The Corvette Factories: Building America's Sports Car

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9780760335512: The Corvette Factories: Building America's Sports Car
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In its nearly six decades, Chevrolet’s Corvette--America’s only sportscar--has been produced in just three factories, first in St. Louis and now in Bowling Green.  This book is the first to offer an up-close view of the process of building an automotive legend.  From the rudimentary hand-formed fiberglass bodies in the St. Louis factory, to the state of the art production on the modern line in Bowling Green, The Corvette Factories takes readers through the story of the Corvette’s evolution as the world’s performance benchmark.  Detailed archival photographs and the latest images provide a unique behind-the-scenes look at the Corvette as an exemplar of General Motors’ most advanced technology.  Indispensable to Corvette fans and sportscar aficionados, this volume is also a critical chapter of automotive history.

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From the Inside Flap:

Since its birth in 1953, Chevrolet’s Corvette has gone from underpowered, impractical styling exercise to world-class performer. While the engineering and styling behind the car are well-documented, what about how the cars are actually built? Author Mike Mueller delves into the GM Historical Archives to find the answers.

 

First constructed on a small six-car assembly line in a GM facility in Flint, Michigan, Corvette required extensive manual assembly and hand finishing. When regular production moved to St. Louis for the 1954 model year, the process had been streamlined enough to steadily increase production for each successive model year through 1978.

 

By the time discussion of the C4 car had begun, the St. Louis plant was showing its age. Nagging quality issues and a need for additional production capacity necessitated the search for a new assembly plant. Quietly, the search began. A suitable building was located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and assembly commenced there in 1981, while the St. Louis plant began to wind down. Production shifted entirely to Bowling Green in 1982 and has remained there ever since.

 

The Corvette Factories tells the story of each plant and the cars that rolled out their doors. Extensively illustrated with Chevrolet’s fascinating period photos, Mike Mueller tells the story like no other auto historian.

 

From the Back Cover:

Corvette has been an American icon for nearly six decades. In that time, the car has been built in just three locations: a small, cramped pilot plant in Flint, Michigan, an aging, obsolete factory in St. Louis, Missouri, and today’s thoroughly modern facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky. In The Corvette Factories, author Mike Mueller gives a never-before-seen view into the birthplace of a legend: Chevrolet’s Corvette.

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