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Video: Building the 1957 Corvette SS


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#1 Magoo

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:39

Here's one I know you folks will enjoy: old-timey flim-to-video showing the construction of the 1957 Corvette SS. Many interesting 1950s technical details -- giant inboard drum brakes, DeDion suspension, birdcage-ish frame, magnesium body panels and castings... the good stuff. Was set up by Duntov as a max funding, cutting edge effort, but then the AMA racing ban came just as the program got off the ground.



Video: Engineering the 1957 Corvette SS | Mac's Motor City Garage.com


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#2 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 00:40

Very interesting, though not quite the truth! A 65lb alloy T10, no way they are closer to a 100lbs. And 9-1 compression because of the [very] long extractors. Again I doubt that. Also when they were fitting the diff it was an open wheeler, on a race car? They turned one drum and the other went the other way.
And as Mac says, the brakes were out of the date as the car was built
Did the car ever run with that perspex top? I doubt it would have been nice to drive,, or see out of.
The basic car though seems very trick for its day. I doubt the fuel injection would have been an asset on a racecar, doubtfull it even was on the road version. But race what you sell ofcourse.

#3 Magoo

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 11:54

While the film footage is priceless, as usual the narration is PR filler in places. The film's very first sentence: "The design and construction of a functional mechanism is akin to any scientific advancement." What? It's like the guy had writer's block and just started typing, then forgot to go back later and remove it.


Rochester mechanical fuel injection proved superior to carburetors for road racing.

#4 Canuck

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 16:15

Ah - the days when you could continue working while smoking instead of standing 15 feet outside the doors like a social pariah.

#5 Magoo

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 23:04

Ah - the days when you could continue working while smoking instead of standing 15 feet outside the doors like a social pariah.


Not that I am a big fan of smoking (not anymore, anyway) but I love all the Mad Men moments in these old films. Guys working on cars in shirts and ties, etc.

#6 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 23:24

A bloke I know used a 8" bench grinder wearing a tie. Just about strangled himself but managed to hit the switch just before he lost his face! He has not worn a tie at work since!! He is a hands on manager who likes to play on the tools occasionally.

#7 Magoo

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 22:49

A bloke I know used a 8" bench grinder wearing a tie. Just about strangled himself but managed to hit the switch just before he lost his face! He has not worn a tie at work since!! He is a hands on manager who likes to play on the tools occasionally.


Got to tuck the necktie inside your shirt when using power tools.


#8 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 23:15

As a person who wears ties, sometimes , for weddings and funerals I think they should be declared a noxious weed and be banned by governments world wide.
And they should be no where near power tools, ever.

#9 desmo

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 00:27

I won't do a clutch or brake job without my immaculate white lab coat. One must have standards.

#10 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:17

I won't do a clutch or brake job without my immaculate white lab coat. One must have standards.

Mines green!

#11 Tony Matthews

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:34

My father always wore bow ties at work, they couldn't dangle in the Petrie dishes or drag across the faces of beridden patients. Later in life he took to wearing Western-style bootlace ties with a - dunno what the technical term is - a sliding fastener. What we called a woggle in the Scouts. I think the bow tie should be revised for normal semi-smart wear. I may be bold and strike out...

#12 Magoo

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:24

In America bow ties have come to be identified mainly with twittish right-wing political commentators. Has done great damage to the brand. Of bow ties, I mean.

#13 indigoid

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 17:18

So that was a pretty cool video. Like other folks here, I appreciated the dress code :-) Being both a young'un (34) and not terribly well-read on GM matters, I went Googling to find out more about the car. I found this article: (link to page 4, which I have quoted below)

http://www.caranddri...-chassis-page-4

Okay so far. The air pipe that connects the two vacuum cylinders can be sealed off by actuating an electric valve—undoubtedly a solenoid—which leaves the cylinder for the rear wheels completely isolated in whatever position it was when the valve closed. The electrical impulse is released by a mercury switch, mounted in the cockpit where it's handy. This switch is angled forward so that the mercury will slide up toward the end a given distance for a given quantity of car deceleration. When the mercury hits the end, in a stop of a preset negative "g", the solenoid is closed and rear braking force stays just as it was then—it can't increase; it doesn't go down. Front wheel force can then continue to rise in proportion to pedal pressure, but it's absolutely impossible to lock up the rear wheels no matter how hard you try! They're isolated from the circuit until the mercury switch and the valve open up again. With that mercury switch at just the right angle, braking at all four wheels can be fully used much more often than at present, when ultimate deceleration is limited by rear wheel locking. The switch angle could also be changed during a race to compensate for wet roads or different surfaces, or changing fuel loads. We've ridden in a car equipped with this rig, and think it's very promising.


What a fascinating idea. I assume this didn't make it into any series production cars... ?

#14 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 23:32

Many cars, especially station wagons and most commercials have a variation on this. The more the vehicle is loaded the more rear brake you have by a simple mechanical ride height sensitive proportioning valve. When the linkage breaks often the vehicle will be very senstitive as it has way too much rear brake, either that or very little depending on the linkage.
I know cheapskates who have adapted the valve as an adjustable proportioning valve on racecars. And they work fine.

#15 Tony Matthews

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:37

My Mk 1 Renault Espace had one, just a simple linkage so that reduced ride-height caused by load changed the line pressure to the rear brakes.

#16 Ben Wilson

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:19

Many cars, especially station wagons and most commercials have a variation on this. The more the vehicle is loaded the more rear brake you have by a simple mechanical ride height sensitive proportioning valve. When the linkage breaks often the vehicle will be very senstitive as it has way too much rear brake, either that or very little depending on the linkage.
I know cheapskates who have adapted the valve as an adjustable proportioning valve on racecars. And they work fine.


My old Nissan ute has one; it sticks sometimes - get's....interesting....

#17 Tony Matthews

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:48

I only discovered that my Espace had one when it stuck...

#18 indigoid

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 22:24

Interestinger and interestinger. They don't use mercury switches anymore, I hope.

#19 gruntguru

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:59

My old Nissan ute has one; it sticks sometimes - get's....interesting....

They were especially common on utes due to the wide variation in weight distribution with varying payloads.

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#20 Kelpiecross

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:09

They were especially common on utes due to the wide variation in weight distribution with varying payloads.


The older Toyota Hilux certainly had a linkage-connected proportioning valve for the rear brakes. The Ford (Mazda) Courier of the same vintage also has a proportioning valve at the back - but oddly it appears to have no connection to the rear axle - but it still works OK.

Edited by Kelpiecross, 07 May 2013 - 11:09.


#21 Magoo

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 15:31

Here's another crazy GM time capsule: A great little old GM promo film (under 5 minutes) presenting the 1953 GM Motorama. Includes all the cool dream cars from that year: Corvette, Olds Starfire, Buick XP-300, Cadillac LeMans, and more...




Video: Introducing the 1953 GM Motorama | Mac's Motor City Garage.com



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#22 Dipster

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 18:08

As a person who wears ties, sometimes , for weddings and funerals I think they should be declared a noxious weed and be banned by governments world wide.
And they should be no where near power tools, ever.



I am a disciple of the Richard Branson school of tie wearing. I hate the things!

#23 Magoo

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:16

I am a disciple of the Richard Branson school of tie wearing. I hate the things!


Then check out the Motorama video. Everyone is in a tie. Manhattan, 1953.


#24 Dipster

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 05:27

Then check out the Motorama video. Everyone is in a tie. Manhattan, 1953.



OT but...

This was the corporte policy I guess.

When I worked the oranisation I worked for once told a colleague that he must wear a tie at work. He rightfully agreed to do so when all employees - including the females - were so obliged. The company insisted. He took legal advice that pointed out to the employer that UK legislation supported my colleague's stance.

Tie wearing was less evident after this.

#25 Magoo

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 17:56

Here's another little GM newsreel from this era, and an neat bit of visual history: a three minute clip on the opening of the GM Tech Center in 1956. See Harlow Curtice! President Eisenhower! The Firebird II turbine car! Good stuff, check it out. Includes curious medical equipment. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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#26 Magoo

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 16:19

Here's another GM film....
 
This is a priceless piece of Americana and a pop culture treasure, and easily the weirdest carmaker commercial you will ever see, I promise you: the six-minute General Motors film promoting the 1956 Motorama, Design for Dreaming. Watch this.
 
 
 
 
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#27 indigoid

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:59

 

Here's another GM film....
 
This is a priceless piece of Americana and a pop culture treasure, and easily the weirdest carmaker commercial you will ever see, I promise you: the six-minute General Motors film promoting the 1956 Motorama, Design for Dreaming. Watch this.

 

Priceless indeed! Wonderful. Thanks!

 

It didn't seem to focus on the Motorama very much. And the kitchen bit was a little weird to my much younger eyes, though I guess it made sense at the time



#28 Magoo

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 16:51

Priceless indeed! Wonderful. Thanks!

 

It didn't seem to focus on the Motorama very much. And the kitchen bit was a little weird to my much younger eyes, though I guess it made sense at the time

 

I'm not sure it made a lot of sense to anyone at any time. I am still trying to imagine the GM meeting in which the film was approved. They must have passed around the bong first. 



#29 Magoo

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:17

Here's another old GM film for the technically curious. Crystal clear, in beautiful color, this one shows the design and construction of the 1958 Firebird III turbine car. There's some delightfully oddball stuff here -- check out the drum brakes at 6:20, among other items. 

 

 

Video: GM Firebird III Experiment for Tomorrow | Mac's Motor City Garage.com 

 

 

 
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#30 indigoid

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 04:27

Again, wonderful.

 

I suspect there's a good reason why real world cars don't have controls like that. Would probably not be very good in panic scenarios.



#31 Magoo

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 18:14

Again, wonderful.

 

I suspect there's a good reason why real world cars don't have controls like that. Would probably not be very good in panic scenarios.

 

Very primitive force-feedback mechanism.  



#32 MattPete

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:45

Very primitive force-feedback mechanism.  

 

 

Again, wonderful.

 

I suspect there's a good reason why real world cars don't have controls like that. Would probably not be very good in panic scenarios.

 

 

It's one of those things that seems like a good idea at the time...but once you implement and test, you quickly realize that it's a horrible idea.  Steering, acceleration, and deceleration should be de-correlated.  The Firebird 3 design adds too much mental effort to the task of driving.



#33 Magoo

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 07:45

It's one of those things that seems like a good idea at the time...but once you implement and test, you quickly realize that it's a horrible idea.  Steering, acceleration, and deceleration should be de-correlated.  The Firebird 3 design adds too much mental effort to the task of driving.

 

Exactly. There is one guy on earth who knows how to drive and/or fix the thing, it seems, and they fly him in and out when the vehicle is demonstrated. 



#34 Magoo

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 12:23

 

Here's another GM film....
 
This is a priceless piece of Americana and a pop culture treasure, and easily the weirdest carmaker commercial you will ever see, I promise you: the six-minute General Motors film promoting the 1956 Motorama, Design for Dreaming. Watch this.
 
 
 
 
cc7n.jpg

 

 

We've gotten more comments on this video than almost any so far, mainly because it's so darned weird.