Author Topic: The Chevrolet Limousine  (Read 1287 times)

David K

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The Chevrolet Limousine
« on: April 13, 2023, 09:22:18 PM »
Here's one you don't hear about every day. I'll have better pictures and the full story next week after my visit.

KurtS

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Re: The Chevrolet Limousine
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2023, 04:18:31 PM »
It's discussed in DeLorean's book and JohnZ also knew about it.
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David K

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Re: The Chevrolet Limousine
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2023, 06:47:21 PM »
I obviously don't have the book and now need to find out DeLoreans side of the story vs the one I have heard....unless someone cares to paraphrase.

jwbavalon

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Re: The Chevrolet Limousine
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2023, 07:43:41 PM »
From DeLorean's book, "On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors", he called up the people at the Tech Center and told them to find the car and if still around cut it into scrap.  This was after a column in the Detroit paper saying that DeLorean was building a private Chevrolet limousine that cost $60,000.  The directors at GM were non too pleased.  DeLorean said the phony item was slipped to a columnist by GM.  At this time he was wearing out his welcome at GM.

David K

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Re: The Chevrolet Limousine
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2023, 09:19:03 PM »
I vaguely remember hearing the story from my friend in the mid 90s. Of course,  there are 2 sides to this story. Again, I'll get the full story next week.

David K

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Re: The Chevrolet Limousine
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2023, 01:28:51 AM »
A little sleuthingÖ.and a story from John Z from Ď05.


https://www.camaros.net/threads/john-delorean.3919/

PURESS

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Re: The Chevrolet Limousine
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2023, 01:02:40 PM »
Great story

KurtS

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Re: The Chevrolet Limousine
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2023, 06:59:12 PM »
Thanks for finding JohnZ's comments. I know it was in an email but wasn't sure he posted it on the forum.
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David K

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Re: The Chevrolet Limousine
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2023, 10:06:24 PM »
Iím glad i found it tooÖ.the story is missing a few pieces after reading it to my friend.

68 Ragtop

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Re: The Chevrolet Limousine
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2023, 04:42:52 PM »
Interesting story from John Z. It seems the manager of the garage was a real prick if he took it upon himself to report upstairs as to what vehicles managers arrived in.

Could you imagine if Delorean had upfitted an existing Chevrolet Suburban instead of fabricating a Chevrolet limo at great expense. He could have been the hero that created the luxury SUV market, just as he created the muscle car market 5 years earlier with the GTO.

Here is the quote from John Z on the other page:

Quote
Shortly after John DeLorean became the Chevrolet General Manager, he attended his first monthly General Managersí Meeting as the head of Chevrolet, at the GM Building; he arranged to be driven to the meeting from Chevroletís headquarters at the GM Tech Center in a black Cadillac limousine. Shortly after the limousine drove into the executive garage at the GM building, the manager of the garage called upstairs to the 14th floor to inform the Chairman that Delorean had arrived in a Cadillac. This didnít go over well at all with (Chairman) James Roche and (Vice Chairman) Richard Gerstenberg, and they chewed him out royally when he arrived in the conference room, reminding him that only the top two officers were entitled to chauffered Cadillac limousines, and as head of Chevrolet, he was expected to arrive in his Divisionís product, not in a Cadillac.

Later that day, after DeLorean arrived back at Chevrolet, he told Alex Mair, the Chevrolet Chief Engineer, that he wanted a Chevrolet limousine built in time for the next monthís General Managersí Meeting. The project started that night in the Engineering Metal Shop; a Caprice station wagon was pulled out of the fleet for the front third of the car, and a Caprice hardtop coupe with the stylish concave back window was pulled out of the fleet for the back third of the car. The two cars were cut in half and set up on a surface plate, and work proceeded (on a three-shift schedule) to fabricate the center third of the car to join the two partial cars together as an extended-wheelbase Caprice limousine.

Fisher Body Plant #21 (where the Cadillac limousine bodies were built) was approached to provide the interior trim and glass divider partition, but they refused, so the velour interior and mouton wool carpeting was stripped out of the borrowed limousine used earlier, modified, and installed in the now-stretched Caprice, including the rear air-conditioning unit and overhead A/C ductwork in the headliner. The completed car was sent to the Proving Grounds, checked out for function and safety, and returned to Chevrolet Engineering two days ahead of the deadline.

Delorean used the freshly-created Caprice limousine to go to the next General Managersí Meeting, the same call was made to the 14th floor from the garage office when he arrived, and he was again berated when he entered the conference room; he then pointed out that he had done exactly as he had been instructed and arrived in a Chevrolet. The 14th floor gang was not amused, but he enjoyed it. Upon return to Chevrolet Engineering, the limousine was parked in the fleet lot, sat there for several months, and was later wholesaled to a dealer or National Car Rental; where it went from there is unknown, but it was the only factory-built Chevrolet limousine ever made.

 

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