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Our apologies to those who've seen this before, but for the rest of the class, how awesome are these pictures of the Vert-A-Pac shipping system General Motors came up with to ship the Chevrolet Vega back in the 1970s? Developed along with Southern Pacific Railroad, GM was able to double the amount of Vega models it could ship by packing them into the unique storage cars vertically.
At the time, rail cars could fit 15 vehicles each, but Chevrolet was able to lower shipping costs by making it possible to ship 30 Vegas per rail car, in turn allowing the price of the Vega to remain as low as possible. Each rail car had 30 doors that would fold down so that a Vega could be strapped on, and then a forklift would come along and lift the door into place. All the cars were positioned nose down, and since they were shipped with all of their required fluids, certain aspects had to be designed specifically for this type of shipping, including an oil baffle in the engine, a special battery and even a repositioned windshield washer reservoir. See for yourself in our image gallery above.
General Motors says its next-generation Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade models will offer shoppers improved interior differentiation. Car and Driver recently caught up with Chris Hilts, GM's creative manager of interior design, who said that the cabins will all feature unique instrument panels, consoles, center stacks and switchgear moving forward. Apparently GM is now aware that consumers may be bothered by the fact that today's $85,000 Escalade has effectively the same cabin as a $45,000 Tahoe. Hilts says SUV buyers want more refinement than their pickup purchasing counterparts - and those same buyers also want their SUVs to have more exterior differentiation between the company's Silverado and Sierra pickup lines. Shocking.
That all sounds good to us, but we've heard this song and dance before. GM made big waves about how different the new-for-2013 Silverado and Sierra would look from each other, but judging by what we've seen so far, GM's stylists are painting in shades rather than with the full spectrum. For more on the what to expect out of GM's new SUVs, click on the C/D link below.
If you want a closer look at what went into designing and building the interior for the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, we've got just the thing. General Motors has released a new video detailing the cabin's evolution from conception to execution, complete with commentary from Ryan Vaughn, performance car interior design manager with Chevrolet. The quick clip details how manufacturing, engineering and design within General Motors worked together from the first sketches to ensure no compromises had to be made later down the line. How novel.
With plenty of hides traced with contrast stitching and available real carbon fiber trim, the cabin looks to be a few hundred miles ahead of the C6. Given how readily critics derided the previous generation for its cabin, the C7 should make writers work a little harder to find something to complain about. Check out the video below for yourself.