The Ideal Library

Books That Should Be on Every Corvair Owner’s Shelf...

 

 

 

The Ideal Library is a listing of 72 Corvair-related books that I either own, were suggested by users, or are commonly available in vendor catalogs and on the Internet.  The library’s web pages present pictures of the books, mini-reviews, and helpful purchasing information.

 

 

 

The Most Important Feature

In addition to the features described above, the Ideal Library also lets visitors rank the various Corvair Books according to the recommended order in which they should be purchased.  After all, if a Corvair owner were to buy all the books listed in this library at an average price of, say, $20 each, he or she would end up spending about what it costs to get a brand-new Clark’s interior.  From this librarian’s perspective, that’s an awful lot of books/money.

If everyone participates, the results of the ranking process should make the essential books for a Corvair library plainly apparent.  Please take the time as you browse through the library to rate the Corvair books you’ve read so the rest of us can benefit from your knowledge and experience.

 

Click the button to rate the Corvair books in the Ideal Library
Vote Early, Vote Often!

The Ideal Library only works if everyone participates.  If you’ve read any good Corvair books, please click the button above to rate them on a scale of 1-5.

 

The Books

 

 

 

In order to get right down to a listing of the books included in The Ideal Library, I have postponed the usual discussion of the methods used to create the master list of books until the bottom of this page.  If you think that a particular book or document is missing from this list (e.g., The CORSA Communique), please review the discussion below before concluding that the head librarian has been sniffing too many heater fumes...

And now, the books.  The Ideal Library is divided into four general categories:

There are two other book-related topics that also might apply to you if you’re assembling your own Corvair library:

Please click any of the links above (or just scroll down) to see a list of books in that category.  Once there, click the detail button — — or the book’s title to view detailed information (including buying tips) for the book.

 

 

 

Corvair Technical, Fix-it, and How-to

 

 

 

 

All of the books in this category have to do with fixing or restoring your Corvair.  About half are general "how-to" manuals (e.g., How to Keep Your Corvair Alive) while the others cover a specific component or area of Corvairs (e.g., Stop Corvair Lubricant Leaks).

 

 

 

Book Title

Author

Votes

Rating

Detail

Assembly Manual

Chevrolet Staff

230

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Assembly Manual

The Care and Feeding of Your Corvair

Various Authors

5

3.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for The Care and Feeding of Your Corvair

Chilton's Repair & Tune-up Guide

Automotive Editorial Department

87

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Chilton's Repair & Tune-up Guide

The Classic Corvair

Bob Helt

55

1.7

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for The Classic Corvair

The Corv-8: America's Original Mid-Engine Super Car

Greg Riley

10

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for The Corv-8: America's Original Mid-Engine Super Car

Corvair...A History and Restoration Guide

Bill Artzberger

346

1.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair...A History and Restoration Guide

Corvair Basics

Various Authors

145

1.3

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Basics

Corvair Body Service Manual

Chevrolet Staff

238

1.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Body Service Manual

Corvair for the Not So Mechanically Inclined

Perry Moore

3

1.7

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair for the Not So Mechanically Inclined

Corvair Junkyard Primer (2nd Edition)

Larry Scrivener

72

1.5

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Junkyard Primer (2nd Edition)

Corvair Owners Handbook

Floyd Clymer

63

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Owners Handbook

Corvair Owners Workshop Manual

Kenneth Ball

11

1.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Owners Workshop Manual

Corvair Performance Handbook

Ocee Ritch

37

1.6

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Performance Handbook

Corvair Secrets

Bob Helt

19

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Secrets

Corvair Wheel Alignment

Frederick Johnson

76

1.3

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Wheel Alignment

How to Air Condition Any Corvair Vehicle

Richard Finch

203

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for How to Air Condition Any Corvair Vehicle

How to Hotrod Corvair Engines

Fred W. (Bill) Fisher

76

1.5

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for How to Hotrod Corvair Engines

How to Hotrod the Corvair Engine and Chassis

Emerson, Seth & Fisher, Bill

87

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for How to Hotrod the Corvair Engine and Chassis

How to Identify and Rebuild Carter YH Carburetors Used on Corvair Turbocharged Engines

Bob Helt

174

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for How to Identify and Rebuild Carter YH Carburetors Used on Corvair Turbocharged Engines

How to Identify and Rebuild Corvair Rochester Carbs

Bob Helt

11

1.4

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for How to Identify and Rebuild Corvair Rochester Carbs

How to Keep Your Corvair Alive (8th Ed.)

Richard Finch

311

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for How to Keep Your Corvair Alive (8th Ed.)

Power Train Removal and Installation

Chevrolet Staff

6

1.8

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Power Train Removal and Installation

San Diego Corvair Club "Vair Tips"

Various Authors

24

1.3

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for San Diego Corvair Club

Service News & Technical Bulletins (Reprint)

Chevrolet Staff

5

2.8

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Service News & Technical Bulletins (Reprint)

Service News: Engine Fume Odor Diagnosis

Chevrolet Staff

19

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Service News: Engine Fume Odor Diagnosis

Servicing the Powerglide Transmission

Chevrolet Staff

15

2.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Servicing the Powerglide Transmission

Shop Manual (Chassis -- plus Supplements)

Chevrolet Staff

505

1.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Shop Manual (Chassis -- plus Supplements)

Stop Corvair Lubricant Leaks

Frederick Johnson

19

2.3

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Stop Corvair Lubricant Leaks

Technical Guide & Supplement (CORSA)

Claypool, Larry and Wispell, Clay, editors

235

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Technical Guide & Supplement (CORSA)

Ultimate Guides to Vairs with Air

Greg Riley

1,404

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Ultimate Guides to Vairs with Air

 

 

 

Corvair History, Background, and General Reference

 

 

 

 

The books in the Corvair History, Background, and General Reference category are reference books specifically written about the Corvair by various automotive writers.

 

 

 

Book Title

Author

Votes

Rating

Detail

Air-Cooled Motor Engines

Julius Mackerle

116

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Air-Cooled Motor Engines

Car Life Reprint

Various Authors

4

3.3

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Car Life Reprint

Chevrolet Corvair Photo History

Monty Montgomery

18

2.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Chevrolet Corvair Photo History

Compleat History of the Corvair for the Compleat Corvair Nut!! (Volumes I & II)

John Wipff

79

1.3

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Compleat History of the Corvair for the Compleat Corvair Nut!! (Volumes I & II)

Corvair 1959-1968

R.M. Clarke

64

1.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair 1959-1968

Corvair 1959-1969

R.M. Clarke

7

1.7

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair 1959-1969

Corvair Affair

Mike Knepper

132

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Affair

The 1960-1969 Corvair Authenticity Series

Machan, Wayne & Bruggen, Bill

10

3.6

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for The 1960-1969 Corvair Authenticity Series

Corvair by Chevrolet

Ludvigsen Library Series

52

1.3

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair by Chevrolet

The Corvair Decade

Tony Fiore

465

1.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for The Corvair Decade

Corvair Engineering Specifications

Chevrolet Staff

129

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Engineering Specifications

1969 Corvair Finger Tip Facts (30th Anniversary Edition)

Ellis, Mark & Newell, David

215

1.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for 1969 Corvair Finger Tip Facts (30th Anniversary Edition)

Corvair Guide

Hans Tanner

300

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Guide

Corvair Performance Portfolio 1959-1969

Various Authors

742

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Performance Portfolio 1959-1969

Corvair SAE Papers

Chevrolet Staff

6

1.7

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair SAE Papers

Don Yenko and the Yenko Stinger

Charlie "Bud" Doerge

36

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Don Yenko and the Yenko Stinger

The (in)Compleat Corvair Story

David Newell

339

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for The (in)Compleat Corvair Story

 

 

 

Corvair and the Automotive Industry

 

 

 

 

Books in this category cover the Corvair and its relation to the general automotive industry.  Nearly all entries in deal with the Corvair, Ralph Nader, and GM management.

 

 

 

Book Title

Author

Votes

Rating

Detail

Assassination of the Corvair

Andrew J. White

29

1.7

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Assassination of the Corvair

Chrome Colossus - General Motors and Its Times

Ed Cray

29

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Chrome Colossus - General Motors and Its Times

Hit & Run - The Rise and Fall? - of Ralph Nader

Ralph De Toledano

174

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Hit & Run - The Rise and Fall? - of Ralph Nader

The Investigation of Ralph Nader

Thomas Whiteside

6

1.5

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for The Investigation of Ralph Nader

On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors

J. Patrick Wright

367

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors

Unsafe at Any Speed

Ralph Nader

604

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Unsafe at Any Speed

 

 

 

Other Corvair Publications

 

 

 

 

This category lists various Corvair books and pamphlets that didn't seem to fall into the Fix-it, Reference, and Industry History categories.  The topics range from marketing (e.g., Chevrolet Showroom Accessories Brochures), to show car judging (e.g., CORSA Concours d'Elegance Rules), to the truly miscellaneous (e.g., NHTSA Response to Ralph Nader).

 

 

 

Book Title

Author

Votes

Rating

Detail

Accessory Installation Instructions

Chevrolet Staff

431

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Accessory Installation Instructions

Bullet Hole Drive: A Pedal to the Metal Citywide Demolition Mystery (Corvair Corsa Club Series) (Volume 1)

Karl J. Niemiec

48

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Bullet Hole Drive: A Pedal to the Metal Citywide Demolition Mystery (Corvair Corsa Club Series) (Volume 1)

Chevrolet Showroom Accessories Brochures

Chevrolet Staff

145

1.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Chevrolet Showroom Accessories Brochures

Chevrolet Showroom Sales Brochures

Chevrolet Staff

28

1.5

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Chevrolet Showroom Sales Brochures

Clark's Corvair Parts Catalog

Clark's Corvair Parts

21

4.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Clark's Corvair Parts Catalog

Converting Corvair Engines for Use in Experimental Aircraft

William Wynne

24

1.3

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Converting Corvair Engines for Use in Experimental Aircraft

CORSA Concours d'Elegance Rules & Judging Sheets

CORSA

78

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for CORSA Concours d'Elegance Rules & Judging Sheets

CORSA Membership Roster

CORSA

136

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for CORSA Membership Roster

Corvair Convertible Operation and Care of the Folding Top

Chevrolet Staff

233

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Convertible Operation and Care of the Folding Top

Corvair Owner's Manual

Chevrolet Staff

34

1.8

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Owner's Manual

Corvair Parts and Accessories Catalog 1960-69

Chevrolet Staff

206

1.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Parts and Accessories Catalog 1960-69

The Corvair Plastic Model Guide

Nick Whitlow

10

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for The Corvair Plastic Model Guide

The Corvair Reference Guide

Bob Helt

261

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for The Corvair Reference Guide

Corvair Underground Catalog

Corvair Underground

338

1.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Corvair Underground Catalog

How to Build Corvair Based Dune Buggies and Bugs

John Quan

283

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for How to Build Corvair Based Dune Buggies and Bugs

Lifemobile

Jonathan Rintels

0

n/r

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Lifemobile

National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Report on 1960-63 Corvair Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

302

1.0

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Report on 1960-63 Corvair Safety

Solo Is…

Warren LeVeque

20

1.2

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Solo Is…

Yenko Stinger Tech Manual

Yenko Sportscars

49

1.1

Click the magnifying glass to see detail for Yenko Stinger Tech Manual

 

 

 

Buying the Books

 

 

 

In general, if a book is still in print, I recommend that you buy it new from either a Corvair Vendor (e.g., Clark’s, Corvair Underground), or from a national bookseller such as Amazon.

My thinking is that, even if used copies of the book are widely available, we shouldn’t keep royalties from any author who has taken the time to write a book on the Corvair.  After all, it would help us all if these writers were motivated enough to update their books and/or write new volumes from time to time.

The obvious exception to this rule would be the book “Unsafe At Any Speed.”  We certainly don’t want to encourage Mr. Nader to write another book about the Corvair.  One was enough.

In any case, detailed purchasing instructions for each book (including formatted Internet searches for the online used booksellers) can be found on each book’s detailed information page.

 

 

 

A Few Final Notes on What Is and What Isn’t in The Ideal Library

 

 

 

When I began researching this project, I went to many sources to try to understand which Corvair books had been published over the years and whether or not they were still available.  The sources I checked were:

  • The Vendors’ Catalogs – In addition to offering tons of Corvair parts, the vendors (Clark’s in particular) offer a nice assortment of Corvair-related literature.
     
  • ABEBooks.com – ABEBooks (the American Book Exchange) has an easy-to-use interface for searching for used books.  I simply entered “Corvair” in their keyword search and sifted through the hundreds of entries that came back.  This is how I learned about the existence of a couple of obscure gems, Ocee Ritch’s “Corvair Performance Handbook” and Thomas Whiteside’s marvelous analysis of how GM bungled Ralph Nader’s accusations in “The Investigation of Ralph Nader”.
     
  • Bibliofind.com – Like ABEBooks, Bibliofind.com is a used book website connected to a powerful search engine.  Because Bibliofind is now owned by Amazon.com, there tend to be many more books available.  For whatever reason, however, I find the books on ABEBooks to be cheaper.
     
  • My Own Bookshelf – I already had accumulated about half the items in this Library.  These certainly gave me a leg up in creating the cover scans and writing the initial book reviews.
     
  • Other Corvair Experts – When I had my lists together, I ran them by a group of knowledgeable Corvair people I had “met” on Virtual Vairs.  These folks generously took the time to review my list and a preliminary version of this website.  Thanks, guys.

After I had assembled my working list of books, I had to make some decsions concerning what to leave in and what to take out.  For better or worse, the following were my conclusions:

  • Magazine Articles and Advertising: Not In – I decided early on that The Ideal Library would not be a Corvair version of the “Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature”.  Magazine articles featuring the Corvair are not included in this library, mostly so that I would have had the proverbial snowball’s chance of getting this done.  Compiling a list of every article ever written about the Corvair would have been a monumental effort and was well beyond the scope of what I was trying to accomplish.  Believe me, compiling a list of books about the Corvair was hard enough.
     
  • Brochures and Pamplets: In – One could infer from these comments on magazines that The Ideal Library only contains references to Corvair books.  However, when I began assembling the various Corvair-related documents, things got a little fuzzy.  For example, what is the exact definition of a “book”?  Should the original Chevrolet Dealer Sales Brochures or Fred Johnson’s Corvair booklets be thought of as “books”?  I thought so, so these valuable documents are in this library.  Perhaps the best definition of the contents of this libary would be “Books & Other Reference Documents.”
     
  • CORSA Periodicals: Not In – Another important group of Corvair-related items that are not in The Ideal Library are the various publications printed by CORSA and its local chapters.  I decided to leave out the CORSA Communique, the old CORSA Quarterly, the CorvanAntics newsletter, etc. since these are/were recurring publications.  In addition, back issues are normally purchased using different channels than the ones described above.  If and when The Ideal Library is expanded to include periodical literature, these extremely valuable documents will be the very first ones listed.

If you’re aware of any Corvair books that are missing from this library or if you disagree with any exclusions I’ve made, please send an email to the Ideal Garage to let me know.
 

 

 

 

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