are actually plain rounded head screws with nuts. Nothing wrong with this as it allowed me to remove the end brackets to attempt to install the original end brackets I have just out of curiosity. This is how I determined there was gonna be alignment issues with the parking lights. I should have taken pictures but the end brackets are made wrong. Hard to describe but I don't believe the parking lights would fit flush with the lower grill bar. A few caveats are necessary here. At the time I received the grill, the car was in paint jail so I could not test fit to the car. I think the grill could be made to fit to satisfaction but without attempting it personally, I don't know what that would require. These one year only grills are rare as hen's teeth so having one of the aftermarket ones is better than nothing for sure.

Sinistar2084, have you installed it yet and if so, please share pictures and your experience.
 

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Maybe they just used the '63 end brackets on this grille. This grille being available is the one reason I've kept a battered original grille--the brackets are still there. Let us know if your fix worked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I have been busy scouring the net searching for the missing parts or parts that need replacement on my 62 wagon. Have had some luck with rounding up some almost impossible to find bits. Was able to find a tailgate lower glass channel, apparantly used but it is so new looking it would easily pass off as NOS, l have found a correct NOS tailgate emblem, still in the packet from new, a pair of NOS in the boxes red tail light lenses, a pair of genuine clear tail light lenses(used but have cleaned up pretty good with a coat of epoxy), a wiper switch knob to replace the one thats missing, a NOS cigarette lighter, and a red '6' emblem that was missing. All these parts I've located in the USA and had shipped to me in Australia. I was also able to locate not one but two air cleaner housings here in Australia, the guy also had a trailer load of engine parts that will work on my 62, carbs, manifolds, starters, a nos flexplate, etc, can never have too many spares. There were 2 engines, a 250, and a 230 engine, both removed from 67 Camaro's, which was another 40 hour return roadtrip to collect. So slowly, slowly its all coming together. Still a bit to find before I get stuck into the wagon, need to find a pair of front fender stainless trims, and a grille that wont cost a kidney, but don't want to start until I have everything, so I don't come to a standstill waiting for parts. So....the hunt continues.....
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