Vote for The Forward Look Network on the Mopar Top 100 Sites 

Nader's "Unsafe At Any Speed" included fins on danger list

From: Daven Anderson
Remote Name:
Date: December 03, 2002
Time: 13:54:00


The most famous chapters in "Unsafe.." deal with the swing axles on the 1960-63 Corvair. Ralph was criticized by the car magazines many times, BUT his book notes that car magazines were the first to describe the oversteer effect of the swing axle designs. What Nader SHOULD have been criticized for is for focusing on the early Corvairs when the pre-1969 VW's also have the swing axle design (and there were/still are more of those on the road than Corvairs!). The fact that JC Whitney had a transverse leaf spring camber limiter in their catalog for the Corvair soon after the line's introduction says it all! One of the other chapters noted that a child was killed when he was running to catch a ball and he ran into a parked car's tailfin (model of car not specified),which pierced his chest in the heart area and he died almost instantly. Nader noted that "Detroit's new preference for cleanly styled cars" was reducing the chance of those accidents occuring. (And yes I fondly remember the MAD cartoon with the man being impaled by the fin!) Common sense suggests that for the fin to be 'dangerous',that it would have to have a rearward cant AND a sharp edge on the top. The '59-'61 Cadillac fins would qualify, and yes the fins on my '60 Plymouth wagon! I have noticed over the years that pedestrians pay closer attention when my '60 Ply. is backing up than when my '61 Ply. is backing up!


Last changed: July 19, 2018