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GM F Body
It really has truly been amazing to see how much the American automotive industry has progressed. From a novel development in the early part of the 20th century, Americaís car industry has seen a number of innovations that have revolutionized the way that the world gets around. From Henry Fordís application of an assembly line theory of production to creating Fordís classic Model Ts to the creation of the HUMMER and other off-road SUVs in the last decade, Americaís automotive industry have come up with a number of new ways for people to love cars even more.
General Motors has been around to see it all. Started on September 16, 1908 in Flint, Michigan, General Motors is one of the famed Detroit Big 3 automakers (the others are Ford and Chrysler). Currently the second largest automobile company in the world, GM has managed to ride the highs and survive through the lows of the automotive history in its long history. One of the biggest innovations in the history of General Motors has been the introduction of its F platform or F body.
You donít have to be an automotive expert to appreciate the beauty of the GM F-Body. Partially based on the GM X Platform that was used to create compact automobiles, the F body is an extension of the X body that are used for sporty rear-wheel drive cars. Although the F body was discontinued in 2002, it continues to be remembered fondly by car enthusiasts who couldnít get enough of the chic look of the gm f body.
The year was 1967 and the American car industry was going a ga ga over the latest Ford vehicle. The Ford Mustang was released in 1964 and had one of the biggest launches in automobile history. The public was first able to view the Ford Mustang at the New York Worldís Fair and the car was prominently featured on all three American television networks. With so much anticipation built up, there was intense pressure for the Ford Mustang to succeed. With over a million units of the ford mustang sold within the first eighteen months that the car was available, it would be an understatement to say that the Ford Mustang, much like Lebron James, easily surpassed its considerable expectations.
Considering the success of the Ford Mustang and its sleek sporty style, it isnít surprising that Fordís competitors worked diligently to create their own versions of the Ford Mustang to get their share of the market. The GM F Body was General Motorís attempt to take a piece out of the Ford Mustangís market share. Initially designed for the Chevrolet Camaro, the GM F body style was considered such a success that General Motors rushed Pontiac into creating a vehicle that shared the same F body.
Three years after the release of the Ford Mustang, General Motors released two of its most popular cars in its illustrious histories that shared the f body. The Chevrolet Camaro debuted in 1967, available as a 2 door car, a 2+2 seating, coupe, or convertible. Depending on your need, the Chevrolet Camaro was powered by two different V8 engine options. Now a venerable vehicle, the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro was a massive success, partially due to its F body style. The sleek look of the Chevrolet Camaro made it a hit among teenagers and loudly introduced GM as a viable contender against the mighty Ford Mustang.
In the same year, General Motors used its F body platform for the genesis of the Pontiac Firebird. A muscle car that would go on to be the car used in the 1980s hit show, Knight Rider, the Pontiac Firebird gained immediate success. Featuring a coke-bottle styling, the Pontiac Firebird differentiated itself from the Chevrolet Camaro with its integrated bumpers, its rear taillights that looked like a slit, and the presence of four round headlamps. Considering the difficulty of creating a car that shared the same F body as the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac did an incredible job with its Firebird. The success of both the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird helped bolster GM and ensured the continued use of the F body platform.
With its stylish and sporty look combined with its F tag in the vehicle identification number, the GM F Body was a big success when it was introduced in 1967. However, the automotive industry is notorious for its what have you done for me lately attitude and GM didnít have nearly enough time to rest on its laurels. Almost immediately, GM went to work in creating the next generation of its F body style. After considerable delays in design and production, General Motors introduced the next of its F body late in 1970. Released as 1970 Ĺ cars, the next generation of the GM F Body was again prominently featured in the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird.
What set apart the second generation of the GM f body from the first generation of the f platform was its size and style. This new generation of the Chevrolet Camaro was a big success and car enthusiasts loved the camaroís newly styled fastback roofline. Moving away from the Camaroís initial pillarless hardtop design, this generation of the Chevrolet Camaro was a major success. In response to the critical acclaim that the Chevrolet Camaro was receiving, Pontiac had to step up their game with the second generation of its Pontiac Firebird.
The second generation of the Pontiac featured a number of drastic changes. The new Pontiac Firebird ditched the previous coke bottle style for a swoopy body style. Combining speed with style, the second generation of the Pontiac Firebird included a stylistic change Ė the top of the rear window line going down almost to the lip of the trunk lid, which would go on to typify the F body style. As you could expect, the Pontiac Firebird was an immediate success.
However, the GM F body would undergo a third change due to new restrictions made on emission levels and on fuel-economy. In response to this, GM released the third generation of the F body in 1982. While the third generation of the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird moved away from the classic muscle car look of its previous lines, both cars continued to find massive success. Featuring a more modern look, the new GM f body sacrificed power for better handling. This third generation of the F body also featured a prominent change in which both the Pontiac Firebird and Chevrolet Camaro would use the same Chevrolet engine. This generation of the F body would be produced up to 1992 and would be the only generation of the F body to produce a four cylinder car: the Iron Duke.
Unlike in previous introductions of a new F body style, the last generation of the GM F body was essentially a revision of the last generation of the F body. Introduced in 1993, the new GM f body was stylish but not as revolutionary as previous versions of the F body platform. Both the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird had become legendary cars but were becoming less popular due to the lack of innovation for both vehicles. General Motors would make the decision to retire both the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird in 2002. This spelt the end of the GM F body platform, which they still havenít replaced. However, talks have surfaced that GM is planning to reintroduce the Chevrolet Camaro in 2008 and there is a large demand for the return of the Pontiac Firebird. Considering how valued these two cars are by car enthusiasts, it would be foolish to count out the potential return of the classic GM F body platform.