ERA Grand Sport project

This is for Bob Putnam (or anyone else
real tight with ERA),

What's going on with the Grand Sport project?
Your test car looked fantastic.

Ian
 

Neal

Lifetime Supporter
Just a little eye candy... I am fortunate to live within a mile of the real deal. Tom Armstrong runs this car on the vintage circuit. Basically a tube frame, thin body vette. Cool stuff...



Original magnesium block motor...



[ March 31, 2003: Message edited by: Neal ]
 
I drooled on that car at Monterey last year. It is beautifully turned out. One of my favorite images from that weekend was seeing it on track, circulating with its arch-nemesis, the Flip Top Cobra...
 

Jim Rosenthal

Supporter
MAGNESIUM BLOCK????? no way!! is that for real?
By the way, that same carb/manifold rig goes in Bizzarrinis, and is still available from Pierce in California. For Chevys, I don't know about Fords....
 

Neal

Lifetime Supporter
I don't know the specific alloy content but I was assured that this was a special casting, unique to Grandsports, that had a very high magnesium content. It is original to the car but not used for vintage events. It does however have the weber setup on its current race motor. It's a very interesting car to look at as every effort was made to make the car light. Thin body, tube frame, a lot of swiss cheese parts.

If you harken back to your chemistry days you should remember what happens when you throw elemental Mg into water...
 
From what I understand, GMC has sent out letters of stop and desist to replica builders of the Grandsport. They are in the early stages of developing a retro of this car and they want no replicas showing up at the same time. the new GT40 stole somebodies thunder and now they want it back.
I was always under the impression that after a car is 10yrs old that the manufacturer is no longer obligated to make spare parts for it. If this is the case then the parts can be made by others. I know that many muscle car panels and replacements are made in Japan and China also Argentina. So how is it if a small fiberglass company makes replacemnt bodies now cannot. That same company can also make replacement frames as well. Now I believe GMC may have the clout to bully these small guys but in theory they cannot order them to stop and desist when GMC no longer provides a needed product. I believe that these small shops can still make the kits but they can't call them Grandsports. No big deal there, The owners can't register them as such either.
Here's a guy that makes a beautiful 58-60 Vette and I don't think he got a letter. www.streetrodsonly1.prodigybiz.com
The bodies are made by www.downsmfg.com
I think GMC is got their work cut out for them.

Hersh
 
Looks like a very nice car. Don't get the headlights, though. I was trying to imagine my Cobra replica with rectangular headlights...
 
Hersh, I think that's crazy of GM. Seems like they'll waste far more funds running off these manufacturers than they'll ever gain from having a few less GS replicas on the road. In my estimation the Grand Sport is more of a "niche car" than a Cobra or even a GT40; to the average guy on the street I think they're perceived as just an old Corvette with some flares. I highly doubt ERA or anyone else would end up with Superformance- or FFR-like demand for a GS clone. Heck, talk about watering down the GS name--Chevy themselves already came out with a "Grand Sport" edition 'Vette, just before the current body style went on sale. It wasn't a bad car, but paid homage to the GS mainly in the badging and color scheme, if I recall correctly. At any rate, it seems like a few replicas of the original--especially if done by a company with the reputation for quality that ERA has--would create favorable demand, if anything, for any retro edition that Chevy has cooking...but what do I know.
 
Right you are Bob,
I think the replicas of the GS can only enhance the awareness of this neat car. Chevy has always taken a weird stance on such things. They didn't evn know about the Grandsports because Zarkov kept it hid from them. That's why I think there were only 3or 5 ever made. Chevy put a stop to it when they found out what Ole ZD was up to. Sounds a little like someone else we know about with CS for intitials..


Hersh
 
There's a book that was published in the Sixties called "Chevrolet = Racing?" that tells the story from an insider's perspective. It was reissued last year and makes for fascinating reading. Deals not just with the GS program, but the Chaparrals, Cheetahs, etc. Great stuff...
 

Dan W

Supporter
The original GS cars had a pair of fixed round headlights at each corner. There were clear plexiglass covers(but sometimes painted) that went over them to keep the "aero shape" (although the car developed a mean front end lift at 100 plus from getting 2 much air under neath that top front edge)The stock car as you may know had headlight buckets that were rotated by electric motors in the 63-67 years. There were 5 original GS's built and all 5 are still around .Two were then secretly converted to roadsters( windscreen cut down as well) later in there life by the GM design studio,this i think was in 1965. This was to try and decrease frontal air resistance to get a higher top speed on big tracks. There thinking at the time anyway ,,and I guess opposite of the daytona coupes.The converted roadster cars in my opinion looked kinda cheesy compared to the coupes. I currently own a car that looks somewhat like a GS coupe with more rounded flairs, sidepipes, shaved front and rear and hooker sidepipes. take care,, dan


[ April 10, 2003: Message edited by: iraceone ]
 
I just saw that red car last weekend. It is in Boliver, MO and they are asking $45K. It was really nice. Its built on a Corvette frame and has a strong vette motor.
 
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