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Astro I Concept
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  Article Image gallery (6) Specifications  
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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:1967
Numbers built:1
Introduced at:1967 New York Auto Show
Designed by:Larry Shinoda
Author:Pieter Melissen
Last updated:August 08, 2005
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe Chevrolet Astro Corvair Corsa was designed by Larry Shinoda, who had also been responsible for the Mako Shark and the famous split window Corvette C2. It was presented at the New York Autoshow in 1967. The Astro was designed as an experiment to produce a very low drag coefficient, which was to be achieved by a very low roof line, a small frontal area and a (relatively) high back. It was because of this last requirement that the ideal powerplant for the car was found in the Corvair flat six engine, that had already been in production since 1961. The engine displaced 176 cubic inches, while it was fitted with a special cooling system using three centrifugal blowers, in order to keep the height as low as possible. The engine was capable of producing 240 BHP at an amazing 7200 RPM, which was possible as the cylinder heads were fitted with one belt driven OHC. The combustion chambers were almost hemispherical and two triple Webers 40IDA were fitted.

The car has a sophisticated suspension with double wishbones fore and aft, two part magnesium were designed, whereby the inner part could be equipped with alternate rims, a good solution if you want to be able to use varying tyre widths.

The body was constructed of fiberglass, and one nice feature were the tilting seats, that upwards together with the roof, to give easier access to the car. The bubble on the roof contains an intricate mirror system to provide an unobstructed rear.

The car now sits in the General Motors Heritage Center in Detroit and makes occasional outings to prestigious events.

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  Article Image gallery (6) Specifications