This experimental two seater, shorter than a standard Corvair in both wheelbase and overall length, is powered by a turbo-charged flat six, air-cooled engine. The Super Spyder received Automobile Quarterly’s 1962 “Award for Design Excellence” in recognition of its sporty styling motif and appealing lines.
The XP-785 was based on a 1962 convertible body shell. Its overall length of 171 inches and its 93-inch wheelbase are both shorter than the stock 180 and 108-inch dimensions. The differences stem from increased front and rear body overhang and the removal of a 15-inch section of the body between the doors and rear wheel arches.
Many styling elements set the Super Spyder apart: a racing-style windscreen, low-drag sport mirrors, and the aerodynamic driver’s headrest built into the long, fiberglass rear deck cover. Then there are the exotic exhaust pipes, Stingray taillights, split bumpers, triple louvers in the quarter panels ahead of the rear wheels, alloy wheels with knock-off centers, Spyder instrumentation, wood-rimmed steering wheel, and the bold racing stripe! I’m drooling again.
Corvair Super Spyder by General Motors Styling
This new two-seater experimental sports roadster is based on a Chevrolet Corvair convertible body shell. The Corvair's wheelbase has been shortened 15'' to a tidy 93'', all the reduction being between the door and the rear wheel house. Overall length is 173'', seven inches shorter than a standard Corvair and six inches longer than this car's direct predecessor, the Corvair Sebring Spyder. Tread and overall width remain substantially as on the standard Corvair.
The new elongated nose of the Super Spyder marks its greatest departure from standard Corvair styling. Its pointed, undercut contour bears a strong fmaily relationship to earlier Stingray and Shark experimental Corvettes. As on these cars, in plan view the nose has a marked "V" outline.
The two main headlamps are recessed in the front fenders, sharing these recesses with small non-functional air intake grilles. Below the nose, carried toward the center and close to the road, are two long-range driving lamps which are integrated into the front end design. The fuel filler cap, exposed on the left front fender, is of special press-to-open design.
While the front trunk lid of the Super Spyder is of conventional design, the rear deck is one large glass-fiber panel, which breaks from the side peak line to hinge up for access to the engine. This deck lid carries a single head rest, on the drivers's side and a single long, centrally-placed air vent similar in size and grillwork to one of the front hood vents of the Stingray.
On the side of the body, ahead of each rear wheel house, are three intake-like louvers. Behind each wheel house, three chromed exhaust pipes curve rearward out of a near-vertical slot-- six such pipes in all.
The interior of the Super Spyder employs the same bucket seat design, special brushed-finish instrument panel and metal-trimmed floors that were features on the Corvair Sebring Spyder. A single low racing windshield and a tonneau cover on the passenger's side complete the driver-only motif established by the single headrest.
Power for the Super Spyder will be supplied by the Corvair Spyder turbocharged flat-six, transmitted through a four-speed gearbox. All the Spyder chassis options for heavy-duty suspension and braking will be employed on the experimental Super Spyder. Brushed cast-aluminum wheels are used. It is finished in brilliant silver flake paint.