Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming… US states roll beneath the sometimes tortured wheels of our Ford truck as a mate and I haul my newly-acquired 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa eastward to Newark and a Southampton-bound ship.
Tortured, because the condition of some North American interstates has to be felt to be believed. And feel them you will, some surfaces so washboarded that we have to back off to quell the in-cabin shake.
Our tow rig’s thirst and dimensions cause it to gorge petrol like an alcoholic threatened with a dry-out. At plenty of garages we get into friendly conversation with someone who owned a Corvair or knew someone that did.
Surprisingly, nobody mentions the ‘Unsafe at Any Speed,’ book that started a consumer car safety campaign – based around the Corvair’s wayward handling. Perhaps they’re being kind.
We have a gesticulated communication with a trucker east of Detroit when we spot a Corvair coupe tied to the flatbed of his huge truck, presumably salvaged for restoration. It’s a good feeling to find someone else who thinks these Chevrolets worth saving.
But not as good as the feeling we get when we visit the Corvair Ranch. Obscurely tucked among the verdant hills of eastern Pennsylvania, I found this Mecca on the web. What’s got me excited is the solitary shot of a sea of dead Corvairs, whose carcasses must be good for dozens of parts.