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History The Mahogany Corvette

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Oct 31, 2022.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 21,021

    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    The Mahogany Corvette


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,850


    dana barlow and chryslerfan55 like this.
  3. Moedog07
    Joined: Apr 11, 2011
    Posts: 468


    A very good read.
  4. Cool. Wonder what that weighed?

  5. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,808


    Presumably the templates were taken from the final approval clay styling models. No 3D CAD back then. Which is probably how all the little fitment issues worked their way into the final product.
  6. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 21,021

    Staff Member

    I have no idea if this is true, but I read that one of the biggest reasons GM decided to go with fiber glass was that they couldn't figure out how to efficiently stamp the rear quarters out of steel for mass production. Supposedly, there were (failed) prototype steel bucks for the corvette at one point.

    Early production runs were small... And I'm guessing they never figured the Corvette would be as massively successful as it was.... so using fiberglass could be written off as a novelty and a necessity of sorts.

    The way it played out, you gotta think GM became one of the most knowledgeable composite companies in the world. Hell, even the new mid engine Vettes have some fiberglass in their DNA.
    63fdsnr, AHotRod, dana barlow and 5 others like this.
  7. :cool: … Learn sumpin’ new everyday!

    ... and on a somewhat related note:

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2022
  8. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 15,098

    from KCMO

  9. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,170


    Last edited: Oct 31, 2022
    40two and NoSurf like this.
  10. A work of art in its own right.
    WalkerMD likes this.
  11. BrandonB
    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 3,331

    from nor cal

    Geesh, talk about labor intensive. If it was mentioned I guess I missed it but I wonder how many man hours went into producing just one 1953 Corvette. With a price tag around $3500.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  12. Way cool! So these were the ''plugs'' that the molds were taken directly from? Shame that they're gone.
  13. I have been a woodworker since that car was new and today was the first time I ever heard of "Polynesian Mahogany". I looked it up and what do you know - there really is a species of tree that is called that, its scientific name is Toona sureni and it is not a true mahogany, which are all in the genus Swietenia.

    It's good to learn something new, and for the record, I like Corvettes of that era, even though my older brothers sneered that they weren't "true sports cars".
    aircap, Sancho and Special Ed like this.
  14. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 21,021

    Staff Member

    It's used a lot in Hawaii... In fact, I made all of the headboards for our beds out of it. Really nice to work with. It's actually pretty soft and machines wonderfully.
  15. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,867


    Damn. Impressive!
    dana barlow likes this.
  16. Dream Boy
    Joined: Apr 12, 2022
    Posts: 13

    Dream Boy

    Its hard for me to think that someone would destroy that wood Corvette buck.
    LOST ANGEL, WalkerMD and dana barlow like this.
  17. dave agosti
    Joined: Nov 28, 2019
    Posts: 31

    dave agosti

    I'm sure many wood prototypes were destroyed. No further need for them. Beautiful pieces!
  18. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 4,016


    The ultimate coffee table.
    283john and Budget36 like this.
  19. Gahrajmahal
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 478


    An amazing bit of woodworking!
  20. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,693


    For some idiot reason, tools & tooling are not considered to be art.... but it's obvious they can be.
  21. bschwoeble
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 895


    They make shitty race cars?
  22. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 10,863


    What craftsmanship. I’ve seen some shows/videos of guys carving new models out of clay, but seeing that is kinda mind blowing.
    Would be cool to find that it resurfaces someday. Chances are it’s been long gone when a new change was made.
  23. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 21,021

    Staff Member

    I've often thought this... Even today's machine tools are gorgeous... I know a guy that machines titanium exclusively and his tooling is straight up art.

    Relative to the global competition of the time, yes.
  24. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,155

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    That’s pretty cool for sure. I have made a few fiberglass molds and lots of fiberglass parts. But, that buck is a work of art to say the least. Thanks for sharing. :cool:
    427 sleeper likes this.
  25. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 2,167

    427 sleeper

    Those buck's would be a work of art, no matter what species of wood they were made of. Being Mahogany makes them even better! :cool::cool::cool:
    SS327 and LWEL9226 like this.
  26. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,552

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Incredible. If only that body buck had survived. Would look great setting on a cutaway chassis. Or perhaps drop it on running chassis and drive it into the Corvette nationals.
    In pre CAD, Kirksite days, the blueprint drawings were three dimensionalized into clay, then ultra skilled woodworkers would build wood bucks that would be scanned/machined into steel tooling dies.
    This film follows the process on a 55 body (wood bucks at 12:10). It has a main focus on just the door, and is a reminder of just how painstaking and tedious the drawing - finished product was. It's a fantastic look at post war American ingenuity and old world craftsmanship, not to mention the insane amount of effort required to pull off such a task.

  27. A bit overwhelming for a coffee table, but would make the ultimate buffet table!
    Joined: Dec 19, 2015
    Posts: 288

    from Canada

    Very cool.Thanks for sharing!

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