These past two days, we’ve looked into Chevy and the Chevy small block’s past and present, and between these time periods and products is a singular emotion. What joins the creation of the small block, the history of General Motors, and events like the Woodward Dream cruise is passion.
Passion is not merely performance numbers, fuel economy, or just design alone. It’s the melding of the three parts by groups of people to create great products that they are proud of. On top of that, it then appears with the customer and how they interact and love the product. You can’t engineer or design a passionate car on purpose, just like you can’t create a perfect spouse. It’s all about the process. A car that elicits response from owners and passerbys is one that was created with a genuine care for the result. It is the result of this continual effort that creates the story of these cars and makes them more than just pieces of metal.
You see this passion in the creation process when you visit GM’s Heritage Center. Surrounded by the significant cars of the past, you see the thoughts and dreams of car designers that ended up in the final process. From a design and engineering standpoint, you can feel what their creators and teams were thinking when they created these pieces. You see a visionary mindset that is not stuck in the past, but it always pushing through to the future.
These designers and engineers were not only looking for performance, but also at fuel economy and evocative design as well. For instance, the 1953 Firebird concept used turbines in an attempt to get both performance and fuel economy. Plus, it was stylized like a jet. It was not a dowdy economical box to suffer in while you squeezed out every drop of gas. Fuel economy, to the designers and engineers, was just another boundary to push the envelope like performance, and it was another tool to capture the buyer’s attention.