Throwback Thursday: Meet the Sporty 1962 Chevrolet Family
Classic commercial for the 1962 Chevrolet lineup showcases the sporty attitude of the brand by focusing on rear-engine Corvair Monza Spider.
The odds are good that when you hear the Chevrolet Corvair name, you think of Ralph Nader’s declaration of the car being “unsafe at any speed.” However, back in 1962, the Corvair was a cornerstone of the Chevy lineup. With the unique rear-engine construction, the Corvair offered a better combination of road handling and ride quality than many smaller American cars. The Monza Spider package added extra power, thanks to a turbocharger setup. This forced induction package lifted the output of the horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine from 102 horsepower to 150 horsepower, and while that might not sound like a great deal of power by today’s standards – that 47% increase in power went a long way in bolstering the performance spirit of the car.
The Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spider offered excellent performance with a low price, years before the Camaro would reach the lineup with the same basic approach – except with a more tradition front engine configuration and a variety of V8 engines. In 1962, the Corvair was the affordable performance car while the Corvette was the premium performance model, but according to this classic advertisement, the other models in the Chevy lineup back then also displayed that fun to drive factor.
In addition to showing the Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spider being tested by jumping over other cars, this commercials highlights how the other Chevy models exhibited the same sporty spirit as the Corvair and Corvette. This included the larger Impala, which is shown in a handful of different forms, and the compact Chevy II Nova. The commercial even shows the Impala suspension setup being tested while the guy in the driver’s seat lights a cigarette – that is how smooth the ride was for the time.
What might be the most surprising feature of this 1962 Chevrolet lineup commercial is the video quality, as the footage in the video below is 55 years old and honestly, it looks better than many of the commercials from the 1980s.