Another detail from my 1962 Plymouth & Dodge article I forgot to elaborate on: the most almost-universal version of these cars’ origins is that Chrysler’s Bill Newberg heard (or overheard) from Ed Cole that Chevrolet was going to build a downsized Chevy for 1962, and that this happened at a Detroit area garden party. Only one problem: this event would have had to happen in the winter of 1959-1960. Did they have winter garden parties in Detroit, back in the pre-global warming era?
The Corvair was officially unveiled on October 2, 1959. It’s a pretty well-accepted fact (and withstands the logic test) that Chevy GM Ed Cole made the decision to build the Chevy II two months after the Corvair went on the market, by which time it was utterly clear that the Falcon was trouncing it in the sales by a two-to-one margin, and that the Corvair would never be a proper competitor to it.
That puts the date of his decision on or about December 2, 1959. So even if Newberg did hear something from Cole along those lines, that would have happened sometime thereafter. An Christmas garden party?
That time frame does create a bit of a question too, even if it was an indoor holiday party. These images are dated February 1960, and assuming that date is correct, it shows that the downsized Dodge (lower center) was already looking almost identical its final design. Which is quite possible, given that supposedly the designers were put on double shifts for a while after the decision to downsize was made.
I know it’s a minor detail as whether it was a garden party or Christmas party or whatever, but it does show how these stories are fraught, or get corrupted over time.