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Chevrolet Centennial: Prewar Cars 1911-1942

By vegavairbob

1911: Louis Chevrolet completes the first Chevrolet prototype.
1912: Chevrolet Type C, a six-passenger touring model is Chevy's first car - has the largest engine (299 cu in) until the late 50s. A few are built late in the year.
1913: The Type C is formally introduced January, 1913, but is known as "Classic Six" by midyear and sold throughout 1913 with few changes from Louis Chevrolet's prototype - available only as a four-door touring model, the "Classic Six" has an expansive 120-inch wheelbase - at 3350 pounds, it weighs half-a-ton more than that year's largest Buick, and at $2500 cost nearly twice as much. Calender year sales are accordingly modest.
Series L Light Six and Series H Four bow in July for 1914.
1914: Type C phased out by early 1914, leaving the Series L Light Six touring ($1475) as the "senior" Chevrolet. Series H Four roadster and touring models ($750-$875) account for 80 percent of sales. An electric starter and lights available for $125 on both models; Chevrolet's now familiar bow tie emblem debuts.
1915: Series L Light Six dropped after a final 500 1915 models are built. Chevrolet unveils a new Model T fighter in April: the 1916-model 490 ($490) Orders pour in.
1916: The 490 roadster and touring model match Ford's price but ups the "Tin Lizzy" by offering electric starter and lights for $60, not available on the Ford at any price. Colors? Black. Series H returns for its final year.
Chevy output soars to 63,000 cars, led by the 490.
1917: New Series F introduced, replacing the Series H. The two-pass roadster and five-pass touring models ($800) have a two-inch longer 108-inch wheelbase. Electric starter and lights now standard on all Chevrolets. Series D V-8 debuts as early 1918 model in four-pass roadster and five-pass touring models ($1385). Production totals 125,000 placing Chevy fourth in the sales standings.
1918: Series F replaced by Series FA . Chevy's "quality" four cylinder car has a larger improved engine and offers a new enclosed two-door sedan model ($1475). The 490 receives detail engine upgrades and adds new two-door sedan and coupe ($1060); Both the FA and the 490 sedans featured removable center posts - a breezy preview of the Post World War II "hardtop."
Chevy claims third place behind Ford and Willys-Overland.
1919: Series D dropped - advanced though it was, the Series D V-8 was trouble-prone, this and an even stiffer price of $1550 in 1918 worked against Chevy's V-8 models. (Chevrolet wouldn't return to V-8s until 1955). Improved Series FB replaces FA - Chevy's best for 1919 offers new four-door sedan ($1885) which bows mid year joining the the roadster, touring and two-door sedan.The 490 changes little with orders rising over 47 percent. Prices are up - the 490 roadster ($750) continues to be the most affordable. Car sales reach nearly 150,000 as Chevrolet moves up to number-two.
1920: 490 gets appearance modifications including new wider running boards that flowed into the front fenders; Open cars adopt twin "portholes" for rearward vision with the top up; The headlights are directly attached to the fenders. Prices drop in response to postwar depression.
1921: 150,000 490s are unsold in part due to the product's reputation. The public had come to realize that the Chevy 490 was by no means as tough an automobile as Henry Ford's Model T. Chevy drops from third to fifth in industry sales.
1922: Radio first offered as an option; Utility Coupe and four-door sedan join the 490 lineup. Hayes-Iona Body Company continue to build bodies for the four-seat coupe and the sedan. (Fisher bodies used for the Utility model). All 490s get a lever activated parking brake; FB model changes confined to technical details; Dramatic price cuts - Sales triple moving Chevy once again to second place.
1923: Superior model debuts, replacing both the 490 and FB - featured a tall hood - an inch longer wheelbase - mechanical components nearly identical to those of the 490. Two-door Sedanette with small, removable trunk is new body style; Ill-fated "Copper Cooled" model introduced; Production of 1-millionth Chevrolet takes place on February 22.
1924: Superior models continued in an updated Series F; Deluxe versions of the touring, coupe, and four-door sedan are cataloged. Sales drop. A stagnant product line is blamed.
1925: Superior K introduced with improved engine and running gear; Duco colors offered; Sales increase by 70 percent. 2-millionth Chevrolet produced.
1926: Series V introduced mid-year; Dressy Landau sedan joins; Production climbs past 730,000
1927: Capitol Series AA with updated styling and technical features; Coupe with rumble seat debuts; Closed cars garner top sales positions in Chevy line. Ford shuts down for five months for Model A changeover; Chevy outsells Ford for the first time.
1928: National Series AB introduced on longer wheelbase; Chevy offers its first convertible; Despite Ford's new Model A, Chevy still leads sales race.
1929: "Stovebolt Six" introduced - Chevy has the first six cylinder engine in a low-price car; International Series AC cars wear freshened styling; New Landau Sedan with folding rear roof section; 6-millionth Chevy rolls out on June 25th, but Ford retakes the lead in sales.
1930: Chevrolet the first to introduce articulated brake shoes for positive braking action; Convertible Cabriolet dropped; Production slumps due to economic conditions; 7-millionth vehicle produced.
1931: Independence Series AE debuts with longer wheelbase, more body styles; 8-millionth Chevrolet built.
1932: New Confederate line offers two trim levels - handsome Cadillac-like styling; "Cast Iron Wonder" adds 10 horspower; "Silent Second" transmission arrives; Numerous mechanical upgrades for all models; Depression deepens - Chevy car sales drop nearly 50 percent.
1933: Chevolet launches the Standard Six - advertised as the cheapest six-cylinder enclosed car on the market. Chevrolet introduced vacuum spark control, no draft ventilation and heat control. Car line receives lower, more streamlined styling in new Eagle and mid-season Mercury series; "Stovebolt Six" adds five more horsepower in Eagle models; Closed cars feature Fisher Body's new "No-draft" ventilation; "Starterator" automatic starter adopted; Chevy car sales rise 55 percent as America gets a "New Deal."
1934: Streamlining more evident on new Master and Standard models; Independent "Knee-Action" front suspension; more powerful "Blue Streak Six" Chevrolet builds its 10-millionth car.
1935: New styling graces all-steel "Turret Top" Master Deluxe bodies.
1936: Four-wheel hydraulic brakes debut. Passenger-car sales rebound to 918,278
1937: "Blue Flame" six gains size, power.
1938: Only minor changes in model lines; car sales drop 50 percent in an unexpected recession, but Chevy tops the industry after bowing to Ford two previous years.
1939: Trunkless sedans phased out during the year, but Chevy catalogs a station wagon for the first time; Optional steering column shift debuts; Chevrolet builds its 15-millionth vehicle as car sales inch up to 577,278
1940: "Royal Clipper" styling for fully redesigned bodies; Convertible returns in new top-line Special Deluxe Series; Sealed-beam headlights adopted; Chevy remains "USA-1" as car sales improve to 764,616
1941: A vintage year for Chevrolet cars brings eye-catching new styling, a three-inch longer wheelbase, concealed running boards, and numerous technical improvements; Blue Flame Six becomes 90-horspower "Victory Six." 16-millionth Chevrolet rolls off the assembly line; Chevy car sales soar beyond one million for the year.
1942: America enters World War II in December 1941. "Blackout Specials" mandated after January 1; Civilian production ends on February 9 as U.S.industry gears up to defeat Axis powers. Chevy car output stops at 254,885 units.

see also-
Chevrolet Centennial: Postwar Cars 1946-2012
http://www.mo...49-2012-10503

Chevrolet Centennial: Postwar Cars 1946-2012

By vegavairbob

1946: Like most Detroit makes after World War II, Chevrolet reprises its 1942 models for 1946 with minor appearance changes; Stylemaster Sport Sedan leads the production parade; Specs the same save a different carburetor and slight weight gain; Strike hits all of GM, holds '46-model Chevrolet output to 398,028; Prices up as much as 46 percent, due to postwar inflation.
1947: Cadet compact developed, but is quickly shelved as unnecessary; Car production gets back up to speed, rising to 671,543 units.
1948: Car production rises to 696,449 units.
1949: Fresh postwar styling, new series names. Chevy's first all-steel wagon at mid-year; Fastbacks multiply; Car production soars to a record million-plus.
1950: Bel Air "hardtop convertible" bows; mild styling changes; Optional Powerglide automatic transmission - the first in a low price car. Car sales set a new record at nearly 1.5 million units.
1951: Mild facelift; Dressier "Modern-Mode" interiors. Larger new "Jumbo-Drum" brakes. Most Fleetline fastbacks dropped by mid-model year due to continued flagging sales; Bel Air surges 35 percent.
1952: Styling touched up, colors and trim choices expand.
1953: Corvette sports car with an all fiberglass body introduced. The first 15 cars are built by hand in the back of a customer delivery garage in Flint, Michigan. Passenger Chevys get a fresh look with new bodies; new series names, optional power steering; the larger 235.5 Six becomes standard.
1954: Corvette enters full production but sales disappoint GM.
Passenger models get a light restyle. Power brakes, windows, and seats are first-time options.
1955: All-new "Motoramic" styling for Bel Air, Two-Ten, One-Fifty; High-style Bel Air Nomad wagon debuts; Landmark "small block" V8 makes Chevy "The Hot One." Corvette gets the new "Turbo Fire" V-8
1956: New 205-horsepower "Super Turbo Fire" V-8 - The ads proclaimed "The Hot One's Even Hotter." All-new Corvette offers slick styling, true sports-car moves; Standard Chevys get heavy facelift, new four-door hardtop model for Bel Air and Two-Ten series.
1957: Standard Chevys get a handsome "Baby Cadillac" facelift. 283 V8 engine introduced including a fuel injection option offering "one horsepower per cubic inch." The 150 model two-door sedan, dubbed the "Black Widow," proved invincible - It was the first car outlawed by NASCAR.
1958: Larger, redesigned standard cars - the sharp tailfins of the '57 give way to deeply sculptured rear fenders. Lush Impala models introduced. A "big-block" 348 V8 a new option; descended from a truck engine; Corvette gets more power and a dazzling facelift.
1959:' Chevrolets are radically redesigned, sharing bodyshells with lower-end Buicks and Oldsmobiles (as well as with Pontiac), part of a GM economy move; Impala becomes a separate series; The last fuel-injected engines in anything but a Corvette.
1960: Corvair rear-engined compact introduced - Late intro Monza coupe inspires Ford to produce the Mustang. Standard Chevys get a conservative facelift.
1961: Chevrolet full size cars totally redesigned. The new bodies are more trim than the 1958–60 models and the tail fins are gone for good. Super Sport option for Impalas bows at mid-year. "Real fine" 409 V-8 debuts; Corvette gets a new tail with signature dual lamps; Corvair adds station wagon.
1962: Full-size Chevys get refined styling; Potent 327 V-8 bows; 348 engine dropped. Compact Chevy II introduced to do battle with Ford's conventional Falcon. Corvair Monza adds convertible and a Spyder model with the first turbocharger on a production car. Bel Air / Impala turns into a drag-strip legend - the 409 V8 engine launched the full-size Chevy from 0 to 60 in four and a half seconds.
1963: All-new Corvette Sting Ray stuns the sports-car world - new were hideaway headlights, a fully independent rear suspension, and a coupe with a unique vertically split rear window.
1964: Mid-size Chevelle introduced; Full-size line restyled. Corvair volume falls.
1965: Chevrolet full size cars redesigned with a new full width perimeter frame and new bodies featuring curved side glass and a sharper angled windshield. Corvair redesigned with stylish new bodies and a fully independent rear suspension similar to Corvette. Caprice introduced as a luxurious four-door hardtop, Chevelle gets a front facelift; 396 big-block V8 engine introduced;
1966: Chevy II and Chevelle get stylish new bodies; 396 now the sole Chevelle SS powerplant; Caprice becomes separate top-line series. Corvair sales plunge as safety controversy mounts. New 427 big-block option for Corvette and full-size Chevys.
1967: Mustang-fighting Camaro bows with a new 350 small-block option. Corvair drops Corsa models, turbo engine; Rare 560-hp L-88 option for Corvette; Full-size cars get new curvier bodies; Impala SS 427 added.
1968: Radically restyled Corvette debuts. The design based on the '65 Mako Shark II concept car would last fourteen years - sales actually increased as performance declined. Corvair four-door hardtops dropped; Impala SS reverts to option status; Impala SS 427 continues; 307 V-8 replaces 283. Chevelle redesigned with 2-door models on a shorter wheelbase, Chevy Nova redesigned - both.with semi-fastback styling. The L-78 375-horsepower 396 Nova SS was capable of low 14s at 100 mph. Camaro wins Trans-Am Championship.
1969: Corvair discontinued - the last Corvair is produced in May, a gold Monza coupe; Impala SS dropped; Impala SS 427 continues in its last season; Astro Ventilation bows on passenger cars - eliminates vent windows; Caprice gets a hideaway-headlight option; Camaro facelifted, repeats as Trans-Am champion; Camaro RS/SS convertible Indy 500 pace car edition released. Camaro COPO ZL1 427 V8s with 435/430-horsepower available this year only. Corvette revives Stingray name, sets another sales record.
1970: Second generation Camaro debuts mid-year - handling was the best yet. New Monte Carlo puts Chevy in the personal-luxury game; Big-block V8 swells to 454 cubic inches. GM displacement ban lifted on midsize cars, gives Chevelle SS 450-horsepower.
1971: Vega 2300 introduced. The all-new subcompact is a record $200 million investment for General Motors. Its mission - to battle the imports and bring in new customers. Chevrolet full size cars get complete redesign - are the largest cars ever sold by Chevrolet; Engines detuned to run on unleaded gas. Last Monte Carlo SS454.
1972: Engines shift from gross to net ratings, power slides again. Minor styling revisions on Full-size cars/Chevelle/Monte Carlo; Camaro comes close to extinction. The last Impala convertible.
1973: Redesigned Chevelle / Monte Carlo - new rooflines combined frameless hardtop-style door glass with strong B-pillars to meet rollover standards - Chevelle hardtops and convertibles dropped; New Monte Carlo has the longest hood ever on a Chevrolet; Nova facelifted, two-door model gets a hatchback option; All models get larger 5 mph front bumpers - except Corvette and Chevelle Laguna, sporting urethane front ends, hidden 5 mph bumper systems. 1-millionth Vega produced in May; Wankel rotary engine powered Vegas undergo cold weather testing in Canada but rotary engine is stillborn after program is cancelled two years later.
1974: Vega and Camaro facelifted with sloped front-ends and aluminum bumpers; Corvette gets a new-look tapered rear end; other models modified for rear 5-mph standard with new bumpers. The last big-block 454 V8 engine in a Corvette; "Spirit of America" special edition Vega, Nova and Impala introduced sporting white exteriors with white vinyl tops, red/blue striping/I.D transfers and white vinyl interiors.
1975: Sporty Vega-based Monza 2+2 debuts - a new 262 V8 is optional; Cosworth Vega bows after a five-year long gestation period - Its hand-built twin cam four was the first Chevrolet engine to use electronic fuel injection; Camaro Z/28 dropped; Monza Towne Coupe bows mid-year with half-vinyl top and opera windows to battle Mustang II Ghia. Nova fully restyled, while roadability improved by borrowing some Camaro suspension components; Vega sales drop 50 percent, its reputation tarnished from engine problems; Caprice Classic convertible and Corvette convertible furloughed at season's end.
1976: Chevette mini-car bows as a second import-fighter - the U.S version of GM's worldwide "T-Car" is the smallest Chevy ever, more than a foot shorter than the Vega.
1977: Full-size line "downsized" in complete redesign; Corvette drops Stingray name. Camaro Z/28 returns to lineup. Vega cancelled the end of the model year.
1978: Smaller Malibu replaces Chevelle; Monte Carlo also downsized; Indy Pace Car and 25th Anniversary Corvettes offered; All Corvettes get a new fastback rear window, a new dash and 25th anniversary emblems. Camaro's bumpers replaced by "soft" fascias. Chevette five-door hatchback bows; Vega hatchback and wagon reborn with Monza badging and Pontiac "Iron Duke" engine.
1979: Nova discontinued mid-year; Citation, Chevy's first front-wheel drive car bows in Spring as an early 1980 model; Camaro's new Berlinetta model replaces Type LT; Corvette's best sales year ever.
1980: All-new compact Citation debuts; Monte Carlo adds Turbo V6 power; Corvette gets a contemporary look with integrated front and rear spoilers, and shed 150 pounds via lighter body panels and greater use of aluminum components; Big Chevys get "aero" facelift; Monza wagon dropped; Monza V-8 option dropped, leaving Pontiac-4 and V6 engines - it's the last year for the six-year old Vega-based sportsters.
1981: All engines adopt "Computer Command Control" electronics. Monte Carlo gets "aero" facelift with a lower-profile nose, crisper contours and other styling changes; Corvette sheds another 100 pounds via thinner door glass and a monoleaf rear spring made of plastic instead of steel.
1982: Camaro completely redesigned; Subcompact Cavalier introduced, replaces Monza; New mid-size Celebrity introduced - both are front wheel drive. Camaro Indy 500 pace car edition- are specially trimmed T-top Z/28s.
1983: Monte Carlo SS returns. Chevette S (Sport) model bows; 78-vintage Malibu rear-wheel drives dropped the end of the year. Citation sales fall 43 percent from continued adverse publicity over brake problems.
1984: Corvette redesigned - the first all-new Corvette in fifteen years; Citation II debuts, little changed from previous models but the car's new badges suggested otherwise.
1985: 4.3 Liter V6 introduced; Camaro adds IROC-Z model. Chevy markets the Nova made by NUMMI, formed by GM and Toyota - the sole factory in California is rated the highest in quality control. Chevrolet markets Japanese subcompacts - Isuzu-built Spectrum and Suzuki-built Sprint.
1986: The first Corvette convertible in twelve years is released - all are Indy 500 pace car editions. Impala dropped. Monte Carlo gets LS model with a smoother nose and composite headlamps. Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe introduced; Citation II dropped.
1987: Camaro revives convertible; Chevette dropped at mid-year; Base-model Monte Carlo dropped - sales down nearly 35 percent on remaining LS and SS models.
1988: Beretta / Corsica introduced. Corvette 35th anniversary limited edition released; Cavaliers get a facelift, lose hatchback; Monte Carlo departs at midyear.
1989: Geo subdivision of entry-level vehicles introduced to market the NUMMI-built Prism, the Suzuki-built Metro, and the Isuzu-built Storm and Spectrum; Corsica adds a hatchback.
1990: New front wheel drive Lumina introduced in base and sport Euro models replaces mid-size Celebrity, New Lumina APV front wheel drive mini-van has radically-sloped nose, "spaceframe" with composite body panels; Corvette's cockpit gets a sweepy new dash; Beretta Indy 500 pace car edition. Corvette crushes three endurance and speed world records.
1991: Caprice gets first restyle in 14 years with two-inchs longer overall length and width, weight up 200 pounds. A minor facelift freshens Corvette. Lumina adds Z34 coupe. Chevy counters Mustang with a Police Package of their own for the Camaro - production unknown, probably low.
1992: Lumina adds sporty Euro 3.4 sedan option; Caprice LTZ joins Caprice sedan and Classic but sales plunge 50 percent; Cavailer gets standard ABS; Camaro Heritage 25th birthday option; New LT1 V-8 ups standard 'Vette power; Corvette production passes 1 million.
1993: Camaro wore a completely new design for the first time in more than a decade, but many of the styling elements are carried over. Corvette 40th Anniversary package.
1994: Impala SS reborn based on the '82 concept car; new generation Camaro convertible arrives.
1995: Cavalier redesigned after 13 years in the same basic form - foremost among the changes is a sleek new body and revised interior. Monte Carlo returns with front-wheel drive replacing Lumina coupe.
1996: Corvette offers special Grand Sports and Collector Editions.
1997: The fifth generation Corvette, the most sophisticated ever is introduced with a new LS1 340 hp V8. Malibu front-wheel drive sedan introduced. Camaro offers 30th Anniversary and revived SS options. Geo subdivision dropped - NUMMI-built Prism marketed as a Chevrolet.
1998: C5 Corvette adds convertible; Camaro, Lumina boast more power; Camaro fresh face; Cavalier revives Z24 convertible.
1999: Hardtop Corvette debuts.
2000: Impala reborn as a front wheel drive sedan. Monte Carlo redesigned on platform shared with Impala; Malibu sheds 4-cyl. engine, gets mild facelift.
2001: Corvette hardtop transformed into high-performance Z06. Cavalier Z24 convertible dropped.
2002: Camaro marks its 35th birthday and final season for seven years; Camaro SS limited edition 35th Anniversary package; Corvette Z06 powers up to 405 horses. Cavalier Z24 sedan limited edition added.
2003: Corvette celebrates its 50th Anniversary - a special edition coupe and convertible arrive.
2004: Malibu redesigned - offered in a longer wheelbase hatchback, Malibu Maxx. Subcompact Aveo sedan and hatchback introduced.
2005: Sixth generation Corvette introduced. Cobolt introduced, replacing the twenty four year-old Cavalier nameplate.
2006: Retro-styled HHR debuts; C6 Corvette gets new Z06 model - its 427.5-inch LS7 engine makes 505 net horsepower. Malibu gets an SS version; Impala freshened.
2008: Malibu redesigned on a revised version of the Epsilon platform developed by GM's German subsidiary, Opel.
2009: New Camaro introduced - it's the 2006 concept car, virtually unchanged. Corvette ZR1 introduced with a top speed of 205 mph - It is GM's fastest production vehicle of all time.
2010: Under a GM global design and engineering team, the Chevy Cruise is introduced in the U.S. - replaces Cobolt.
2011: The Volt "extended-range electric vehicle" is introduced. New Camaro convertible debuts; Australian-built Caprice PPV sold to U.S. and Canadian law enforcement agencies.
2012: A new Malibu moves to the Epsilon II platform. It will become a global vehicle available in nearly 100 countries on six continents. In the U.S. it is manufactured in Kansas and Michigan; Camaro 580-horsepower supercharged ZL1 announced. "100 Chevrolet" Corvette special edition (offered on all Corvette models) features new carbon flash metallic paint, special interior appointments, red stripped wheels, centennial emblems and I.D. transfers (in the heading above).

see also-
Chevrolet Centennial: Prewar Cars 1911-1942
http://www.mo...11-1919-10523

Flashback: Motor Trend's 1975 Car of the Year Chevrolet Monza 2+2 V-8

By vegavairbob

Chevrolet's Monza 2+2 V-8 emerged as Motor Trend's 1975 Car of the Year from a long, tight and difficult contest that involved the opinions of scores of people, nearly impossible logistical problems and a selection process unprecedented in the history of the award.

In July 1974, Motor Trend's staff selected 15 cars to vie for the Car of the Year and Golden Wheel Award honors.

Chevrolet Nova
Ford Granada
Chevrolet Monza V-8
Honda Civic
Lotus Elite II
Dodge Colt GT
Plymouth Valiant Brougham
Chevrolet Malibu Four-Door
Mazda RX-4
Ford Pinto V-6 Wagon
AMC Hornet Hatchback
Lincoln Town Car
Fiat X 1/9
Volkswagen Dasher
Mercedes-Benz 450 SE

These cars were then judged by a panel of 25 distinguished members of the automotive press. They selected the nominees for five Achievement Awards and the Car of the Year.
The Achievement categories were: Engineering, Styling, Safety, Economy, Value. Five Achievement Panels selected the winner in each specific achievement category.
Car of the Year was picked by a sixth panel combined with a Consumer Panel (MT Readers) from five nominees, not from the achievement winners.


Motor Trend, September 1974: Golden Wheels Awards
The Contenders for 1975

on the Monza V-8:
"One look at the latest offering from Chevy and styling is an obvious consideration. The totally revised floor pan, suspension system, and torque-arm stabilizer create a new generation of Vega. The all-new 262 cubic-inch (4.3 Liter) V-8 engine combines response with economy. Extensive remodeling of interior improves excellent packaging of the predecessor Vega. Obvious categories are engineering, value, styling."


Motor Trend, March 1975: Announcing Motor Trend's 1975 Golden Wheels Awards
The Award Winners for '75 Are -

Engineering: Mercedes-Benz 450SE
"..although each contender for the engineering award - Monza, Mazda RX-4, and Mercedes-Benz 450 SE - featured examples of engineering excellence, the Mercedes stood out as a vehicle exemplifying unique accomplishment in all facets of engineering."

Value: Ford Granada
"..the contest was a close one with each contender - Monza, Nova and Granada - vieing for the award. They criticized one car because it was ...saddled with the past of being a little economy car. The Granada prevailed because the panel determined that it held a definite advantage in the area of public preference (and) therefore would have an advantage at resale."

Styling: Fiat X 1/9
"..To judge the nominees for the styling award - Monza, Granada and Fiat X 1/9 was difficult as each of the cars was a real winner in its particular area."
"We felt it (the X 1/9) made the most of what it intended to be."

Safety: Mercedes-Benz 450SE
"..All the contenders - Lincoln Town Car, Ford Granada, and Mercedes-Benz reveled praiseworthy safety features, the panel reported, but in terms of concept and availability of a myriad of safety-related features they chose the Mercedes-Benz 450 SE saying,"
"Overall the Mercedes seemed to have more extras for safety and ease of operational control."

Economy: Honda Civic
"..The three cars in contention - Dodge Colt GT, VW Dasher and Honda Civic - presented formidable qualifications in areas of MPG, operational costs, servicability, and maintainance. the Civic possessed what the panel felt were the highest marks in a large enough combination of areas to merit the Economy award."

Car of the Year: Chevrolet Monza V-8
"..The five Car of the Year finalists - Mercedes-Benz 450 SE, Ford Granada, Chevy Nova LN, VW Dasher, and the Chevy Monza were thoroughly wrung out by 13 people from two panels. The Monza emerged victorious as the 1975 Car of the Year from this crucible of expertise."


Motor Trend, April 1975: Golden Wheels Awards Program
A Parting Look

"...In the past, the Motor Trend Car of the Year was selected by the editorial staff, or at least by a combination vote of editors and guest expert panelists.
But for 1975, Motor Trend invited to share in the judging a wide cross section of members of the national motor press, experts from areas of industry not associated with the manufacture or distribution of motor vehicles, and last - 10 of our readers who would compose the consumer panel.
Parameters were divided into five areas of achievement common to all vehicles, regardless of function: engineering, styling, safety, economy and value. To be sure, the Car of the Year would remain. And, as always, it would be that automobile which, in the opinion of the judges (the panels), represented the best possible amalgamation of the five achievement areas..."

CAR OF THE YEAR: Chevrolet Monza 2+2 V-8
"While the Monza did not clearly stand first in any areas of judgement, our panel concluded that the V-8 Monza exemplified the best balance of all the judgement factors."


see also:
Chevrolet Monza - Chevy Vega Wiki
link: http://chevyv...evrolet_Monza

The Chevy Vega - A Different Perspective

By vegavairbob

GM's first U.S. mini-car cost $200 million to design and bring to production. In today's money that's over a billion dollars - it wasn't by chance the Vega out-handled more expensive european sport sedans.
AMC in contrast, spent all of 5 million to convert an existing Hornet compact into the Gremlin, selling it for about the same price as the Vega which was new from the ground up, sharing nothing with existing vehicles.

Introduced September 1970 starting at $2090. no other car company in the world was able to invest hundreds of millions of dollars on a vehicle to sell in that price range, and GM made little or no profit on the Vega which was usually ordered with few options (GM's profits came from expensive options).
But in a rush to bring the car to market, numerous piecemeal "fixes" were performed by dealers and Chevrolet's "bright star", received an enduring black eye despite a continuing development program which eventually alleviated most of these initial shortcomings.

Motor Trend selected the Vega one of the 10-Best cars of 1971 and awarded the Vega 1971 Car of the Year.
Car and Driver readers voted the Vega "Best Economy Sedan" for 1971, 1972, and 1973 in C&D's Readers Choice Polls.
By 1974, the Vega was among the top 10 best-selling American cars. By 1976, the car had received five years of improvements (300 new part numbers in '76 alone) but the smaller, lower priced Chevette was introduced the same year, and the handwriting was on the wall.
The liner-less aluminum/silicon engine technology that GM and Reynolds Metals developed turned out to be sound. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche use sleeveless aluminum engines today, the basic principles of which were developed for the Vega engine.

Motor Trend said in 1971, "So, the Chevrolet Vega 2300 is Motor Trend's 1971 Car of the Year by way of engineering excellence, packaging, styling and timeliness. As such, we are saying that for the money, no other American car can deliver more."

Motor Trend Classic said in 2010, "Chevrolet spun the Vega as a more American, upscale car. And let's face it, the car looked hot. So can you blame us for falling hook, line, and sinker for the Vega and naming it 1971's Car of the Year?"
"..well-maintained examples are great looking, nice-driving, economical classics.."

Motor Trend Classic said in 2013, "Overblown - The China Syndrome might have overhyped the TMI (Three-Mile Island) incident as bad press might have exaggerated the Vega's woes."


see also:
Chevrolet Vega - Chevy Vega Wiki
http://chevyv...hevrolet_Vega

SAY NO TO E-15 FUEL - GET THE FACTS

By vegavairbob

Government studies show, at higher blend levels ethanol’s chemical properties cause corrosion, reduce fuel economy, burn hotter and can wreak havoc with fuel mixtures and injectors.
The Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) strongly opposes ethanol mandates and subsidies.
Ed Syrocki—owner of EMS Classic Car Care in Warren, Michigan has taken up the charge of HVA's EthaNO campaign to educate historic vehicle owners about the damage ethanol fuel is doing to their engines. From cracked and damaged fuel system parts to corroded gas tanks, Syrocki’s ethanol presentations give a detailed look under the hood that the HVA believes every historic vehicle owner should see.
In addition to the extensive ethanol resources and information the HVA has put together for their EthaNO campaign, the HVA has produced a video in partnership with Ed Syrocki.

Add your voice to the thousands who are saying “NO!” to E-15.
LINK: Petition & HVA Resources
http://www.hi...-to-E-15-fuel

LINK: Comparative Evaulation of Prevention of Gasohol Phase Separation by Fuel Additives
http://www.hi...01B0&_z=z

LINK: Eastwood's Fuel Guard - Ethanol Treatment
http://www.ea...e-system.html


Timeline

2011
Dec.- The United States has ended a 30-year tax subsidy for corn-based ethanol that cost taxpayers $6 billion annually, and ended a tariff on imported Brazilian ethanol.
In a late Christmas present to historic vehicle enthusiasts, congress wrapped up its 2011 season without extending the federal subsidy for ethanol and “biofuel blenders.” Trade groups do not expect this to mean the end of ethanol, according to The Detroit News report, but it is clearly a big win for taxpayers and anyone who knows what kind of damage ethanol and other biofuels can do to the engines of older vehicles.

A big thanks goes out to all those who signed the Historic Vehicle Association’s EthaNo! petition, spread the word, and took the time to contact their local representatives. This just goes to show that, when historic vehicle owners rally together, we can make a difference and our efforts can pay off.

Jan. 3, Historic Vehicle Association files formal comments on EPA’s approval of the partial E15 waiver.

2010
November, Historic Vehicle Association releases E15 petition to raise awareness of the harmful impacts of mid-level ethanol blends on ANY vehicle manufactured before 2007.
Historic Vehicle Association begins “Etha-No” campaign, bringing the facts about E15 into the public spotlight

2009
April 21st, Growth Energy and 54 other ethanol producers submitted a partial waiver application to increase the blend limit from 10% to 15%- a 50% increase.

2008
Surge in individual states mandating use of 10% ethanol (E10) gasoline. As of March 2008, U.S. ethanol production capacity was at 7.2 billion gallons, with an additional 6.2 billion gallons of capacity under construction.

L88 ’Vette turns 11.44 seconds at Pure Stock drags

By vegavairbob

The Pure Stock Drags event at Mid Michigan Motorplex in Stanton, Michigan is a drag-racing event held over two days, where competitors in 1962-1974 American muscle cars are invited to compete against rivals in machines with similar performance. The rules are fairly strict when it comes to equipment regulations; essentially, all competing cars are expected to have engines that retain all of their correct parts and pieces, and those parts are not supposed to be altered significantly. This means that manifolds and cylinder heads are not to be ported, carburetors must be original type and specification, camshafts must maintain (mostly) factory specifications, and so on. Stock size wheels and tires are also required, and vehicles must maintain complete factory body panels and interiors. Engine teardowns can be a part of technical inspection if the organizers feel it is warranted.

The range of performance runs from 15-second rides all the way down to the mid-11-second range, occupied primarily by Hemi cars and L88-spec Corvettes; in fact, the fastest time of this event was an 11.44 turned in by Jimmy Johnson’s silver L88-spec 1969 ’Vette. This year even saw a genuine COPO ’69 Camaro, running an all-aluminum ZL1 engine (it was originally built with an iron 427). Many of the cars competing are “real,” though accurate tribute cars are allowed.

Collection of 23 black Corvettes sells for $1.65 million

By vegavairbob

Mecum Auctions at the recent Bloomington Gold paraded a collection of 23 black Corvettes six miles through St. Charles, Illinois, under police escort to its auction site at Pheasant Run Resort. (see attached video)

The black Corvettes - all from one man's collection - covered the model years 1954 through 1969 with at least one example from each year, all of them offered at no reserve. The top seller among the black cars was a 1958 convertible with 283 fuelie with radio, heater, windshield washer and courtesy lamp delete. It had scored 99.6 percent in NCRS judging and pulled Mecum’s second-highest price at Bloomington – $142,500 – surpassed only by a one-of-two 1971 ZR2 convertible that scored to the tune of $410,000. A second 1958 convertible, this one with the dual-quad 283, collected $97,000. A 1965 fuel-injected coupe that acquired an NCRS Duntov award sold for $110,000. Each Corvette in the collection was restored to a very high standard of correctness.

1954 Corvette Roadster 235/150 HP, Automatic
1955 Corvette Roadster 265/195 HP, Automatic
1956 Corvette Roadster 265/210 HP, 4-Speed
1957 Corvette Roadster 283/283 HP, 4-Speed
1958 Corvette Roadster 283/270 HP, 4-Speed
1959 Corvette Roadster 283/270 HP, 4-Speed
1960 Corvette Roadster 283/270 HP, 4-Speed
1961 Corvette Roadster 283/270 HP, 4-Speed
1962 Corvette Roadster 327/360 HP, 4-Speed
1963 Corvette Roadster 327/360 HP, 4-Speed
1963 Corvette Coupe 327/360 HP, 4-Speed
1964 Corvette Roadster 327/375 HP, 4-Speed
1964 Corvette Coupe 327/375 HP, 4-Speed
1965 Corvette Roadster 327/375 HP, 4-Speed
1965 Corvette Coupe 327/375 HP, 4-Speed
1965 Corvette Coupe 396/425 HP, 4-Speed
1965 Corvette Roadster 396/425 HP, 4-Speed
1966 Corvette Coupe 427/450 HP, 36 Gal. Fuel Tank
1966 Corvette Roadster 427/425 HP, 4-Speed
1967 Corvette Coupe 427/435 HP, 4-Speed
1967 Corvette Roadster 427/435 HP, 4-Speed
1968 Corvette Roadster 427/400 HP, Automatic
1969 Corvette Roadster 427/435 HP, 4-Speed

Chevy Vega Wiki

By vegavairbob

I started a Wiki on the Chevy Vega and its variants, featuring 15 pages (14 articles), blogs and 149 images. I wrote and edited the material over a two year period.

Chevrolet Vega
Chevrolet Cosworth Vega
Chevrolet Vega Reviews
Car and Driver's 1973 Vega GT #0
V8 Vegas
Lordstown Assembly
Vert-A-Pac (Vega Rail Cars)
DeLorean Factor
Subcompact
GM H-Platform
Pontiac Astre
Chevrolet Monza
Buick Skyhawk
Oldsmobile Starfire


Featured article: Chevrolet Vega - Chevy Vega Wiki
http://chevyv...hevrolet_Vega

1973 Chevy Vega GT - CarDomain/Castrol EDGE Contest Winner

By vegavairbob

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

My Vega GT was a selected winner in the Car Domain/Castrol Edge Contest
The video was released Oct. 20, 2010

From the CarDomain / Castol Edge Contest Site Winners section:
VegaVairBob's pristine classic is the second winner of the Unlock Your Performance Contest. "In May 1973, Chevrolet produced the one millionth Vega. A million built in only three model years! Chevrolet chose a GT Coupe featuring a bright orange exterior with white sport stripes, a neutral custom vinyl interior including exclusive vinyl door panels, orange accent color carpeting, and Millionth Vega door handle accents to showcase the milestone car." Check out this custom video about his ride; brought to you by CastrolEDGE. It's More Than Just Oil. It's Liquid Engineering.

1976-'77 Chevy Vega Dura-Built 140 Engine was Proven Durable by the United States Auto Club

By vegavairbob

"August 1, 1975. 8 a.m. Outside the southern edge of Las Vegas, Nevada. Three medium orange Vegas start their engines. They won't be turning them off much during the next 58 days except for rest and food stops, refueling and maintenance. They have a job to do."

Chevrolet conducted an advertised ''60,000 miles in 60 days Durability Run'' of the 1976 Vega and its Dura-built 140 engine. Three new Vega hatchback coupes equipped with manual transmissions and air conditioning were driven non-stop for 60,000 miles in 60 days through the deserts of California and Nevada (Death Valley) using three pre-production models of the subcompact and nine non-professional drivers. All three 1976 Vegas completed a total of 180,000 miles with only one "reliability" incident - a broken timing belt was recorded. This fact prompted Vega project engineer Bernie Ernest to say, "The Vega has reliability in excess of 60,000 miles, and therefore the corporation feels very comfortable with the warranty.

Chevrolet chose the 349-mile Southwestern desert route in order to show the car's severely criticized engine and cooling system had been improved with the 1976 model. During the 60-day test which was certified and supervised by the United States Auto Club, the three cars were subjected to ambient temperatures never lower than 99 degrees and often reaching as high as 122 degrees. The nine drivers were instructed to treat the cars as they would their own and use the air conditioning as desired. Yet, in more than 180,000 miles of total driving, the cars used only 24 ounces of coolant, an amount attributed to normal evaporation under severe desert conditions. Furthermore, fuel economy for the three test Vegas averaged 28.9 mpg over the duration of the run, while oil was used at the rate of only one quart every 3400 miles. Translated into actual driving expenses, the three Vegas averaged a per-mile cost of 2.17 cents.
Al Olson, (Chevrolet) assistant general sales manager, said in Motor Trend Feb. '76, "The Vega's "Dura-built" engine and chassis contain more than 300 new part numbers, making the car the most improved Chevrolet model of 1976."

The 1976 Vega was marketed as a durable and reliable car. Despite Chevy's efforts to restore the Vega's image, the car and it's aluminum engine were cancelled at the end of the 1977 model year.


see also:
Chevrolet Vega Reviews - Chevy Vega Wiki
http://chevyv..._Vega_Reviews

Image: 1976 Chevy Vegas on the 60 Day/60,000 mile Durability Run

1971 Chevy Vega Panel Express - 40 Year Old Survivor

By vegavairbob

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

After eight years of exposure to daily morning moisture, rain and northeast winters on Long Island, my 40 year-old 1971 Vega has no rust anywhere on its original sheet metal and chassis! I had decided after paying storage the first year, it would be parked outside (covered) that has amounted to a huge savings of $14k (200. per mo) over a seven-year period.

The Vega had been warehouse stored in Alabama nearly thirty years through 2002 by the previous owner. I don't possess that luxury, only a 1-car garage. Now granted, I did not expose it to salt and mud, and it is undercoated, but if these cars are not exposed to the worst conditions, they will not rust faster than any other car.
My theory explains why only thousands of sets of fenders were replaced by Chevrolet (under warranty) instead of a million, or more. (Vega 1971-1977 production totaled over 2 million)

..and this early 1971 model built within the first 6 months of Vega production has no fender liners (added '74-up models) and no galvanized fenders and rocker panels (added on '76-'77 models). Heavy undercoating protected the front fenders of this car.



see also:
Chevrolet Vega - Chevy Vega Wiki
http://chevyv...hevrolet_Vega

Image: My 1971 Chevrolet Vega 2300 Panel Express

10 Most Outrageous Factory Options Ever

By vegavairbob

There are really only a few important features in a car: brakes, drivetrain, seats, steering, suspension and wheels. Early vehicles were little more than these six elements. However, as customers got pickier and vehicles got fancier, the factory option was born. While some of these technological wonders evolved into standard equipment for modern automobiles, such as car radios and air-conditioning, not every option is destined for ubiquity. Some are good ideas that are too specialized for anyone outside of a niche audience. Others are nothing more than expensive engineering gimmicks aimed at amusing the very wealthy customers, and some options were just dumb ideas that never had a chance.

Here are some of the most outrageous factory-installed options.

1- Highway Hi-Fi (mini records) - '56 Dodge/DeSoto
2- Steering Wheel Self-Winding Watches - '51 Oldsmobile
3- Auto Tents - Chevy Vega & Nova Hatchbacks, '75 El Camino
4- Electric Shaver - '57 Ford
5- Makeup Tray - '39 Chevrolet
6- Swing-Away Steering Wheel - '61 Ford (& offered a few years)
7- Granite Trim - '09 Maybach (the car is $1.3 mil)
8- Airscarf (Headrest warmer) - '04 Mercedes-Benxa SLK
9- Starlight Headliner - Rolls Royce ($8.4k option)
10- Aroma Diffuser - Toyota (Japan)

Taken from Sam Foley's article - he is a Connecticut-based automotive journalist who has written for GQ, Forbes, USA Today, the New York Post and various other publications.

Image: Chevy Vega GT Hatchback with "Tent Go-Camp"

Chevrolet Corvette Z06 vs. Ford Shelby GT500KR

By vegavairbob

From the Editors of Edmunds-
There's no historical basis for a close Corvette-Mustang rivalry. A Corvette of any year is a little too fast and smart to be street racing muscle cars. It's a real sports car, the kind of car that's still fun when you start going around corners.

But maybe it's a different story with this 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR and 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Each of these rear-wheel-drive coupes has a V8 rated for more than 500 horsepower at the flywheel. And with the release of the limited-edition 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR, Ford has moved in on Chevrolet's price territory. The GT500KR leaves the Ford factory as a $46,730 GT500 coupe and is shipped as a rolling chassis to Carroll Shelby's facility near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Nevada. By the time the KR cruises out of Shelby's shop, it's an $82,395 Mustang.

As such, the King-of-the-Road Mustang must now contend with this $76,920 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. And though the Z06 is a few horsepower shy of the upcoming ZR1, it's not an easy mark. The GT500KR will have to play like a sports car just to keep up.

From vegavairbob-
Since there weren't comparable "factory" upgrades on other new muscle cars, a vintage Shelby Mustang vs the '08 Shelby might have been more appropriate. Just because the muscle-car Shelby has similar power and is in the same price range, doesn't mean it should be compared to the sports-car 'Vette. Different design objectives and the required engineering to achieve them produce different results, so a comparison of these two cars is flawed, but the video shows both cars in cool footage.

....

155 Corvettes form "Old Glory'' - Corvettes at Carlisle, August 27th, 2010 - Album & Video

By vegavairbob

Carlisle Pa. Friday August 27, 2010
12:00 PM - "Corvettes at Carlisle" presented the Star Spangled 'Vette American Flag Display - an American Flag made entirely of Corvettes as a tribute to both the American Dream and the Sports Car - 155 Corvettes (57 red, 51 white, 35 blue, 10 silver and 2 gold)
1:30 PM - Ceremony at the Grandstand with aerial photos and video.
3:30 PM - Flag roll out

The 2010 edition of the Corvettes at Carlisle is sure to be remembered for having one of the most unusual and exciting displays of Corvettes ever presented to the public: the red, white, blue, silver and gold Corvettes came together to create a dramatic, unique American flag design. A portion of the proceeds from the American Flag Corvette Display and donations throughout the event raised almost $5,000 for Homes for Our Troops, a national non-profit organization committed to helping those who have served their country and have returned home with serious disabilities and injuries.

1974 Stingray in Old Glory, Showfield and Parade-Corvettes at Carlisle August 27-29, 2010

By vegavairbob

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

I drove my '74 Corvette from Long Island, NY 259 miles to Carlisle Pa. for the annual Corvette event "Corvettes at Carlisle" - August 27-29, 2010.

I registered for the Corvette "Fun Field" for the three-day event. The center of the action, it's a non-judged showfield with over 2000 Corvettes that pre-registered. I displayed my car with other third generation Corvettes, joining fellow members at the C3 'Vette Registry display area.

I also registered in two events.
Friday the 27th - My Corvette participated in the Star Spangled 'Vette American Flag display - an American Flag made entirely of Corvettes as a tribute to both the American Dream and the Sports Car - 155 Corvettes (57 red, 51 white, 35 blue, 10 silver and 2 gold) Proceeds will benefit Homes For Our Troops, which builds specially adapted homes for severely injured soldiers.

Saturday the 28th - My Corvette was one of 400 participating in the Downtown Corvettes Parade from the fairgrounds to downtown Carlisle, then the parade parked on Main St until 10 PM. The Corvettes got lots of attention.

(Other events included a NCCC Concours Judged Showfield limited to 175 Corvettes, an NCRS Best of the Best of 22 Corvettes, A 50th Anniversary of 1960 models display, a Corvettes For Sale car corral, a Corvette Parts for Sale swap meet, an on-site Autocross, and more)

I stayed at a new Hotel Fri. & Sat. night - Candlewood Suites Harrisburg/Hershey..The room featured a fully-stocked kitchen and a very comfy full-size bed and was only $89. per night.

Chevy Vega GT in Motor Trend Classic Retrospective Comparison - Fall 2010 Issue

By vegavairbob

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

Motor Trend Classic Fall 2010 features a "Loving Look Back" drive of my '73 Vega GT, a '72 Pinto Runabout and a '71 Gremlin X:

My Vega was petitioned for the retrospective comparison April 2010. The Pinto & Gremlin were then searched for close by on the east coast, and The University of Massachusetts was chosen as the photo-shoot site for its 70's building architecture. The meet-up took place June 12th, 2010.

Frank Markus, Technical Director of Motor Trend wrote of the Vega:
"After a few gentle miles, I begin to understand how this car won its awards and comparison tests."
He closes the article agreeing with MT's initial assessment of the Vega and how it fared compared to its domestic competition; he wrote-
"Chevrolet spun the Vega as a more American, upscale car. And let’s face it, the car looked hot. So can you blame us for falling hook, line, and sinker for the Vega and naming it 1971’s Car of the Year? Surviving Vegas are like a fossil record of everything that was wrong with the American auto industry circa 1970, but well-maintained examples are also great looking, nice-driving, economical classics—like Baltic Ave. with a Hotel, the best ones can be had for $10K or less. Emotionally, Jim Brokaw summed it up in January 1972: Gremlin has power, but Pinto has the price, and a much
quieter ride. Which car is best? Vega."


see also:
Chevrolet Vega Reviews - Chevy Vega Wiki
http://chevyv..._Vega_Reviews

Image: My photo, similar to MT's shot used for the double-page introduction.

Chevy Vega GT sweeps 2010 Hemmings New England Concours D' Elegance

By vegavairbob

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

My 1973 Chevy Vega GT won big at the 2010 New England Concours D' Elegance presented by Hemmings Motor News July 17th and 18th in Vermont.
The Saturday event, the Cruise-in Spectalcular was a non-judged show with winners selected by The Hemmings Motor News Staff. Winning vehicles were awarded glass-like trophies.
The Vega won "Favorite Original."

The main event on Sunday, The Fourth Annual Concours D' Elegance, was by invitation only and fielded 118 vehicles judged in 20 classes.
The Vega, all-original with 6k miles, was postioned in Class O - Preservation. With 15 vehicles, the Preservation (Preserved Original) class had the largest field and the most diverse assembly of vehicles, ranging from a 1935 Packard to a 1975 Porsche.

Class O - Preservation (as listed in program)
1935 Packard 120 Club sedan
1947 De Soto Diplomat
1963 Corvair Monza sedan
1965 Cadillac convertible
1965 Citroen 2CV6
1966 Mercedes-Benz 220 D
1969 AMC AMX California 500
1969 Chevrolet Impala hardtop
1969 Toyota Corona coupe
1971 Buick GS Stage I
1971 Cadillac Eldorado
1971 Chevrolet Caprice sedan
1973 Chevrolet Vega
1975 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega
1975 Porsche 914

My 1973 Chevy Vega GT won "Best Preservation." A 1969 Chevy Impala Coupe took second place.
In Sunday's awards presentation parade, mention was made that I had driven the car 300 miles to the event, a seemingly positive factor in the eyes of the Editor in Chief of Hemmings; another plus in favor of driving instead of trailering to an event!

The next largest class was AM-1 - American Muscle 1964-1974, fielding 14. Class V - Corvair, fielded 11 vehicles, with the other 17 classes each fielding 10 or less.
Second place winners of each class received glass-like trophies; the same type awarded in Saturday's "Cruise-in Spectacular." First place winners were awarded a distinctive round, solid glass-like trophy.
Photos of all the winning vehicles appeared in the Hemmings Motor News Oct. 2010 issue.

see also
New England Concours d'Elegance 2010 - Best of the Hemmings Nation
http://www.he...feature5.html


Image: My 1973 Chevrolet Vega GT - Millionth Vega at the 2010 New England Concours D' Elegance

1973 Chevy Vega GT - Millionth Vega

By vegavairbob

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

In May 1973, Chevrolet produced the one millionth Vega. A million buiilt in three years! Chevrolet chose a GT Hatchback coupe featuring a bright orange exterior with white sport stripes, a neutral custom vinyl interior featuring exclusive vinyl door panels, orange accent color carpeting, power steering and Millionth Vega door handle accents.
Chevrolet produced a special limited edition Millonth Vega replicating the milestone car. 6500 were built at the rate of 10 cars per hour from May through July 1973.(10% of total production for 3 months)

Millionth Vega - ZM5 option $497.00 included-
GT Package
Power Steering
Bright Orange Exterior (code 86)
White Sport Stripes
Light Neutral Custom Vinyl Interior w/exclusive Vinyl Door Panels
Accent-Color Carpeting - Orange
Millionth Vega Door Handle Accents

Chevy merchandising issued a colorful dealer folder showing the exterior and interior of car and highlighting its exclusive color combination.

Hot Rod magazine December 1973 said:
"On May 17th, 1973, the one-millionth Vega trundled down the ways and out the door of Chevy's Lordstown plant. Chevrolet was so smitten with the car that they've built 6143 "Millionth Vegas." The series is basically a styled-up Vega GT with some nice interior touches. It costs $500 more than the GT and comes with bright orange paint, white stripping, a "Millionth Vega' decal in the door handle, and power steering. They'll probably sell a million of 'em."

Notes:
Hot Rod made two errors - It wasn't $500 more than the GT. The One-Millionth Vega ZM6 option at $497 included the GT package; also previous GM inside sources say a total of 6500 were produced.

Regular production options were available not in conflict with the ZM5 package - (any transmission, a/c, etc.)
Bright Orange exterior color was offered as a regular production Vega color (code 69) in 1974.
Vinyl Door Panels became part of the Custom Interior option from 1974 on.


see also:
Chevy Vega Wiki
http://chevyv...let_Vega_Wiki

Photo: My 1973 Chevrolet Vega GT - Millionth Vega at the Hemmings 2010 Concours D' Elegance in Vermont

Vega Economy Camper - The Hatchback Hutch

By vegavairbob

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

The Chevy Vega Hatchback Hutch dealer folder said:
"Every Vega Hatchack becomes a Two-Sleeper! It's the Vega Hatchback Hutch. Travel all day and then instead of turning into some place to sleep, you can just turn your Vega into some place to sleep. The March '72 issue of Friends magazine (for Chevy owners) prompted hundreds of inquires."
Easy to install
"...The entire process takes 5 minutes from unwrapping to completion'"
Durable quality contruction
..."they're made of extra-strength square-weave canvas. 10.38 ounce army duck and died to a bright, vivid yellow. The material is water and mildew resistant and extra heavy brass zipper is strong and reliable."
Convenient to pack
"...It folds up and tucks away in a corner of the Vega storage area."
"The Hutch can have Vega prospects camping on your doorsteps. Just set it up outside and watch the crowds gather."

Wheels Afield-the complete camping magazine - February 1973 in "Economy Camping" said: "Hatchback Tent for Chevrolet Vega sleeps two or three, opens in seconds and snaps into place, is lightweight and water resistant, has zippered flaps and can be quickly dismantled, folded and stored inside your Vega. Makes overnight camping easy. Price: about $75. available through Chevrolet dealers everywhere."


see also:
Chevy Vega Wiki
http://chevyv...let_Vega_Wiki

Image: My 1973 Vega GT - Millionth Vega w/ Hutch installed

Flashback 1969: The End of the Chevrolet Corvair

By vegavairbob

According to noted GM historian Dave Newell, Chevrolet had planned on ceasing Corvair production after the 1966 model year. Development and engineering changes were halted on the redesigned second-generation cars, then...

Ralph Nader's book Unsafe At Any Speed was published in November 1965. "The Sporty Corvair" chapter used the 1960-63 Corvair in a dramatic case study demonstating the early models' alleged unpredictible handling characteristics. Nader's allegations hurt the car's image, and 1966 Corvair sales plummeted.
Nader's book turned out to be an inconvenience. Not wanting to appear to be buckling to Nader's pressure, Corvair production was continued for another three years with only required changes made annually to meet federal safety and emissions requirements.
An increasing lack of interest from the company, especially from Chevrolet's General Manager John DeLorean, and a complete absence of Corvair advertising after 1967 reflected the company's priorities, including promotion of three redesigned Chevrolet models for 1968—the Corvette, Chevelle and Chevy II Nova.

The Corvair was referred to as "the phantom" by Car Life magazine in their 1968 Monza road test, and by 1969 Chevrolet's Corvair four-page brochure was "by request only". An indication of the Corvair's imminent demise was when the 1969 models were introduced: GM equipped all of its 1969 models one year ahead of government requirements with a steering column-mounted, anti-theft ignition switch and a new, square-shaped ignition key. All except the Corvair. It got the new key but was the only GM car to retain the dashboard ignition switch. That final year only 6000 cars were produced. Cars from November 1968 through May 1969 were virtually hand-built by a dedicated Corvair team in an off-line area of the assembly plant in order to ramp up Nova production (built at the same plant) to keep up with its increasing demand.

1969 Corvair #6000, a gold Monza Coupe was photographed for the press by a railroad car loaded with Novas and a couple of Corvairs. But it was facing in the other direction and was later driven to the plant roof joining a few other Corvairs retained for warranty research. GM had decided it wouldn't be sold after considering several collectors' requests to buy it. Some claim it went to a GM executive, but the car has never surfaced. An employee of the plant interviewed years later recalled seeing it being loaded into a van and hauled away one night. It is believed #6000, the last Corvair built, was scrapped.


Image: 1969 Corvair Monza Convertible (Vin #5997 - the last convertible built)

Assassination Of The Corvair and Birth Of A Classic

By vegavairbob

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

The Chevrolet Corvair was the only mass-produced rear-engined automobile ever produced in this country. Motor Trend's 1960 Car of the Year was popular and successful in the pre muscle-car era, selling 1.8 million in two generations over its nine year life span. The Corvair Monza was the first compact American "sporty car" with bucket seats that inspired Ford to produce the Mustang in 1964.
A full line of Corvair rear-engined vehicles were offered by 1962. Convertibles and 4-door station wagons were added, joining the 2-door coupes, 4-door sedans, passenger vans, and commercial vans and pickups
For 1965, Corvair cars went upscale for its second generation, offering its rear-engine design with world-class handling and timeless styling. By 1968 the line-up was trimmed to the 2-door coupes and a convertible.

Ralph Nader, attorney and self styled "consumer advocate" targeted the Corvair in his book Unsafe At Any Speed published in November 1965. The chapter "The Sporty Corvair" pertained to the 1960-1963 models alledged unpredictible handling characteristics. Nader's allegations hurt the cars image and 1966 Corvair sales were down more than half from the previous year.
Development and engineering changes were halted in 1966 on the year-old, redesigned second-generation cars with mainly federally mandated emissions and safety changes made thereafter.
The forthcoming Camaro would step in as Chevy's sporty offering to do battle with Ford's sucessful Mustang. The Nova introduced in 1962, was Chevy's popular choice for economy buyers. The Corvair was left without a market by 1967. The decision to phase out the Corvair was made six months prior to Nader's book and the resulting bad publicity. Nader's attack proved to be an inconvenience and Chevrolet chose to produce the car three more years to appear not backing down to Nader's allegations. So you could say Ralph Nader is the reason there were 1967-69 Corvairs!
Orders were welcome but dealers preferred not to stock the car due to the bad publicity, and salesmen preferred selling the readily available Nova and Camaro.

The Corvair air-cooled engine could not meet future emissions standards without a complete redesign. Chevrolet had third generation Corvair designs and a redesigned engine in the works, but the American sporty car buyer wanted V8 horsepower and speed, not sophisticated engineering, sports-car handling, and uniqueness. The designs were still-born. Corvair's untimely death came on May 12, 1969 after a planned 6000 were produced in its final model year.

The 1960-1963 Corvair was cleared of Nader's "unsafe" charges in 1972 by the government agency he helped create. The Corvair was exonerated!
It's doughtful there will ever be another car like the air-cooled, rear engined Corvair. When introduced it was unique among conventional compacts. In its twilight it was unique in a sea of muscle cars, and its unique and attractive today compared to the look-alike Asian offerings of today.
The Corvair will forever have its loyal legion of fans including many GM executives and Chevy engineers, and surely will gain new ones.

Image: My 1964 Corvair Monza 900 Convertible (previously owned)

50 Worst Cars 1899 - present

By vegavairbob

Time and Dan Neil, Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive critic and syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times list of the greatest lemons of the automotive industry.

1899-1939
From the Horsey Horseless to the Model T and the Airflow, seven horror stories from the auto industry's earliest days

1899 Horsey Horseless
1909 Ford Model T
1911 Overland OctoAuto
1913 Scripps-Booth Bi-Autogo
1920 Briggs and Stratton Flyer
1933 Fuller Dymaxion
1934 Chrysler/Desoto Airflow

1940-1959
From the Crosley Hotshot to the Dauphine and the King Midget, eight auto blunders from the '40s and '50s

1949 Crosley Hotshot
1956 Renault Dauphine
1957 King Midget Model III
1957 Waterman Aerobile
1958 Ford Edsel
1958 Lotus Elite
1958 MGA Twin Cam
1958 Zunndapp Janus

1960-1974
From the Amphicar to the Pinto and the Gremlin, eight colossal car mistakes from the Vietnam era
1961 Amphicar
1961 Corvair
1966 Peel Trident
1970 AMC Gremlin
1970 Triumph Stag
1971 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron Two-Door Hardtop
1971 Ford Pinto
1974 Jaguar XK-E V12 Series III

1975-1989
From the Trabant to the Lagonda and the De Lorean, the worst cars of the 1980s

1975 Bricklin SV1
1975 Morgan Plus 8 Propane
1975 Triumph TR7
1975 Trabant
1976 Aston Martin Lagonda
1976 Chevy Chevette
1978 AMC Pacer
1980 Corvette 305 "California"
1980 Ferrari Mondial 8
1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-8-6-4
1981 De Lorean DMC-12
1982 Cadillac Cimarron
1982 Camaro Iron Duke
1984 Maserati Biturbo
1985 Mosler Consulier GTP
1985 Yugo GV
1986 Lamborghini LM002

1990-Present
From the Prowler to the Explorer and the GM EV1, the worst cars from the past 17 years

1995 Ford Explorer
1997 GM EV1
1997 Plymouth Prowler
1998 Fiat Multipla
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Flashback 1969: John Z. DeLorean gets a promotion.. inherits the upcoming Vega 2300

By vegavairbob

John Z. DeLorean, General Motors vice president and Pontiac general manager was promoted to Chevrolet general manager in 1969, a year prior to the Chevrolet Vega introduction. He was handed the job of finalizing the car for production, and introducing it to the automotive press.
In Motor Trend's August 1970 issue, he discussed the upcoming car, touting its quality of assembly and its handling capabilities.
DeLorean stated: "The Vega is going to be built at a quality level that has never been attained before in a manufacturing operation in this country, and probably in the world.." "There is nothing that comes within a mile of the Vega for performance and handling... It out-performs any car in its price class in accelerating...This car will out-handle almost any sports car built in Europe. Not just little cars, but sports cars too. This is quite an automobile...I think the ride and handling of some of the imports is quite mediocre. But some of them are extremely well put together. The Vega has good craftsmanship, without the faults of the imports."

His book On a Clear day you can see General Motors written three years later, and published in 1979, dedicated a chapter to the Vega. No longer employed by GM, DeLorean was critical on corporate decisions associated with the car's design, weight, pricing, even its name.
DeLorean wrote: "A study of the conception and gestation of the Vega reveals not a lesson in scientific marketing and development, but rather a classic case of management ineptitude...this program produced a hostile relationship between the corporate staffs, which essentially designed and engineered the car, and Chevrolet Division which was to sell it. From the first day I stepped into Chevrolet, the Vega was in trouble. General Motors was basing its image and reputation on the car, and there was practically no interest in it in the division. We were to start building the car in about a year, and nobody wanted anything to do with it. Engineers are a very proud group. They take interest and pride in their designs, but this was not their car. Then I told each and every staff of the division, "It does not matter now that you had an argument over the nature of this car and lost. We can't put a liitle notice in the glove box saying We didn't design this car, Central Staff did."
Work that had proceeded on the car revealed that the GM central staff had completely misgauged the weight and cost of the car they designed. It weighed almost 400 pounds more, and was priced more than $300 above the intended foreign competitor. While I was convinced that we were doing our best with the car that was given to us, I was called upon by the corporation to tout the car far beyond my personal convictions about it. This conflict never resolved itself fully in my mind and was one of the factors that precipitated my departure from the company.
As the Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant was converted to Vega production, we introduced an intense program for quality control with the target of making the first cars off the assembly line the best quality cars, from a manufacturing standpoint, ever built.
I said with a clear conscience that it was a quality car, and I believed it was because the first 2,000 cars were road tested off the assembly line and millions of dollars was spent to reinspect and repair each vehicle.
In naming the car, we conducted studies showing one name stood out - Gemini. When pronounced it almost said "G-M-ini". Marketing and scientific studies notwithstanding, Ed Cole liked the name Vega and so did top corporate management who threw our test results out the window and named the mini-car the Vega."



see also:
Chevrolet Vega - Chevy Vega Wiki
Link: http://chevyv...hevrolet_Vega

1965 Chevrolet Impala Hardtop - High bid $32,000

By vegavairbob

Throw the book away. 409? no. It's a 327 automatic, certainly some rare options? no.. Celebrity owned? nope..but well restored, this beautiful Impala Sport Coupe sold on Ebay three years ago, and at 32k its the highest priced '65 small block I've seen. (this is not a rare model), but proves that If a 45 year-old car was popular then, is still popular today, and looks new, it could sell for big money regardless of its build sheet equipment or book value.

Flashback 1974: Car and Driver's SS/Sedan Winner -1973 Chevy Vega GT #0

By vegavairbob

In the 1970s Car and Driver magazine challenged its readers to a series of Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) sanctioned, showroom stock sedan races at Lime Rock Park in Lime Rock, Connecticut - The Car and Driver SS/Sedan Challenge. With Bruce Cargill - representing the readers - having won Challenge I in '72 in a Dodge Colt, and Patrick Bedard - Car and Driver's executive writer - the victor of Challenge II in '73 in an Opel 1900 sedan, Challenge III would be the tie-breaker event. Drivers paid a $1.25 entry fee, and 25 placed would share a $5000 minimum purse. There were 10,000 spectators.

On October 12, 1974 Car and Driver's Bedard piloted their 1973 Vega GT #0 in the magazine's SS/Sedan Challenge III and had just edged out an Opel to win the race.
Bedard recalls: "The lone Vega outran every single Opel, Colt, Pinto, Datsun, Toyota and Subaru on the starting grid. A 25 lap sprint into racing's hall of fame. From the summit of the winner's platform I could see the car over in the impound area, a metallic bronze coupe with a big yellow zero on its battle-scared flank. I'd driven it there after the victory lap, water boiling out of the coolant tank, an anguished moan broadcasting from the cam drive, its left front tire chunked and rough. The tech inspectors had pushed it off the scales and were now probing under the hood, looking for the secrets of its speed. It had done the job - this Vega GT faced off against 31 other well-driven showroom stocks and it had finished first. I was beginning to feel some warmth towards it."

After purchacing the year old Vega in California for $1900. Bedard contacted Doug Roe.
"I had talked to Doug Roe, a former Chevrolet engineer with a reputation as a Vega specialist. I mentioned our Vega showroom stocker. He grimaced, "Better overfill it about a quart." he said. "When you run them over 5,000 rpm, all the oil stays up in the head and you'll wipe the bearings. And something has to be done with the crankcase vents. If you don't it'll pump all that oil into the intake."
I'd hoped he was wrong but he wasn't. On its very first lap around Lime Rock our Vega blew its air cleaner full of oil. And it also ran 215 degrees on the water temperature gauge. When I called Roe about the overheating, he said all Vegas run about that hot and it would be OK to about 230 degrees. Then it would probably start to detonate.
I wasn't even convinced that it could finish. And I didn't even know all of its bad habits yet. Five laps from the end I discovered that once the tank drops below a quarter full, the fuel won't pick up in right turns. Twice per lap.. the carburetor would momentarily run dry. And if that wasn't bad enough, the temperature gauge read exactly 230 degrees and a white Opel was on my tail as unshakably as a heat-seeking missile.
But It was also clear that no matter how good a driver Don Knowles was and no matter how quick his Opel, he wasn't going to get by if the Vega simply stayed alive. Which it did. You have to admire a car like that. If it wins, it must be the best, never mind all of the horror stories you hear, some of them from me."


see also:
Chevy Vega Wiki
http://chevyv...let_Vega_Wiki

Flashback 1971: Barry Newman & 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T in Vanishing Point

By vegavairbob

"Vanishing Point" is an almost perfect artifact of its time. The story is heavy on weird coincidences, self-indulgent spirituality and the significance of insignificant events. But those were all defining elements of the early 1970s. Fortunately, so were big-engine musclecars. No one remembers the silly existential mysticism of "Vanishing Point," but the white 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T that dominates the movie is unforgettable.

1965 Mako Shark II Concept

By vegavairbob

The Chevrolet Mako Shark II concept influenced the redesigned C3 Corvette of 1968. The Mako Shark II debuted in 1965 as a show car. Chevrolet actually created two of them - only one of which was fully functional. The non-running show car sported some interesting, futuristic details, such as square section side pipes and a squared-off steering wheel. While the functioning version didn't have these features, it did have a retractable rear spoiler, and a square section bumper that could be extended for added protection. The Mako Shark II was powered by a 427 Mark IV engine, which became available on production Corvette models.The paint scheme was blue/gray on top and silver/white along the rocker panels. The 1961 Mako Shark was then retroactively called the "Mako Shark I".

In 1969 the Mako Shark II was returned to GM design studios and transformed into the Manta Ray. Modifications include a front spoiler and redesigned grille and external exhaust pipes. Modifications were also made to the rear that included a buttress style rear window and a longer more horizontal end section and new set of Goodyear tires replaced the Firestones. The Manta Ray is currently part of the GM Heritage Center Collection.
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