Detroit Area Test Tracks

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Arcadia Publishing, 2009 - History - 127 pages
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The catastrophic failure of a new but unproven copper-cooled Chevrolet in 1923 led the General Motors Corporation to buy back the 100 cars it had sold to the public and recall another 400 in company and dealer hands. As a result, in 1924 General Motors started building the industry's first scientific proving ground to test new vehicle designs before they were released for production and sale. Before this, all automakers tested new cars haphazardly on public roads and within limited engineering laboratories. Better known by the public as test tracks, the proving grounds became a source of curiosity for decades about the secrets they might hold. Detroit Area Test Tracks goes behind the test track walls to show how the facilities evolved and what typically takes place inside.
  

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Contents

Acknowledgments
6
Early Automobile Testing
13
Laboratory Testing
19
First Test Track
31
Packard Motor Car Proving Ground
49
General Motors from 1930 to 2009
63
Ford Motor Company Dearborn and Romeo Test Tracks
89
Chrysler Corporation Chelsea Proving Ground
103
Other Automotive Test Tracks
117
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

This is the fifth Arcadia book by veteran automotive journalist and historian Michael W. R. Davis, graduate of Yale and Eastern Michigan Universities and former Ford Motor Company public relations executive. Previous books have covered World War II's Arsenal of Democracy and the histories of General Motors, Chrysler Corporation, and Ford. Davis, a resident of the Detroit suburb Royal Oak, is a longtime trustee of the National Automotive History Collection at the Detroit Public Library, the source of many images in this book.

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