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Chevrolet Trucks: 95 years and going strong

1937 Chevrolet GC Series half-ton pick-up truck

DETROIT – 2012-09-27 – It started with a simple idea – a few car chassis fitted with hand-built beds to help carry materials around a booming car factory. Before long, millions of Chevrolet pickups were woven into the fabric of a fast-growing country. Chevy trucks tackled the toughest jobs on farms and in the fields, hauled tools and lumber to the burgeoning suburbs and carried families and friends into the wilds for well-earned vacations.

“The legacy that Chevrolet trucks have built over the last 95 years is important to protect,” said Don Johnson, Chevrolet vice president of Sales and Service.  “The best way for us to do that is by delivering the capability and technology our customers have grown to expect, in both our current trucks and in our next generation of full-size pickups.”

Here are some Chevy truck highlights: (read on or click here… for the original article)

See more Chevrolet truck photos here…

1918 Chevrolet Four-Ninety Half-Ton Light Delivery “Cowl Chassis”

Although there are indications that some Four-Ninety based trucks were built for internal use in 1916, and that a few even earlier chassis may have been converted to ambulances and sent to France in 1914, the first customer chassis appears to have been built in Flint, Mich., on Nov. 22, 1916, and shipped from the factory on Dec. 2 that year.

Two four-cylinder models marked Chevrolet’s formal entry into the truck market for the 1918 model year. Both were cowl chassis units that came from the factory with only frontal sheet metal. It was customary at the time for buyers to obtain a wooden cab and cargo box or panel van body to suit their purposes.

Priced at $595, the half-ton Light Delivery cowl chassis was essentially a bodyless Chevrolet Four Ninety car equipped with stronger rear springs. Mounted with a pickup box or panel body, it provided an agile and economical light-delivery truck for small businesses popping up across America in the boom following the First World War.

The second model, a 1-ton capacity 1918 Chevrolet “Model T” (presumably for “Truck”) cost $1,125 without a body.  It was based on the FA-series car, and was built on a truck frame that was longer and stronger than the half-ton model.  A 37-horsepower engine gave the larger truck the power to haul heavier loads at a governor-limited top speed of 25 mph.

1930 Chevrolet Pickup

The simple cowl chassis models were replaced in the 1930s by factory-built pickups, which initially came with roadster and closed bodies.  Chevrolet bought the Martin-Parry body company in 1930 and quickly began selling steel-body half-ton pickups complete with a factory-installed bed.

At the heart of these new pickups was a new Chevy inline six-cylinder engine, which soon earned names like “Cast Iron Wonder” and “Stovebolt” for its rugged design.  First produced in late 1928, the new engine had a modern overhead-valve design.  Inline six-cylinder engines became a mainstay in Chevrolet cars and trucks for decades to come.

By the mid-1930s, half-ton pickups with factory-installed steel boxes had become the lifeblood of the truck market, with brands like Mack, Studebaker, Reo, and International competing with Chevy, GMC, Ford and Dodge.

1937 Chevrolet Half-Ton Pickup

In the mid-1930s, as the U.S. economy began to recover from the Great Depression, Chevrolet pushed for leadership in a reviving truck market with what were designed to be some of the strongest, most innovative models produced to that point.

For 1937, Chevrolet introduced new trucks with streamlined styling that many still consider the best designs of the era. The ’37 also featured a sturdier body and a larger and more powerful 78-horsepower engine, among other improvements.

A 1937 Chevrolet half-ton pickup was sent on a 10,245-mile drive around the United States that was monitored by the American Automobile Association (AAA).  Carrying a 1,060 lb. load, the truck averaged 20.74 miles per gallon.

1947 Chevrolet Advance-Design Half-Ton Pickup

(more…)

What is the coolest thing you have done in your Honda?

Monsters Calling Home, a band from California recorded their song Fight To Keep in their Honda Fit! Now that’s cool!!!

Check out the video below.

Visit the Honda Loves You Back page here… to find out more.

GM Welding Breakthrough Enables More Use of Aluminum

Click on image to enlarge

Increased use of lightweight metal can help improve fuel economy, performance

2012-09-24 DETROIT – General Motors Research & Development has invented an industry-first aluminum welding technology expected to enable more use of the lightweight metal on future vehicles, which can help improve fuel economy and driving performance.

GM’s new resistance spot welding process uses a patented multi-ring domed electrode that does what smooth electrodes are unreliable at doing – welding aluminum to aluminum. By using this process GM expects to eliminate nearly two pounds of rivets from aluminum body parts such as hoods, liftgates and doors.

GM already uses this patented process on the hood of the Cadillac CTS-V and the liftgate of the hybrid versions of Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon. GM plans to use this technology more extensively starting in 2013.

Read more here…

Honda Develops Household Gas Engine Cogeneration Unit with Autonomous Operation Function for Generating Electricity during Power Outage

TOKYO, Japan, September 25, 2012 – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced it will begin sales of a new model for its household MCHP (Micro Combined Heat and Power) gas engine cogeneration unit in November 2012, through gas utilities across Japan. Building on its well-received predecessors that have served as the core unit in the ECOWILL household cogeneration system*1,which runs by burning natural gas or LPG (liquefied propane gas) for electricity generation and using the exhaust heat for hot water supply and heating, the new model has an autonomous operation function that enables system use in a power outage or other emergencies.

Read more here…

GM and Partners Open China’s Largest Proving Ground

SHANGHAI – General Motors, SAIC, Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) have opened China’s largest proving ground, capable of conducting 67 driving conditions over 60 kilometers (37 miles) of test roads.

The 5.67-square-kilometer (2.18 square miles) Guangde Proving Ground in Guangde County, Anhui, represents an investment of RMB 1.6 billion ($253 million). Shanghai GM and PATAC are overseeing the proving ground’s operation, which includes comprehensive support facilities.

“GM has brought some of our industry’s most advanced technology and processes to the Guangde Proving Ground,” said Kevin Wale, president, GM China, and chief country operations officer, China, India and ASEAN.

“Our goal from the beginning was to make this a world-class facility. The greatest beneficiary will be our customers, who will receive even higher-quality vehicles that are equal to those built and sold anywhere else in the world,” Wale said.

The proving ground can carry out development, validation, certification, quality control evaluation, load data collection and analysis for vehicles less than 7.5 tons. It can accommodate up to 140 vehicles for testing simultaneously. About 20 million kilometers (12.4 million miles) worth of testing are expected to be conducted annually.

To simulate different driving conditions in China, the proving ground contains eight specific test areas: an oval track, vehicle dynamics test area, long straightaway, ride and handling loop, noise test road, durability test area, corrosion test area and hill test area. In addition, it has 23,000 square meters (247,569 square feet) of auxiliary space for labs, repair facilities and private workshops.

The Guangde Proving Ground will support the design and development of vehicles by Shanghai GM and PATAC, significantly improving testing efficiency, shortening product development time and reducing testing costs. It will complement PATAC’s facilities in Shanghai, which include a Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) Lab, Vehicle Safety Lab, Envision Visualization Center and Climate Wind Tunnel.

Shanghai GM builds, imports and sells a range of Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet products. In 2011, it had record domestic sales of 1.2 million vehicles. PATAC provides automotive engineering services, including design, development, testing and validation of components and vehicles.

General Motors traces its roots back to 1908. GM has 12 joint ventures, two wholly owned foreign enterprises and more than 35,000 employees in China. GM and its joint ventures offer the broadest lineup of vehicles and brands among automakers in China. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles are sold under the Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jiefang, Opel and Wuling brands. In 2011, GM sold more than 2.5 million vehicles in China. It has been the sales leader among global automakers in the market for seven consecutive years. More information on General Motors in China can be found at GM Media Online.

Read the original release here…

Honda’s CEO foreshadows fuel cell vehicles in 2015

“As for fuel cell electric vehicles, which Honda considers to be the ultimate environmentally-responsible vehicle, and therefore has been leading the industry in R&D and sales, Honda will launch an all-new fuel cell electric model sequentially in Japan, the U.S. and Europe starting in 2015. This new fuel cell vehicle will showcase further technological advancement and significant cost reduction that Honda has accomplished.”

Read his entire speech here…

Read a summary at Canadian Business here…

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