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Old 03-15-2012, 04:46 PM   #20
azrocketman is on a distinguished road
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 276

1997 SL1
Default Re: 2001 sc1 performance

Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
No, it's not.
Oh yes it is (and the body definitely is not metal)!

"Technically, all Corvettes since 1973 have used SMC body panels, but the material composition has changed dramatically, featuring less traditional fiberglass and more lightweight plastic. The early SMC material created parts that were stronger and more rigid, but more brittle. As SMC technology and production experience evolved, Corvette engineers were able to alter the material composition and the body parts' specifications in order to trim the car's curb weight--an endeavor that was certainly welcomed though the later C3 years, as engine output kept eroding. Mostly, that meant making thinner body panels, because SMC was denser and stronger than conventional fiberglass.

The assembly-plant changeover from St. Louis to Bowling Green in 1981 brought a switch to a more plastic-infused formula for the SMC body panels. Published figures vary, so without the capability to weigh both factory-stock '80 and '81 models, it's difficult to provide an accurate comparison of the weight differences between traditional fiberglass and SMC-bodied cars. From the numbers we researched, it appears the '81s were about 100 pounds lighter than their '80 counterparts. That's not all attributable to the SMC bodywork, however, since the change to a fiberglass mono-leaf rear spring for '81 accounted for about a 35-pound reduction. Nevertheless, newly formulated body panels helped lighten the Corvette--and it was the same basic formula used throughout the C4 generation.

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