Chevrolet Corvette 2
Meanwhile, only half a year's time and the project is taking shape. As the new GM V8 is still in development, one must fall back on the inline six-cylinder that fits just below the very low line of the new car. An advantage
is that it is placed for reasons of optimum weight distribution (53/47) behind the front axle.
At the only 78 kW (106 hp SAE) powerful six-cylinder some changes are made. This includes a different camshaft for stronger opening valves and pistons with more compression ratio. Three single horizontal draught
carburetor with two separate exhaust pipes complete the picture and everything adds up to 110 kW (150 hp SAE).
Sticking point is the opposite to the sedan much lower, completely straight steering column at that time that prevents the installation of the wider three-speed automatic. So the rare combination of a souped-up engine
arises with just two automated gear speeds. Without power assistance steering wheel and gear ratio must be chosen quite large, a further, albeit strange accordance with the Cisitalia.
It will be closely in the new car. Immediately behind the backrests, the rear wheels are already arranged. For the cardan shaft this means at moved back power unit an enormous shortening and partially laying above
the X frame. Not as otherwise at Chevrolet it runs in the pipe, but it has two against each other twisted disposed universal joints. Must be additionally protected the rigid rear axle by appropriate suspension links
against tilting when accelerating or braking.
The anyway sensitive structure of a convertible complicates the integration of the fiberglass bodywork. Basically, all forces must be absorbed by the steel frame. The of course, has it much easier in composite with a
limousine sheet metall structure. One can vividly imagine the difficulties of the reinforcement of an ordinary limousine frame with steel bodywork. So entirely the problem will not be solved at the first Corvette.
After all, Olley has already worked in the thirties to the independent front suspension with unequal long wishbones. The unseen can be taken over by a vehicle in production. An additional front stabilizer reduces the
vehicle roll in bends. The weight distribution, optimally close to the gross vehicle weight, reliably prevents a too great tendency to understeer.
An explicit shortcoming gets the Corvette with the drum brakes front. Although absolutely standard at the time, it will have to deal long on charges of brake fading. To make matters worse, the maybe more cooling
promising spoke wheels come from cost reasons only as accessories on the car. Normally are fully closed metal rims.
About the problems with the fiberglass film will be more to report. For a show model this is ideal, especially if the development time is so short. So the success of the first Corvette is also preprogrammed in New York
in 1953. It hails pre-orders and that is where the future problems will arise. During a severe accident of another Chevrolet convertible prototype with fiberglass body, one had made good experiences because the
driver was unhurt. 09/13