The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Oct 31, 2022.
Ryan submitted a new blog post:
The Mahogany Corvette
Continue reading the Original Blog Post
That’s pretty dang cool.
A very good read.
Cool. Wonder what that weighed?
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.
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.
… Learn sumpin’ new everyday!
... and on a somewhat related note:
That buck would've been gorgeous to see in person. Mahogany is both beautiful and sturdy.
Here's a good article on some of the engineering on the 1st Corvette.
A work of art in its own right.
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.
Way cool! So these were the ''plugs'' that the molds were taken directly from? Shame that they're gone.
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".
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.
Its hard for me to think that someone would destroy that wood Corvette buck.
I'm sure many wood prototypes were destroyed. No further need for them. Beautiful pieces!
The ultimate coffee table.
An amazing bit of woodworking!
For some idiot reason, tools & tooling are not considered to be art.... but it's obvious they can be.
They make shitty race cars?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
A bit overwhelming for a coffee table, but would make the ultimate buffet table!
Very cool.Thanks for sharing!
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