Read This: How a Mutant Holden Ute Called Blackjack Helped Chevy Build the C8

Corvette engineers have had it easy for a long time now. When they were designing the new one, they could just put new stuff under an old body and presto-bismo, the public is none the wiser.

When designing an all-new mid-engine Corvette, though, they had to get more creative when designing their mule. So, naturally, they used a Holden Ute to hide what they were working on.

The pickup called Blackjack was crucial in early development for the C8 because, as Tadge Jeuchter put it in a spectacular article from Popular Mechanics, computer simulations only get you so far. You have to get out on track to make sure your chassis works.

That’s not to say a mutant ute’ will get you all the way there, though. The wing on the back of Blackjack, for instance, was put on upside down because the Holden’s front end caused lift, so Chevy engineers had to even things out by putting a literal wing out on the back.

Naturally, as the engineers got closer and closer to production, they started using more and more C8-shaped test mules to ensure the car worked with actual, you know, downforce.

But even that didn’t solve the problem completely. According to Juechter, even the final test cars felt somehow different from the preproduction cars that came off the Bowling Green line. So, again, they had to do more testing with those cars to make sure that the C8 that shows up on your driveway is exactly what they intended back in Milford.

The article goes into a lot more detail about all the difficulties and shares a little more about the 12 mules that went into making the C8 the car Chevy unveiled yesterday. So spend the next half hour of your workday reading this. What work were you really going to do on a Friday afternoon, anyway?

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