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Username Post: 70 SS GM research vehicle        (Topic#355162)
Lab-rat045 
Poster
Posts: 1

Reg: 02-09-19
02-09-19 01:25 PM - Post#2759486    

What an exciting find, not only is this 1970 Monte Carlo an SS 454, it is, according to the build sheet, a lab rat. Originally purchased by GM Research Laboratories in Warren Michigan, Purchase Order #93297 and given a car number of 045, this numbers matching LS5 was found by the previous owner at a used car lot in Lowell, Michigan, not far from it’s original Warren Michigan home. The previous owner kept the car for 15 years before selling to it’s current owner. At 31k miles showing on the odometer, this car runs and drives great. The 769 code Saddle vinyl interior has little wear and appears to be original.
The car has Autumn Gold (RPO 58) paint, buckets, console and a ton of options as listed on the build sheet. The GM Heritage Center manager says that if the car was given a number, then the car was definitely was used for research. What I am interested to find out is if the GM research vehicle history adds any value to to car and to what extent. We may never know what research was done on the car as no records are available, but just having that connection is very interesting to me.



 




wagonman100 
Site Ambassador
Posts: 15412

Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
02-10-19 06:21 PM - Post#2759586    
    In response to Lab-rat045

Interesting find. We would love to see some pics. I don’t know if the test mule status adds any value. Could go either way. If the car has things on it that never made it into regular production vehicles it would definitely add value. I don’t know about in the early 70s, but later test mule cars usually didn’t get assigned a VIN. They were usually donated to shop classes or crushed when the research was done. I know of a late 70s Z/28 that was used as a mule, donated to a school and then sold to a private party. The person had to go through the California police to get an assigned VIN as the car didn’t have one.

Jay
Friends don’t let friends drive Fords.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon
1957 Cameo Carrier


 
Mercedes 
Contributor
Posts: 544

Reg: 07-09-18
08-29-21 10:08 AM - Post#2826214    
    In response to Lab-rat045

I wouldn't get too excited. It could have been anything that caused the vehicle to get on the list for the research center. A big block during the first year of catalytic converters would have been enough of a reason to call it research.





 
55MAS 
Senior Member
Posts: 1600

Loc: North Coast, USA
Reg: 12-19-01
10-17-21 02:48 PM - Post#2829360    
    In response to Mercedes

No cat converters for several years for US continental 48. Also a MC is more or less a Chevelle. Likely it make have something to do with the leveling suspension or some other MC specific option. Post the documentation. Maybe it was just a GM executive car.



 
Mercedes 
Contributor
Posts: 544

Reg: 07-09-18
10-19-21 01:27 PM - Post#2829490    
    In response to 55MAS

GM used catalytic converters on all gasoline passenger cars starting 1975. Some other manufacturers had their engines tuned to avoid the cat for a year or two, but eventually all fell in line.

For passenger cars, I am unaware of a single GM gasoline powered vehicle sold in the US that did not have a catalytic converter beginning with the 1975 model year.



 
55MAS 
Senior Member
Posts: 1600

Loc: North Coast, USA
Reg: 12-19-01
10-19-21 02:49 PM - Post#2829494    
    In response to Mercedes

  • Mercedes Said:
GM used catalytic converters on all gasoline passenger cars starting 1975. Some other manufacturers had their engines tuned to avoid the cat for a year or two, but eventually all fell in line.

For passenger cars, I am unaware of a single GM gasoline powered vehicle sold in the US that did not have a catalytic converter beginning with the 1975 model year.



OP's Monte is a 1970. So NO cat in 1970. What does 1975 have to do with 1970 model year? Also, I said not for several years = 5. I left it unspecified intentionally because it cats are not relevant to this thread. I guess you must be a 1975 cat expert. Unfortunately 1975 cat expertise has no bearing on this thread.




 
elcamino 
Dedicated Member
Posts: 5520
elcamino
Loc: Lake Superior-Michigan US...
Reg: 03-30-00
11-17-21 09:44 AM - Post#2830982    
    In response to 55MAS

Its could have been a test mule but more than likely just a company car the supervisor of the facility got for his use. They got to order anything they wanted. Test mules are built before production starts, the called it a captured test fleet. See below.

I use to work with a guy whose brother was a paint shop manager at a Cadillac plant in Michigan in the late 1970-1980's. John would always buy a car his brother got as a job perk and they were always loaded cars. He would tell what he wanted and he would order it and drive for the required time and then John would buy it.

  • Quote:
First of all as part of the development program we typically have small numbers of vehicles that we put out in the hands of people that drive them on a daily basis. That’s a part of our development program that occurs prior to production. We call that a “captured test fleet”. Captured meaning we know where the cars are and we know who the drivers are, and test fleet because the cars aren’t in production yet. We use the versions that we build at the tail end of the development cycle to really put them out there on a daily basis to get better understanding of what’s going on with the vehicles.
GM VP of global program management




Mike
2021 GMC Sierra Denali CC 6.2L / 10-sp
2018 Polaris RZR S 900 EPS
2017 John Deere X738 Snow Blower


 
Mercedes 
Contributor
Posts: 544

Reg: 07-09-18
11-22-21 05:17 AM - Post#2831264    
    In response to 55MAS

I am unsure of your point. Clearly, the OP's vehicle is a 70 model. I indicated that all vehicles produced by GM for 1975 had catalytic converters.

As far as being an expert on catalytic converters, I have actually taught classes describing their function as a service to the local technical college.

I'd appreciate that you stay on point and avoid the personal attacks.

Thank you.



 
55MAS 
Senior Member
Posts: 1600

Loc: North Coast, USA
Reg: 12-19-01
11-23-21 09:58 AM - Post#2831325    
    In response to Mercedes

  • Mercedes Said:
I am unsure of your point. Clearly, the OP's vehicle is a 70 model. I indicated that all vehicles produced by GM for 1975 had catalytic converters.

As far as being an expert on catalytic converters, I have actually taught classes describing their function as a service to the local technical college.

What does a '75 vehicle with cats have to do with this thread?

I'd appreciate that you stay on point and avoid the personal attacks.

Thank you.






 




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