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STERLING HEIGHTS — Like an inveterate pack rat, General Motors Corp. has accumulated a lot of “stuff” over 96 years, including hundreds of classic, concept and just plain strange vehicles, memorabilia and millions of pages of engineering specs, operating manuals and other documents.

For years, it was scattered in different locations, making it hard to take advantage of the treasure trove of automotive history in GM’s many attics and garages — until now.

Tonight, the automaker opens the GM Heritage Center, an 81,000-square-foot facility north of the Tech Center that is equal parts archive, museum, meeting center and catering hall.

The GM Heritage Center will be open to GM employees, researchers, students, analysts, reporters and automotive enthusiasts by appointment and for a fee.

“All the time we’ve been in business the archives have been scattered,” said Greg Wallace, the center’s manager. “What we’ve done is gotten hold of everything we could get our hands on into this facility and for the first time, will be very accessible through our database.”

The massive vehicle display area is a movable feast of historic GM four-wheelers from the famous to the infamous to the experimental.

About 180 vehicles can be displayed at one time and will be rotated periodically.

The collection now on display includes the first Cadillac Coupe de Ville and Eldorado, the last Pontiac Firebird and Chevrolet Corvair, the first Chevrolet Vega, a 1931 V-16 Cadillac and a 1949 Buick Roadmaster. Each car has a story.

A 1903 Oldsmobile Pirate, for example, set the land-speed record for cars in its class that year at a whopping 54.38 miles an hour.

The 1905 Osceola concept car was the first closed-cab passenger car and had the first tilt steering wheel.

Along with the cars on display is a collection of kitschy reminders of past promotional excess, including a giant neon-lit Oldsmobile sign in the shape of a rocket found at a Kentucky dealership.

“These collections are important because people can better understand where we’re going when they’ve seen where we’ve been,” said Leslie Kendall, curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

Full Story HERE
 

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I guess its to early to have its own website or be part of GM's. So how are you supposed to make your "appointment"?
 
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