How to Save GM
New product. The Forever Car. Advertised as the last car you will ever
need to buy. It will not have model years. All the models will be
identical and they will never change. So the parts from a Forever car
made today will be interchangeable with one made ten years from now.
Little by little the owner can replace all the used/worn parts with
new parts and actually have a totally new car. Parts can be replaced
individually or in component packages, whichever the owner decides is
better or easier to do at the time. It will be designed to be worked
on by the owners. There will be room to get at the parts. It will come
with a tool box that has tools to fit every part on the car and a DVD
with instructions on how to repair everything. It will have a USB
cable to plug into your home computer for diagnostic testing. Of
course, you can always take it to a mechanic. Yes, parts do get
obsolete and improvements are made. The parts can be upgraded just as
long as the component package still matches.
There will be three models - the sports car, the sedan, and the SUV.
Of course the sports car would have to be the Corvette. What about the
fact that your car looks like every other car out there? No it
wouldn't. Aftermarket manufacturers would come up with thousands of
modifications or add-ons just like they did for the old VW Beetle.
Before I even got to the end of your post I thought of the VW.
Incremental slow change is OK as earlier models can be "upgraded" by owners.
I've often suggested that the overall Volkswagon program was one of the few
things done by Nazi Germany that could use a 2nd look for future
I don't care if they save the Corvette or not. The last great Corvette that
GM made was in 1974. All the others have been overpriced also-rans.
I think GM should put the Corvette out of its misery or concentrate on
building the best car in the world. Not a cheap, "me-too" to BMW or
You need to remember that back in '71 part of that 6k was also "paying for
"improvements and new technology" circa 197. The Vette has usually been at
(or near) the front of GM's RnD platform thusly the hefty price tag.
I think Corvette should break free of GM and Chevrolet, if need be to stay
Perhaps two models to be made:
The latest "gee-wiz" Vette du-jour for the "big bucks".
And for lower budgets - a re-run of the 63-67 C2 Stingray body, only with
updated drivetrains, weight, and electronics. (ya, you can rework the seats
too). But still "retro" enough that only minimal RnD costs need to be
passed through to the consumer. (I'm thinking like VW and HD did for years
and years here.)
-W (I always felt that while I *personally* prefer the '68 body - that the
C2 was the best styling design to ever roll off an assembly line - anywhere)
I agree with you. I own a C2. A 1964 roadster with 327. Best looking car
ever. Then GM basically crapped out. About 1975 onward they started making
???? I am not talking about technical innovation here. Of course, the
newest Vette has the latest technology. But back in 1963, GM made the best
car(s) ever. The Vette was better proportioned than the Jag XKE that was
similar. Performance of the fuelly was on a par with the Ferrari. Looks
I cannot relate to what they have now. Key fobs having problems. Nav
systems, dual area HVAC, etc. Crappy run flats with no spare and pressure
sensors that are a nightmare to get working right.
GM needs to make the ZR-1 the standard Vette and price it at $45,000.
Also get out the 4 valve per cylinder OHC, variable valve timing, direct
injection, 7000 rpm red line engine. What they have now was a joint
devopment with the engine for SUV's . Sheesh. Has economical development
all over it.
Oh get a life, I had a new '63 Corvette and it was junk, so was the
'64 that I traded for just to get rid of it. Design sucked and the
front end started to float anything over 100. Looks has nothing to do
with quality. That junk only got bigger when they went to the '68
design. It didn't get any better until the C5 came out.
Actually I have no pre '75 Corvettes. Very little is not new, rebuilt
and/or hand fitted and is the only reason most of them have survived.
I'll say it again, looks has nothing to do with quality and that is
the only reason I own the C2 and the C3, looks. So I'll still disagree
with your statement that GM made the best cars ever in '63. They were
sucking hind tit until the C5 came out, prior to that Buick made
better cars than the Corvette. Why did it's assembly move out of St
Just one of the problems with my '63 was a cracked rear journal in the
crank. As the engine heated up the fly wheel would cock whipping out
the pilot bearing, transmission impute shaft, and bearing guide. GM's
fix, put in a new transmission and scold me for driving it to hard.
Second transmission, same thing, miles driven 1,500, now it's my fault
completely. No more warranty and I paid for the third transmission
which lasted about 2,000 miles. When I tore it down this time I let
the engine run until warm and put a dial indicator on the fly wheel
face. Dialed in dead nuts until it warmed up and then showed .09
something runout, jerked the engine and replaced it with a '58 283.
Problem solved and it ran like a kitten all the way to a dealer and
was traded in. Less than a year and 11,000 miles, then the '64 was
worse and was gone in 3 months. The Corvair that replaced it was a
better car by far and the next Corvette didn't come into my life until
I got the '92 and it was gone as soon as the C5 came out although it
was a '98 because of GMs great planning and a short production year.
During that 20 some odd years without one I rejected a '77 that I
ordered because it had mat showing through the finish surface 11
places and had already had the left front fender repainted.
I can't condemn the '63 Corvette because of that alone.
Sounds like a major "lemon" issue with that cracked journal that went
That crank "could" have turned up in any production V8, but it wound up in
That makes you *very* unlucky. But I still think the '65 with 4 wheel disks
and FI was one of the "keepers" of the species. :)
If the crank had been the only problem I'd agree but it wasn't, how
about the back axle being .75 of an inch out of location on one side!
I run with a '65 fulie and he is well versed on all the problems they
had and will not drive it on long tours because of it's special needs.
Well over $6,000 in the injection upgrade to keep it stock and
running, but it does run nice. Trailers it everywhere except close by
shows. You should see the '40 Willies he is building.
I was going to send you a picture and noticed the bot killer email,
I will grant you that. Quality control sucked. Big gaps in the door jams.
My 64 in the garage still shows the uneven gaps. I bought it in 91.
I love to run it through the gears. Sounds like tearing silk cloth.
Newer vettes do not even have a lope and with a Flowmaster exhaust, sound
like someone is giving a raspberry when they accelerate
Sounds like you both agree that QC at GM has sucked for decades at least.
As for the handling of the big block - yes that was a common complaint with
the C2 and C3 - too much weight up front. That's the beauty of having a
"driver" - if I wanna try one of those 454 aftermarket small block they
sell - I can. :)
Well you both at least agree (with many people) that the C4 was no prize.
And I didn't say that you couldn't tweak suspension on the re-issue C2, you
just had to use the exaxct same outer body panels (which made with todays
materials would be thinner and lighter). My only other constraint is that no
new RnD funds go into the car, but you may re-use existing Vette technology
to improve the performance, handling, and mileage of the C2. The idea is to
make it cost about 1/2 the price of the Vette DuJour - and make it
I had an XKE at that time, a 64 with the 3.8. Drove a friend's Vette (1964)
and was appalled when the front end started to feel very floaty at around a
100 mph. The E model, despite it horrible reliability, worked just great at
speeds over the century mark. The 71 454 Vette I had was quite different and
worked well at least 130, so GM had sorted the problems out by the C3 . The
454 was a heck of lot better than the Jag in terms of reliability and much
easier to work on.
Are you sure you can say that?
Or was the real difference added weight of the big block up front in the '71
How much (if any) did the chassis design change from '64 to '71?
Or was airflow over the C3 nose enough to hold it down better in general ?
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