Five years prior to the October, 1959, introduction of the Corvair that would become the Motor Trend magazine Car of the Year for 1960, Chevrolet produced a 'Corvair' show car for display at the 1954 Motorama.
Earlier, in January of 1953, the first Corvette show car was introduced to the public at Motorama, in New York City. It was such a hit with the public that it was put into production only 6 months later, in June, 1953.
Subsequent to the introduction of the Corvette, Harley Earl, vice-president of General Motors styling, put his team to work on three new show cars for the 1954 Motorama. The trio consisted of a car based on the standard Corvette roadster (with the roll up windows and bolt-on hard top that would see production in '56), a stunning Nomad wagon which led to the production version introduced in 1955, and the beautiful fastback coupe as seen in the artist's rendering at right. This one was named "Corvair."
Based on the production Corvette, the Corvair show car featured a fastback roof that swept back to form a distinctive arch shaped recess in the license plate area.
Sadly, the Corvette Corvair was eventually destroyed. Had it survived, it undoubtedly would occupy a place of honor in the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
General Motors Design sketch and press photos courtesy of Wayne Ellwood.