Detroit Area Test Tracks

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-12-30
  • Publisher: Arcadia Pub
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The catastrophic failure of a new but unproven copper-cooled Chevrolet in 1923 led the General Motors Corporation to buy back the 100 cars it had sold to the public and recall another 400 in company and dealer hands. As a result, in 1924 General Motors started building the industry's first scientific proving ground to test new vehicle designs before they were released for production and sale. Before this, all automakers tested new cars haphazardly on public roads and within limited engineering laboratories. Better known by the public as test tracks, the proving grounds became a source of curiosity for decades about the secrets they might hold. Detroit Area Test Tracks goes behind the test track walls to show how the facilities evolved and what typically takes place inside.

Author Biography

This is the fifth Arcadia book by veteran automotive journalist and historian Michael W. R. Davis, graduate of Yale and Eastern Michigan Universities and former Ford Motor Company public relations executive. Previous books have covered World War II's Arsenal of Democracy and the histories of General Motors, Chrysler Corporation, and Ford. Davis, a resident of the Detroit suburb Royal Oak, is a longtime trustee of the National Automotive History Collection at the Detroit Public Library, the source of many images in this book.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 6
Introductionp. 7
Vehicle Testing before the Motorcarp. 9
Early Automobile Testingp. 13
Laboratory Testingp. 19
First Test Trackp. 31
Packard Motor Car Proving Groundp. 49
General Motors from 1930 to 2009p. 63
Ford Motor Company Dearborn and Romeo Test Tracksp. 89
Chrysler Corporation Chelsea Proving Groundp. 103
Other Automotive Test Tracksp. 117
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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