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Old 03-03-2005, 01:16 PM
Silentlion_69's Avatar
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Bodies

Ok I'm always reading magazine articles and threads on here and a bunch of other stuff. Well what are the diff. bodies by the diff. companies and what were they? (like GM A bodies and so on) which ones were some of the better ones?

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Old 03-03-2005, 03:06 PM
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You are mistaken on what these "bodies" are. They are names for a "platform" a car is built on. The "A" body with GM for instance is a Chevelle, Skylark, Cutless, Tempast, all these are built on the same frame and share many other componants. The GM "F" body is the Camaro/Firebird is another example. All manufactures have these "bodies" like a Dodge Caravan and a Plymouth Voyager.
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Old 03-03-2005, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silentlion_69
Ok I'm always reading magazine articles and threads on here and a bunch of other stuff. Well what are the diff. bodies by the diff. companies and what were they? (like GM A bodies and so on) which ones were some of the better ones?
I'm not 100% sure of the question here, but what I do know about GM and it's platforms is that the Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, Cutlass, and Regal's were all what's called a GM G-body car... with one small exception. The very early Monte's (and possibly the others listed, not sure there) were a GM A-body. I'm not real sure when the switch from the A-body to G-body took place, I'm not that big into the early Monte's. Someone else on here is bound to know that. Those G-bodies were pretty popular IMO, and the frames under the bodies of those cars will all interchange ('82 Regal to '82 Cutlass if you see what I mean). My '78 Monte will be riding on an '81 Buick Regal frame. I know beyond any doubt that those two interchange. I hope my input helps you in some way. There are plenty of others here with more knowledge on this than me.

Chet
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Old 03-03-2005, 03:57 PM
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Then there is the Fisher Body division of GM. Fred J. Fisher and Charles T. Fisher and their uncle, Albert Fisher started out in 1908 making custom coaches for luxury (all cars were luxuries back then!) autos like Cadillac in Detroit, Oldsmobile in Lansing, Ford in Highland Park and a combine of manufacturers now being formed in Flint headed by William C. Durant which evolved into GM. There were many custom coach builders back then but Fisher Body was able to grow with the industry and provide a service to the big companies as they consolidated into mass production marvels. By 1916 they made bodies for Abbot, Buick, Cadillac, Chalmers, Chandler, Chevrolet, Church-Field, Elmore, EMF, Ford, Herreshoff, Hudson, Krit, Oldsmobile, Packard, Regal and Studebaker. During WWI they converted their many plants to the war effort making over 2000 war planes. In 1919 GM acquired the corporation that eventually evolved into their engineering/styling group.

Innovations by the company are legendary. They designed the first all steel top for an American car. They perfected lacquer paint for exceptional finishes. They were instrumental in promulgating interchangeable parts through the GM product line.

During WWII they were huge contributors to the war effort producing parts for tanks and all sorts of aircraft, ships, and other vehicles.

In 1949 they stunned the industry with the first hard tops that became their signature design for more than a decade. Also to their credit are the first panoramic windshield and safety door latches. Harley Earl was the most famous of a long series of styling and engineering geniuses to work for the Fisher Body Division.

Sadly they celebrated their 75th anniversary in 1983 and disbanded in 1984.

One program that Fisher Body sponsored for much of their run was the Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild from 1930 to 1968. Boys from 12 to 19 were challenged to scratch build 1/18th scale replicas Napoleonic coaches (the Fisher Body symbol), submit them to Detroit for judging with the chance of winning big prizes including a full ride to the GM institute for an engineering degree.

That competition ran form 1932 to 1937 when demand from the boys introduced 1/12th automobiles designs to the competition. By 1948 the coach competition was dropped and only cars competed.

Here is a 1937 second place senior division winner,


Here is a 1957 winner


Here is the 1961 top senior winner


Here is a 1968 winner


Millions of young men over the years were challenged to develop the character required to finish a really demanding project. The alumnus of the Guild is jammed with recognizable names of famous Americans. Too bad this generation has nothing like that to challenge them to be their best.

Oh, and I built 5 entries from 1963 through 1967 and won zilch!

If interested, here is a link to a site where you can pre-order a book about the history of the guild.

There, that is more than you ever wanted to know about Fisher Body!

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Old 03-03-2005, 08:04 PM
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Willys, where did you learn all about that?? Besides the link, I mean did you have relatives or a nieghbor or what got you "into it"? That was really cool to read. Thanks for posting it.

Chet
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Old 03-03-2005, 08:58 PM
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Willys, I am a big fan of Bill Mitchels work. I have a very prestigious auto museum near me called "Blackhawk" (click here) . You would love this place. They present the cars as the art that they are. It is beautiful how the cars are displayed. Black marble floors with black marble columns holding the roof. Small spot lights shining down on each car, very impressive.

The whole thing is dedicated to the designer, giving them the respect they deserve. Most every car is a one off by the masters. About 100 cars? with a value of approx 300 million dollars. They are also a Smithsonian affiliate with exibits of all kinds in one of the rooms. Right now is "Presidential art" (my favorite was a "life mask" pulled right off Lincolns face!) that is always interesting.
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Old 03-03-2005, 09:20 PM
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"A Bodies" tend to be 2 door coupes of mid size Cars
"B Bodies" tend to be Full size cars with 4 door models in the line
"F Bodies" are Camaros, Firebirds, and Trans Ams
"C Bodies" or Models are Corvettes
I think
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Old 03-03-2005, 09:54 PM
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Rick, you don't get it.

A 1965 GM "A" body would be EVERY SINGLE Chevelle, Malibu, SS, Skylark, Special, Gran Sport, Tempest, GTO, Cutless, F-85, 442. ALL Four doors, two doors, converts, sedans, hard tops, and wagons. They are ALL "A" bodies.

All these cars will share "hard parts" like door hinges (in fact you could bolt the Chevelle door on the Buick, the body lines are the only thing that wouldn't match) door latches, frames, control arms, things like that. ALL glass,yes the windshield from a 65 Chevelle four door sedan will fit in an Olds 442 convertible! All the door glass from the same body style will fit. The door glass from a hard top Buick will fit in all the Pontiac, Chevy, and Olds hardtops.
You could bolt a Buick Skylark front sheet metal (fenders,hood, bumper and such)on an Elcamino the body lines just wouldn't match. The tail gate off the Skylark wagon would bolt on the Elcamino!

I forget the "Body" code designation (I think you are right, it is "B") but a larger car like a Lesabre, Wildcat, Impala, Belair, and I forget the Olds body 88? and Pontiac but all those would share the same parts just like the "A" body. ALL four doors, two doors, Sedans, Converts would all share the "hard parts".

Today these "Bodies" still exist. I can't remember any but the Vette for instance is the "Y" body. The Cad STR? is also a "Y" body.

A Toyota Matrix shares the same "Body" with the Pontiac Vibe. The Mercedes "Kompressor" what ever the heck it is called shares the same "Body" with the Dodge CrossFire.

The Nissan Pathfinder shares the same "Body" with the Infinity QX4.
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:38 AM
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All that body interchangeability was invented by Fisher Body! As to where I got that info, there are several web sites dedicated to the Fisher Body legacy. And my Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild history has prompted me to delve farther into the history of that marvelous organization.
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:29 AM
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thanks that all helped me out a bit.
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnitz
The very early Monte's (and possibly the others listed, not sure there) were a GM A-body. I'm not real sure when the switch from the A-body to G-body took place, I'm not that big into the early Monte's. Someone else on here is bound to know that. Chet
Chet, I am an "A" body guy so I "kinda" can answer that. The 70-72 Monte was an "A" body that was about eight inches longer. The dash out of a Monte will bolt in a Chevelle and is a popular swap.

The Monte is know as a "Chevelle in a Tuxedo
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnitz
. I'm not real sure when the switch from the A-body to G-body took place,
Chet

They went to the "G" body in 78 when they downsized the car.

I am not sure if the 73-77s were still called an "A" body. Those years were the least popular, due to the size.
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Old 03-06-2005, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
They went to the "G" body in 78 when they downsized the car.

I am not sure if the 73-77s were still called an "A" body. Those years were the least popular, due to the size.
NOT even close, the "A" body designation for GM cars ended in 1981.
The 1982's and up were given the OFFICIAL designation of "G" body cars.
I cannot remember what GM gave the "A" designation to but is was really not worthy of carrying the designation.
If I remember correctly "T" was a Chevette, "N" is now associated with 98-up Malibu, etc., "W" is the new Impala, Monte Carlo, and Grand Prix, etc.

I'll bet $ on the 1981 "A" body ending year.

First link of proof of my above statement.

The following list is not complete, and does not include new and old cars within the same designation, and was copied from the GM Body Platform Designations link.


I see at least 5 changes and updates that should have been noted JUST in the truck designations.
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Last edited by M&M CUSTOM; 03-06-2005 at 03:45 PM.
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