car nerds in a 1954 chevrolet co
Altair Club Cars Car Nerds in a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette

Car Nerds in a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette

Episode 1 of 6: Technical Director Don Sherman gets nerdy with Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juecther in a C1 Corvette. Binge-watch the whole series here:

This is a 1954 c1 or first generation corvette it’s powered by a 3.8 litre inline-six also known as blue flame it had mechanical lifters high-lift camshaft and three count’em three single barrel side draft carburetors power went through a power glide two speed automatic transmission with the floor shifter that’s corvette chief engineered tabs utor behind the wheel

Tadgh has been busy launching not only the c7 corvette but also the zo6 version due for sale in less than a year but tadgh is not so busy that he couldn’t drive car and driver down memory lane in ancestral corvettes from generations one through six ted’s joined gm in 1977 and began working on corvettes in the 1990s so his real expertise pertains to the last four

Generations but that makes his observations regarding the first three generations that he didn’t work on all the more interesting so let’s go for the ride okay i’m with taps jupiter corvette chief engineer we’re gonna go for short drive and i’m gonna let taps do the talking all right well first thing i noticed is i wish i had a tilt wheel never kill seems very

Low in my lap second thing i noticed is incredible idle torque you put it in drive and this car just takes off and it takes quite a lot of brake pressure to even slow it down it just wants to go maybe the idle speed set a little high it sure sounded like it since the tech doesn’t work we won’t know but it’s when it was starting and i was listening to it outside my

First impression was boy they idle a lot quicker than that they than we do now right now we try to drive that idle speed down to absolute minimum for a fuel economy we’re too concerned with mileage or emissions i think yeah maybe not at all and i’m also see feeling like i’m sitting extremely high and i’m not that tall but i can look over the top of the windshield

As easily as of looking through your kirlyam way about the frame rails hopped within them notice how well the beltline is versus some each successive corvette yeah i’m down here that’s a nice well under your armpit yeah it’s very good for cruising bet you can hang hang on the door very comfortable on today’s car you you’re kind of up like this and a steering effort

I feel i the diameter is so large as you wouldn’t be able to turn the wheel with a modern small steering wheel as i recall me it’s a mixture linkage between the gear and the wheels help terms of friction effort all right i’m gonna turn around here see me get it sideways these cars are priceless i don’t think i’d better be the one no it’s a curve in it you can hear

The tires starting to squeal even at that steel we’re getting after it i’m afraid to really step on it too and do a 2-1 downshift when you only have two gears it’s got to be a heck of a downshift you’re gonna try once you get the strength i’m assuming up in second yeah you ready it did work sounded nice another thing that’s astonishing is the level of braking

Effort you get zero deceleration at first you really have to put some muscle into it well these are drops but it’s self energizing but i don’t believe there’s any booster yeah it doesn’t doesn’t feel like self energizing i think they put this car on the road in about a year from one time when they decided to do it which is just incredible well they showed it in

January and they were manufacturing and delivering in june i believe of course they had some time before that to build the first one right those things even the show car is maybe semi real with not nearly the validation and legal requirements that we have today even show a concept and almost just put in production the volume was quite small and the processes were

Crude and covers some by today’s standards but at all i think mfg was involved from the very start or a in terms of the coming yeah we have him if she is a car corvette supplier not make 53 but started 54 they did what’s amazing is the table integration the size of the panels that they made we break it up into much smaller finer pieces today that worked out many

Pieces i don’t recall how many well there’s that famous picture of an engineer holding the whole undercarriage of the body up in the air over his head right wind chill is kind of motorboat yeah that’s nice so that delicate you wouldn’t meet any kind of roof crush i don’t think with it no it’s great to look through look at him alright let’s go to see two nice you

Transcribed from video
Car Nerds in a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette By Car and Driver

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