Editor’s Observe: This cowl of this week’s version of Automotive Information ( incorporates a story about GM’s pioneering improvement of the EV “skateboard” and the way it set the desk for a completely new route within the improvement of the auto. A variation of the GM “skateboard” is now utilized by each producer of EVs on this planet, and it stays a testomony to GM’s True Believers in Engineering and Design. In truth, GM has an extended historical past of innovation and pioneering engineering breakthroughs going again to the Thirties. Only one instance? The Firebird I, II and III ideas from the ’50s had been so superior that most of the options developed for these machines are nonetheless present in vehicles constructed at the moment. The 1958 Firebird III, as an illustration, was powered by a 225HP fuel turbine engine with a 2-cylinder 10HP fuel engine to run the onboard equipment. It had cruise management, anti-lock brakes, air drag brakes, distant opening doorways, an automatic steerage system, and it was steered by a joystick within the console. There have been different vital engineering packages originating at GM all through the a long time. In truth, what GM is doing at the moment when it comes to engineering its new EVs is each bit as breakthrough and modern as any time in its lengthy historical past. This week, Peter focuses on one in all GM’s most important – and storied – engineering improvement packages: The 1960 CERV I (Chevrolet Experimental Analysis Automobile) and the 1963 CERV II. Each machines had been developed beneath the route of iconic Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov as a platform to develop and refine Chevrolet physique, chassis and suspension methods. At the least that was the “official” model. They had been actually developed, nonetheless, as all-out racing machines. As a lot of you already know, Peter’s postings on Twitter (@PeterMDeLorenzo) present a colourful have a look at the business and racing particularly. Peter is a agency believer in historic perspective relating to motorsports, and the vital tales that have to be instructed. And we predict you will agree that the CERV I and CERV II are definitely value noting and appreciating. We hope you take pleasure in studying about them. -WG 


By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. As a lot of our readers know, I’ve a presence on Twitter (@PeterMDeLorenzo). Most – however not all – of my postings on that web site contain motorsports, together with evocative photos from the “glory days” of racing within the 60s and 70s. This week, I needed to commit a while to the Chevrolet Engineering Analysis Autos, the CERV I and CERV II – and the True Believers chargeable for them.

The CERV program originated with Corvette icon Zora Arkus-Duntov, who envisioned it as a platform for engineers to make use of to be able to develop Chevrolet – particularly Corvette – physique, chassis and suspension methods. The CERV I used to be developed between 1959 and 1960 as a practical mid-engine, open-wheel, single-seat prototype racing automotive. The bodywork was designed by business legends Larry Shinoda and Tony Lapine. 

The CERV I used to be initially geared up with a fuel-injected 283 cu. in. 350HP small block V8 that weighed solely 350 lbs. Intensive use of aluminum and magnesium engine elements saved greater than 175 lbs. from earlier Chevrolet V8s. The physique construction was constructed out of fiberglass and weighed solely 80 lbs. The physique construction was connected to a inflexible 125 lb. chrome-molybdenum tube constructed body, welded in a truss-like configuration. Combining these light-weight elements contributed to the CERV I’s weight of 1,600 lbs. The 96-inch wheelbase chassis incorporates a four-wheel unbiased suspension, makes use of unbiased, variable price springs with shock absorbers and stabilizer bar within the entrance, and multilink, variable price springs, with double-acting shock absorbers within the rear. The wheels are solid magnesium alloy. Steering is recirculating ball sort with 12:1 ratio.

The brake system on the CERV I makes use of entrance disc/rear drum, with a two piston grasp cylinder to eradicate the prospect of full brake failure. Gas is delivered by way of two rubber bladder gasoline cells (20 gal. complete capability). At one level Duntov refitted the CERV I with a 377 cu. in. aluminum small block, a complicated Rochester gasoline injection system and Indy-style tires and wheels. (That 377 cu. in. small block V8 turned the mainstay within the Corvette Grand Sport racing program.) To match this mechanical updating, Shinoda redesigned its streamlined physique construction for higher aerodynamics. Prime pace for the CERV I used to be 206 mph, achieved on GM’s round 4.5-mile take a look at observe at its Milford, Michigan, Proving Grounds.

Excited by its spectacular efficiency potential, Duntov had his eye on greater issues for the CERV 1 – together with racing within the Indianapolis 500 – however because of the AMA (Vehicle Producer’s Affiliation) ban on manufacturer-sponsored racing on the time – which GM painfully adhered to – the closest Duntov might get to a serious showcase for the automotive was when he drove the machine in a sequence of demo laps on the U.S. Grand Prix in 1960.(GM)
Zora Arkus-Duntov within the CERV 1 on the GM Technical Middle take a look at observe, 1960.
The CERV 1.
The CERV I appeared within the worldwide racing colours – white with blue – assigned to the USA.

The subsequent-generation Chevrolet Engineering Analysis Automobile – the CERV II – was conceived early in 1962, developed over the subsequent 12 months and constructed beneath Duntov’s route between 1963 and 1964. By the point it was completed, Duntov envisioned the CERV II as a doable reply to the Ford GT40 racing program. At this level it was additionally in Duntov’s thoughts to develop a separate line of racing Corvettes to promote, an concept that was later rejected, after all, by GM administration. Duntov needed the CERV II to showcase future applied sciences as utilized to a racing machine. 

Chevrolet Common Supervisor “Bunkie” Knudsen needed to get again into racing so the CERV II was deliberate for the worldwide prototype class with a 4-liter model of the Chevrolet small block V8. Knudsen has been given strict orders to remain out of racing by higher administration at GM, however clearly that did not dissuade Duntov and his workforce. Building was began on the CERV II nearly on the similar time that the “no racing” GM administration edict got here down.

As with CERV I, the physique was designed by the workforce of Shinoda and Lapine. The chassis of the CERV II consisted of a glued-together metal and aluminum monocoque with a metal sub body to hold the suspension and engine. It was powered by a Hilborn fuel-injected, overhead cam, 377 cu. in. aluminum small block V8 with a ten.8 compression ratio and 500HP. By 1970, the CERV II ran a 427 cu. in. ZL-1 V8 with 550HP. Titanium was used for the hubs, connecting rods, valves, and exhaust manifolds serving to to deliver the full weight of the machine beneath 1400 lbs. 

The CERV’s II engineering of the drive system and torque converter association was handed over to GM’s engineering workforce and it turned out to be its most fascinating improvement. The outcome? A sophisticated all-wheel drive system utilizing two torque converters. This marked the primary time that anybody had designed a variable energy supply to every finish of the automotive, which assorted based on car pace. The very vast wheels carried experimental low profile Firestone tires mounted on particularly constructed Kelsey-Hayes magnesium wheels. The ventilated disc brakes had been mounted outboard, with the Girling calipers widened to just accept the vented rotors.

The CERV II was very fast: 0-60 in 2.5 seconds with a prime pace of 190+ mph. Throughout its in depth improvement Jim Corridor and Roger Penske had been among the many prime drivers who wheeled the CERV II. 

The plan to make use of the CERV II as The Reply to the Ford GT40 program ended up being killed by GM administration, as was their wont. The CERV II was used as a analysis device for a mid-sixties tremendous Corvette program that was additionally cancelled by administration. By no means raced, the CERV II ended as a present and museum piece, a tribute to the True Believers at GM Design and Engineering.

Editor-in-Chief’s Observe: Thanks to the GM Heritage Middle for the small print on the CERV I and CERV II. -PMD

The True Believers at GM Engineering stand proudly by the magnificent CERV II at its roll out on the GM Technical Middle in Warren, Michigan.
Zora Arkus-Duntov within the CERV II, late 1963.
The CERV II photographed on the well-known “Black Lake” on the GM Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan.
An inside have a look at the CERV II.


Editor-in-Chief’s Observe: As a part of our persevering with sequence celebrating the “Glory Days” of racing, this week’s photos come from GM. – PMD

GM Technical Middle, Warren, Michigan, 1957. Zora Arkus-Duntov being wheeled out for the maiden take a look at run of the Corvette SS racing automotive. GM had a brief take a look at observe on the Tech Middle grounds that noticed in depth use.

GM Technical Middle, Warren, Michigan, 1957. The Corvette SS racer being completed earlier than being shipped all the way down to Sebring, Florida, for its racing debut within the 12-Hour race.

Editor’s Observe: You may entry earlier problems with AE by clicking on “Subsequent 1 Entries” beneath. – WG


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