When the price of a car communicates, usually it includes the cost of transport and registration, identical to the country – sometimes with the exception of the Canary Islands and / or the Balearics. But in the United States, a much larger country, the cost of transporting the cars used to be an important part of the cost. With the idea of reducing the so-called “destination charge”, General Motors and Southern Pacific Railroad decided to create a new method for transporting the then new Chevrolet Vega . A method rather surprising.
This ingenious method allowed in a train car would fit no less than 30 cars.
In the late 50s, the full-size sedans were transported in rail cars 16 meters long, where barely fit four cars. When 60 cars started to shrink, they began to use cars almost 30 meters long that went up to 18 cars. But Chevrolet wanted to reduce costs further. The method was named Vert-A-Pac , one of those puns that Americans love so much. With this method, 30 cars fit in each carriage station.
From assembly plant in Lordstown (Ohio) to the west coast of the United States, this reduced the car cost just $ 160, when it was previously almost impossible to lose the $ 260. The key to get 30 cars in each car was that viabajan cars vertically, upside down . The cars were mounted on ramps – rather platforms – which are then raised – and down -. With the help of a heavy forklift, conventional equipment at filling stations
The system allowed reducing the cost of transporting the Vega to only $ 160 per car.
Cars were not designed to be integrated vertically transported , no car is it, in fact. To prevent crankcase oil from flooding the first cylinder of the Vega, he settled one additional hole in the crankcase that would prevent the oil reached the cylinder. The battery also had to be modified so that the acid is not virtiese to adopt the vertical position, and received an additional line carburetor allowing fuel evaporation if this reached the point of overflow.
Plastic spacer blocks were installed between engine and transmission as well as in areas of the axes. The idea was to keep the parts collide with each other and get damaged in transport. The problem was that some dealers forgot to remove them to deliver the car. The chassis of the car had special inserts to properly secure them to the carriage doors . The system worked exceptionally well between 1970 and 1977, years in which the Chevrolet Vega was on sale in the US
The problem was that Vega not enjoyed excellent sales . Cars were developed in a hurry, and quality ended up being quite low. Its sales fell and soon ceased to be the use of Vert-A-Pac systems profitable. The cars were converted to conventional cars and the system never use. No problem for sale, cargo transportation was done and is doing in the US primarily by rail It’s funny to look at the past and know these details from the past.
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