Chevy Vega And The Vert-A-Pac Rail System In The 1970s

When Chevrolet started designing ‘Vega’ during the 1970s, one of the main objectives was to keep the cost of the car down around $2,000 in circa-1970 dollars.

h/t: vintag.es

At the time, the freight charge for moving a loaded railroad car from the Lordstown assembly plant to the Pacific coast – the longest distance that cars produced at Lordstown would need to travel – was around $4,800. Since the Vega was a subcompact, it was possible to squeeze three more cars on a railroad car for a total of eighteen, instead of the usual fifteen.

But that still worked out to around $300 per car – a substantial surcharge for a $2000 car. If only Chevrolet could get more Vegas on a railroad car, the cost per unit of hauling them would go down.

The engineers at GM and the Southern Pacific Railroad came up with a clever solution. Instead of loading the cars horizontally, the Vegas will be placed vertically on a specially designed auto-rack – the Vert-A-Pac. Within the same volume of an 89-foot car, the Vert-A-Pac could hold as many as 30 automobiles instead of 18.

The Vega was hugely popular when it was introduced in 1970 however it quickly earned a reputation for unreliability, rust, safety issues and lousy engine durability.

When the Vega was discontinued, the Vert-A-Pac cars had to be retired as they were too specialized to be used with anything else. The Vert-A-Pac racks were scrapped, and the underlying flatcars went on to other uses.


(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below

More Inspiring Stories

Inside Opower's Arlington Office: A robot, a Scooter and Many, Many Couches
"Goodbye, Diesel Train": This Brutal Soviet Bad Boy Has Been Destroyed In Estonia
Designer Turns Ridiculous Sketches Of Bicycles Into Realistic Designs
HEXO+: A Flying Camera that Follows and Films You Autonomously
SOL REPUBLIC Limited-edition Tracks Headphones
The Jeep Wrangler Based G. Patton Tomahawk 6x6 Is What Nightmares Are Made Of
Australian Farmer Fights Erosion With A Patchwork Of Geometric Designs
Toilet Bike Neo
Click Keypad Watches for True Geeks
iPhone 5 Transparent Edition
Eye-popping China Int'l Optics Fair
These Trainers Are Controlled By An App That Lets You Customize Them Whenever You Fancy
The Ultimate 1980s Barn Find: This Guy Found A Lamborghini Countach Hiding In Grandma’s Garage For 20 Years
Android: Helloween Edition!
Small is Beautiful!
Ni Hao, Auto-Bots! Transformers Greet Fans in Beijing
Stunning Pictures Show What Traffic Jams Looked Like In The Past
1955 Ford “Beatnik” Bubbletop: This Bubble-Roofed Custom Ford Is Strange And Wonderful!
A Walking Bicycle That Uses The Mechanical Design Of Theo Jansen’s Kinetic Wind-Powered Strandbeest
First Look at Harry Potter Studios to be Opened to Visitors in 2012
Rarest And Oldest Porsche: Yours For About $20 Million
Stunning New Close-Ups Show Saturn's Rings At Double The Detail We've Ever Seen
Steve Jobs' Yacht 'Venus' Launched in Netherlands
This Smog Vacuum Cleaner Turns Carbon Particles Into Jewelry
DARPA Contest
Vintage Photos Of Two-Faced German Microcar Zündapp Janus From The Late 1950s
Cool Snaps Capture Little Kids With Their Headphones In The 1970s
Kazakh Bodybuilder Yuri Tolochko To Marry His Life-Like Sex Doll 'Margo'
25 Cool Pics Of The 1959 Cadillac DeVille Series
The Latest Innovation In Child Prosthetics Showcases Super Heroes And Disney Characters