Business Excellence Innovation Fashion is perhaps the very first expression of success of a free nation. Fashion is a celebration and a joy.
The birth of the third-generation Corvette occurred during a time when the United States, and indeed the whole world, was immersed in social and political controversy.
The United States was entrenched in the turbulence of the Vietnam War. One of the most controversial and heavily publicized battles of the entire Vietnam war — the Battle of Khe Sanh — began in late January ofand would fuel protests against the war that would result in major eruptions of violence that would ultimately lead to the untimely demise of presidential hopeful Robert F.
Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr later that same year. Cities that lasted for several days. The widespread experimentation with drugs exploded as a social student pastime on college campuses.
Richard Nixon defeated Hubert H. Humphrey to become the next president of the United States. Instead, the C3 was an entirely new take on the sport car persona for which the second-generation Corvette had been so highly regarded. The evolution of the third-generation Corvette actually began early on in the career of the second-generation Sting Ray.
Both styles of car would prove immensely popular with automotive enthusiasts, and would inspire other manufacturers to follow in the same direction.
If the Corvette was going to continue to compete with this new onslaught of competitors, it would have to offer more than just quick starts off the line. These higher end sports-cars showcased leading edge advances in mechanical technology and exotic bodyline styling that made the Corvette seem dated by comparison.
When developing the third-generation Corvette, the body design concept quickly became known as the Coke bottle design.
Fortunately for Chevrolet and the Corvette, General Motors stopped the development of the Banshee before it ever really got off the ground. The concept Corvette, which was designated the XP, was ill-conceived, and was accidentally destroyed during a high-speed lane change test.
Instead of a rear engine approach, they focused instead on developing a true mid-engine automobile that showcased a big-block Mark IV engine that was positioned just ahead of the rear wheels. The roofline featured a shallow, vertically set backlight that was flanked by long, gracefully tapered C-pillars.
In the end, practicality and parts availability won out over all of the designs, and the rear- and mid-engine concepts were scrapped. While some argued that GM could make the investment to develop such a transaxle, the cost to do so would drive Corvette prices beyond what anyone would willingly pay for the car.
In the end, the mid-engine alternative for the car was abandoned because of financial constraints.
From the beltline down, the new Corvette was very similar to the Mako II prototype, although it featured softer, less extreme contours. Regardless of the reason, it was intended from the beginning that the vertical backlight — as well as the portion of the roof that covered the interior of the car — be removable.
Of course, even as the conceptual design of the production C3 began to take shape, there were problems that arose along the way that inhibited its development. First, the new design turned out to have excessive front end lift issues at high speeds, which seriously compromised the cars stability and, in turn, safety.
Second, the removable Targa-style roof had its own set of issues. The original concept for the removable top called for a single fiberglass component. However, as the body design of the car had begun to take shape, it had been quickly discovered that a single-piece, removable fiberglass roof compromised the strength of the body to a point that could result in damage to the structural integrity of the entire car.
In the conceptual designs, the cars that were built with the single-piece removable top produced excessive amounts of creaks and groans in the automotive coachwork. Perhaps the most significant design flaw of the Mako inspired automotive styling was poor engine cooling.
Although the design team behind the new Corvette worked to resolve these and other issues, the development of the C3 Corvette would ultimately be postponed a year because of it.
It was probably just as well. Despite the extra year that the C3 designer and engineers received to improve upon the design, the third-generation Corvette was still seriously under-developed when introduced to the public. As the final design elements of the third-generation Corvette came together, the car was introduced to the automotive media and was welcomed with a mix of opinions that ranged from apathy to outright hostility.
It received a large amount of criticism. Although the car was physically larger than its predecessor, it had less room in it. The result of this change caused both drivers and passengers to be uncomfortable in their seats. Reviewers also found that the car had a harsh ride, an excessively noisy cockpit, an utter lack of cargo space and a new interior ventilation system that was incapable of providing any level of comfort to its passengers.
Still, even with the powerful powertrain capturing the attention of some of the automotive press, it was also generally noted that the engines were hard to start and had a tendency to overheat.
Despite its humble beginnings, the longest reign of any generation of Corvette was about to begin, and it was a reign that would experience many highs and lows along the way.Jul 28, · The Supreme Court has been granting more rights to corporations, including some regarded as those solely for individuals.
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