"G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

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Thread: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

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    "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    I've been working on a 'magnum opus' - an alternate history of GM that is 'counterfactual' but based on real premises - sometimes even misprints or mis-reporting by contemporary magazines of the time.

    When you're writing a 'false' history you often come to see that not everything can be improved upon - especially in the 'supercar' aka muscle era. But every rule has an exception.

    One of the exceptions is for the '78 A body redesign. This is a case where a simple alteration can radically improve the car. In this case simply retaining the wheelbase of the two door A body ("G body" in the alternate universe it ) of 112" for all of the new intermediates instead of the 108" wheelbase. It's just a case where they went a bridge too far in downsizing.

    Even if the cars were exactly the same length they just look infinitely better - even more 'normal' with four additional inches from firewall to the front hubs. It would have had a better weight distribution and handling with the front axle moved forward.

    So what do you think? This is the '84 Grand Prix with a 112" wheelbase...

    (BTW, you can open the first one, then open a new tab for the second one and toggle between them to see the effect)
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    Last edited by KingElvis; 10-02-2012 at 12:00 PM.
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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    And here's the actual, 108" WB version...
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    Last edited by KingElvis; 10-02-2012 at 12:02 PM.
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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    I can't really tell the difference.

    And thank you. I thought I was the only person insane enough to create an "alternate GM history." Mine stretches from the early '80s and to ~2001.

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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    Hard to tell if the scale is right on the 112" version. Seems the front wheels should be a little farther forward. The general idea of moving the front wheels forward would have cleaned it up some or maybe 2" to the rear and 2" to the front so it would reduce overhangs a little.

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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    Holley bought VIN #1 1987 Grand Prix (I believe it came out of the GM Heritage collection) with only 70 miles on the odometer. They have had an Art Morrison chassis custom built to stretch the front end. I have seen the amount of stretch, but I cannot find it, however I am pretty sure it is 4 inches.

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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    Quote Originally Posted by t-rex View Post
    I can't really tell the difference.

    And thank you. I thought I was the only person insane enough to create an "alternate GM history." Mine stretches from the early '80s and to ~2001.
    Haha! We'll have to exchange time lines. Mine starts in 1955 - Pretty much the cornerstone of it is that the Chevy small block has 1/4" higher deck height and 4.5" bore centers instead of 4.4." In this universe Chevy never had to develop a 'big block.' Another important change is that the "G" body debuts in '68 and refers to the 112" wheelbase intermediates - then the 'downsized' Grand Prix is a "G special" because it uses the G body shell but with extended hood line.

    It would really help if you could toggle between the two and you can really tell. BTW, I did do some measuring and worked out the proportions. The other thing I like about it WRT alternate history is that the 112" wheelbase would have just carried over from the '77 2dr intermediates.
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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    Quote Originally Posted by smithrobs View Post
    Holley bought VIN #1 1987 Grand Prix (I believe it came out of the GM Heritage collection) with only 70 miles on the odometer. They have had an Art Morrison chassis custom built to stretch the front end. I have seen the amount of stretch, but I cannot find it, however I am pretty sure it is 4 inches.

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    Great minds think alike! The thing about it is, the 'real' one started looking odd to me once I restored a little balance to the design. I guess GM was just exploring how tiny you could make a perimeter frame chassis. If you kept the engine in the same position, you would have far superior weight distribution - overall handling would be even better - and it was considered stellar at the time. I really don't think it would make it much heavier either if you kept the length the same.
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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    Quote Originally Posted by t-rex View Post
    I can't really tell the difference.

    And thank you. I thought I was the only person insane enough to create an "alternate GM history." Mine stretches from the early '80s and to ~2001.
    Not only GM but also "alternate Ford/Chrysler/AMC" as well. I spotted a interesting discussion at http://www.alternatehistory.com/disc...d.php?t=256672 imagine what if Ford had bring the RWD Escort MkI and MkII instead of building the Pinto?
    http://www.alternatehistory.com/disc...0&postcount=25

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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    Thanks Stephane! Very interesting.
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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    Quote Originally Posted by KingElvis View Post
    Thanks Stephane! Very interesting.
    You're welcome!

    Assuming then had George Romney had stayed as AMC president/CEO longer and Roy Abernathy didn't suceeded him. I think the orignally planned Tarpoon would had not morphed as the Marlin. We could wonder if AMC would had bring a 2nd-gen Hornet/Gremlin instead of putting all its eggs in the Pacer basket(and bring some cosmetic changes for the Hornet/Gremlin who became the Spirit/Concord we knew) and having the Matador a design who could also include a 4-door sedan and wagon variants?

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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    The '74 Matador is another 'what if' - like why in the hell did they put a 80" wide car on a 60" tread width? Looks like a '59 Chevy (another car I'd totally alter in the counterfactual history) with those wheels hiding 6" deep in the wheel wells. Could've been an awesome looking car.
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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    Quote Originally Posted by KingElvis View Post
    The '74 Matador is another 'what if' - like why in the hell did they put a 80" wide car on a 60" tread width? Looks like a '59 Chevy (another car I'd totally alter in the counterfactual history) with those wheels hiding 6" deep in the wheel wells. Could've been an awesome looking car.
    Yeah, I spotted at http://www.matadorcoupe.com/history.htm a rendering of a 4-door sedan who looked a bit weird but the wagon could had compared well with the GM mid-size Colonnade wagons.
    CoupeProto.jpg

    One guy did a rendering about how it should had looked http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ there is also this customized scale model done by AMT who gived another "what if?" possibility http://www.javelinamx.com/javhome/toys/models/index.htm
    Maybe the name "Matador" didn't fit well, what if they had used Javelin or Ambassador instead to go more head-to-head against the Monte Carlo and Chrysler Cordoba (If Mercury had moved Cougar from pony to personnal-luxury coupe, why not the Javelin name?). Ironically, VAM of Mexico continued to use the AMX name for the Mexican version of the Matador coupe for 1974 and 1975 http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3011784200/ Come to think of it, if that Matador coupe would had been a bit smaller, it could had been the Javelin 3rd-gen. And check for some AMC arts at http://www.javelinamx.com/javhome/art/amc-art.htm and one guy attempted to customize his Javelin but the site wasn't updated since a long while http://www.javelinamx.com/javhome/art/raptor.htm

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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    Quote Originally Posted by KingElvis View Post
    Haha! We'll have to exchange time lines. Mine starts in 1955 - Pretty much the cornerstone of it is that the Chevy small block has 1/4" higher deck height and 4.5" bore centers instead of 4.4." In this universe Chevy never had to develop a 'big block.' Another important change is that the "G" body debuts in '68 and refers to the 112" wheelbase intermediates - then the 'downsized' Grand Prix is a "G special" because it uses the G body shell but with extended hood line.

    It would really help if you could toggle between the two and you can really tell. BTW, I did do some measuring and worked out the proportions. The other thing I like about it WRT alternate history is that the 112" wheelbase would have just carried over from the '77 2dr intermediates.
    I meant to say that I didn't think the difference mattered. Granted, a shorter front overhang always looks better, but I don't have high regards for the donor car, so I rather saw it as a "lipstick on a pig" situation. (My apologies to the G-body coupes fans...)

    Objectively, the longer wheelbase balances the styling, though I don't know if that would have held true for the A-body sedans and wagons.

    I doubt my timeline comes anywhere close to yours in scale and scope, being simply an evolution of the 1982 model year without any radical differences. There's no NUMMI, no Saturn, no Geo, no BOP/CPC, just a GM that pulled itself up from the bootstraps, so to speak. The 80s are an awkward period, but the real changes come in the 1990s. I effectively took Chrysler's 1990s renaissance and applied the formula to GM.

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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    T-rex- My counterfactual history basically takes it only to the 1991 Caprice. The big difference for 80's cars is that I make the Citation/Cavalier/Celebrity longitudinal front drivers and they share many components with the Camaro. Also the 'G body' eventually is switched to being a stretched F body.

    The whole "G body" is ripe for re-writing because 'G body' fans have already kind of done the obscuring for you since they retroactively call "A body" cars from '78-82 "G bodies."

    Chevrolet is a good candidate because there's just so much intricate detail, and so much of reality doesn't make sense on its face - like "We have two 400 V8s - one small block, one big block - well OK one's a 402 but...we actually CALL it 396...got that?" Nobody but Chevy could even consider making two completely different flavors of 400 V8.

    WRT to the '84 G/P, I guess part of the reason it really stuck out at me is that, even with an additional 4 inches from hubs to firewall it STILL looks like it has a lot of front overhang. It's the very 'normal' quality of it that is so striking - to the point where the 'real' one just looks odd to me now. Another one that really applies to is the '83 Monte Carlo SS.
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    Re: "G body" 112" wheelbase 1984 Grand Prix

    On a off-topic sidenote, I spotted this picture made by Keith Kaucher about how the 1974-78 AMC Matador coupe should had look. http://www.popularhotrodding.com/fea.../photo_01.html
    Last edited by Stéphane Dumas; 10-05-2012 at 08:45 PM.

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