Showing posts with label Vega. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vega. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chevy info / trivia / interesting stuff found in Automobile Magazines 100 years of Chevrolet

Founded by Billy Durant, it was one of three car companies he founded that year (he had founded GM years before, but got fired) He founded 2 more companies the next year

Durant did so well with Chevy, that by 1915, he took over control of GM... yeah, Chevy bought out GM.

The depression in 1920 jsut decimated his businesses., and he left in Dec, 1920

When Chevrolet started in business, there were 270 car companies in America

How American is Chevrolet? Well, Louis Chevrolet was Swiss, Zora Arkus Duntov was Belgian... you get the point right? Immigrants are Americas greatest asset, and they made Chevy and GM one of the few comapnies to survive 100 years, and one of only a handful of car manufacturers to stay in the car making business for 100 years or more.

Durant wanted to capitalize on Louis Chevrolet's racing notoriety, and had Lou design a car. It was completed in 1912. Lou quit because Durant nagged about his smoking, and went on to design Indy winning race cars, and found the Frontenac car company

1915 was the year Chevy tried to compete with the less expensive Ford, and made the 490 which was the same price as the Ford (Fiat 500 was the cost in thousands of Lira for a cinquecento) Ford retaliated by dropping his price by 50 bucks. Lots of money in 1915

1923 Chevy had 500 copper air fin equipped cars available, as this early in the car making development process, getting water cooling to work wasn't perfected for another 30 years, and the Franklin was successful as an aircooled engine... they work fine in hot climates, like the American mid and southwest.
The Copper Cooled Chevys were a flop, they detonated terrribly, and of the 100 bought by customers, all but 2 were reaquired by Chevy, AND DUMPED THEM IN LAKE EIRE!

Fangio's first big victory was in a Chevy Master 85. It was an endurance race round trip Buenos Aires to Lima and back

The longest running nameplate in auto history is the Chevy Suburban, launched in 1935

The 55 Chevy Bel Air grill design was ripped off from Ferrari. It only was used in 55.

Chevy's first international competition win was a 1953 210 sedan in the La Carrera Panamericana

1960 Daytona 500, the Junior Johnson Chevy was 20 mph slower than the leading Pontiacs,... and Junior discovered drafting, and won the race. He'd been in prison for running moonshine in 57 and couldn't race in first NASCAR Grand National Championship

Jim Halls Chaparral 2J "sucker car" used a 2 stroke snowmobile engine to produce suction in the ground effects race car to capitalize on the design

The Nassau Speed Week of Dec 1963 proved that the Corvette Grand Sport could beat the Shelby Cobras and Ferrari 250 GTOs ... but that was the last call for Chevy in racing before the AMA ban. Zora was about to take them to Sebring and LeMans

The Chevy LUV (light utility vehicle) was the first Chevy sold in the US built by a foreign manufacturer. Isuzu

The Vega had 2 notorious recalls, the rear tires falling off, and the carb filling with gas til it spilled out onto the engine onto overheating aluminum engines

GM went into partnership with Toyota to get better manufacturing processes and production systems, and reopened a GM facility in Fremont Ca, and Toyota would gain experience in building cars in the US. UAW workers were flown to Japan, learned the Toyota way, production began in 1984, was an immediate success, and they built 8 million cars before shutting down in 2009. The things learned from Toyota were implemented in GM in 1992

Dick Guldstrand was commisioned to make a high speed Corvette to test Bridgestones, he hit 176 at Talledega . It's in the auction cycle right now, and it didn't sell at 40 thou.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Trains delivering cars in the early 70's, packed, racked, and stacked.

Instead of using conventional rail cars, which carried just 18 automobiles, General Motors worked with the Southern Pacific Railroad to develop the Vert-A-Pac rail car, capable of hauling 30 Vegas per rail car. As the name implies, Vert-A-Pac rail cars hauled the Vegas nose-down, in a vertical orientation, after the cars had been bolted to Vert-A-Pac loading ramps that also doubled as doors. Once the Vegas had been secured, the ramps were lifted into place with heavy-duty forklifts, and unloading was as simple as reversing the process. Though the mere suggestion of hauling cars in positions other than horizontal typically horrifies auto enthusiasts, the Vega was engineered to be transported this way. Engine baffles prevented oil from leaking into cylinders, and special batteries with rear-mounted caps were fitted to prevent acid leaks. Any excess fuel left in the carburetor was drained via a tube to a vapor recovery canister, and even the windshield washer tank was oriented to prevent leaks.

those cars are Chevy Vega's

Monday, March 09, 2009

1974 Spirit of America Vega, Nova, and Impala

GM tried a smattering of patriotism in hopes of using the upcoming bicentennial to boost sagging sales. The sales package was known as the "Spirit of America."
Chevrolet didn't even bother putting it in their sales brochures. For the Vega and Nova, it was essentially a white exterior applique trimmed in red and blue stripes, with an eagle banner proclaiming the historical logo. The interior was as tasteful as the exterior, bright red carpeting, white vinyl upholstery.
On the '74 Vega, the "Spirit' package actually cost more than either an automatic transmission or air conditioner.
Two exist in near showroom condition:
I haven't yet found a good photo of the Impala (Apr 7 09)