GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby hammerdown7 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:16 pm

Hi Chris,
Yes, it had the original 2.3L Katech modified Cosworth. They used forged TRW Vega pistons which had a thick flat top and they machined Cosworth valve reliefs in them along with a standard Vega crank with the nose turned down for the Cosworth crank pulley.
Dick
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby Kenova » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:40 pm

hammerdown7 wrote:Hi Chris,
Yes, it had the original 2.3L Katech modified Cosworth.
Dick


I didn't realizes that Katech had been around that long.
Wonder if they have any left? :mrgreen:

Ken
My other car is a Nova.
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby hammerdown7 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:00 pm

Kenova wrote:
hammerdown7 wrote:Hi Chris,
Yes, it had the original 2.3L Katech modified Cosworth.
Dick


I didn't realizes that Katech had been around that long.
Wonder if they have any left? :mrgreen:

Ken


This one was in Fritz's personal Cosworth and he was going to sell the car, thought it would be worth more with the standard Cosworth engine. I happened to have one with the injection so we sorta traded (I had to throw in some cash). I still got the better end of the deal, stroking the engine makes a big difference. Katech really didn't do much Cosworth stuff, their bread and butter was R&D for Chevrolet, both V6 and V8's for GM racing endeavors.

Dick
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby stage169 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:15 pm

Good news Jack Purcell has gone through his H body material and has a box on its way. At the end of his email he said "Hope I haven't bored to death..." Jack I don't think that is possible! :th:

A quick history;

My business partner, Jack Juratovic, myself, and a friend involved in SCCA racing came upon the idea of a "street" IMSA-style Monza package that we could aftermarket in body panel kits. At the time, Jack and myself were pretty good buddies with Vince Piggens and Gene Malloy at Chevrolet Div. Performance HQ because we had already done certain aero body parts contracted by/to Chev Div for racing (ie: Yenko Vegas, Camaros and others). We took a gamble and built the first Monza Mirage out of our own beer money and showed it to Vince who immediately told us it was too good to be a magazine-sell body kit. He introduced us to Bob Krupka who was head of Chevrolet Marketing-Planning who bought into the idea with enthusiasm but had to get approval from GM Design for a Chev Div go-ahead..

Enter corporate politics and prejudices: Charles (Chuck/Charlie) Jordan VP and chief of GM Design "didn't like whale-tails". Scrapped that deal. Jerry Palmer, head of Corvette/Camaro at the time, said the NASA scoops on the front air dam looked "too much like something Ford would do:" Scrapped that little detail (interestingly, shortly thereafter, the Camaro Z-28 sported the largest phoney NASA scoops on the hood that industry has ever seen). What to do?

Well, since Chevrolet Marketing WANTED this car, we sez to GM Design, why don't YOU guys just scale-down the IMSA body, make your own changes and we'll build it? Case solved. There's still some of our touch in tweaking the final appearance and feasibility, and although I'm still in love with the original Rapide styling, I think the Mirage was and (still) is a successful commentary on the "neat car genre". Can't believe it's been over thirty years.


This is cool too!

I've even found a couple of sketch proposals for Buick Division (your car) that would utilize the Mirage body panels with Buick-specific graphics. We also did some Olds-Division proposals with a unique rear fascia treatment and specific graphics, but nothing ever came of these (GM) marketing ideas. Even though they would have probably helped our cash-flow at the time, I'm glad nothing came to fruition. These clones would have diluted the Mirage impact.


After I post pictures I'll send Jack a link to this post. I've already mentioned he could chime in if he likes. Brian
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby monzajer » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:48 pm

Brian, thanks for posting. Neat stuff. Ya just gotta luv it. I love all the history of our beloved H-bodies and the "what-ifs" that accompany them.

Interesting, too, how he sez "clones". 8) :D

cheers, jer :mrgreen:
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby nice77mirage » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:30 pm

I can't wait to see what's in the box he sends you!!!!

Doyle
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby stage169 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:48 am

monzajer wrote:Interesting, too, how he sez "clones". 8) :D

cheers, jer :mrgreen:


Yep it put a smile on my face 8)

It may make it here Saturday I'll post them up asap. Doyle the last email I sent him I put a picture of your Mirage and the two of Dick's with the whale tail.

Brian
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby marco_1978_spyder » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:51 am

Wow.

This is the type of correspondence I dreamed of when looking up some of the designers involved with the monza's shape..Irv Rhybicki, and others, but I was a little too late.

I also remember wanting to look up the 'Jacks' after reading that article in Road Test magazine, that introduces them.
I've never been good at finding people..and never want to 'pay' those internet sites that help do that.

Last guy I was looking up was Dimitre Toth Jr, who bought the very first ''78 V8 Sunbird. It was a Formula and he added some ram air scoops that looked really cool. The car was up for sale about 10 years ago. He was from Michigan. Never got through to him.

I think it's cool how he added in "the neat car genre". On my promoional video there's a part for the salespeople to watch where they describe the monza as "the NEAT car" with the word 'Neat' in plastic sitting on the roof of the car. Ala Sesame Street,lol. The Chevette and Vega are sitting there too with there own monikers on top.

And also the 'Rapide' which is what the Mirage was almost called... according to what I read in Car and Driver '76.

Can't wait to see whats in the box!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby marco_1978_spyder » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:05 am

Also...can you ask Jack next time you get a chance, unless he does see this..

Is there anything that can be done to extend the life of the urethane used in these pieces? Not that my set seems to be deteriorating. Everything's holding on pretty good. Maybe he has some insight on the plight of the Sunbird tailpanels.
1978 Monza Spyder V8 4speed, posi
1978 Sunbird Formula V6, 5 Speed, Hatchback
1980 Sunbird Hatchback 4cyl, 4spd.
2006 Chevrolet Aveo 5 speed Hatchback
Yes, you can refer to me as Mark
Please visit my blog... http://chevymonza.blogspot.com/ Follow if you like!
Featuring special guests; Carl Beraytor and Ray D'atore

My Red spyder now has a youtube channel please Like and Subscribe!!!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOzzSR ... ISuing7KLA
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby stage169 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:54 pm

Marco I hope he checks out this post but if not I'll ask him. I hope he enjoys this as much as we do because with our H body interest we could overwhelm a small country :lol: I'm just sayin.....

I didn't realize the Mirage was almost called the Rapide! You might have connected the dots on "the neat car genre" that is cool.

I mistakenly mentioned to him about the two sketches he found on the Buick that one was for the Olds Starfire. Jack told me he didn't find any for the Olds. He followed it up with this.
It was called the HS, and IIRC, meant "Hurst Skyhawk". We had done the original Hurst/Olds Indy 500 pace car and later were suppliers of the "T-top" parts that Hurst (later Cars and Concepts, Brighton, MI) produced for Buick, Olds and Pontiac (F car) on a drop-ship program such as ours with the Mirage. That was the Hurst name connection with our Buick and Olds H body proposals and was favorable with Buick and Olds marketing.


I gave him a link to this post tonight. I also copied and sent the GM Heritage managers post on Doyle's car. I thought he would like it and also show him how detailed our questions can be.

Brian
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby nice77mirage » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:36 pm

So....in the box of stuff he's sending might be a sketch of a proposed Hurst Skyhawk? Wow...that would be way cool.

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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby stage169 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:00 pm

Yes and maybe its seperate of the Skyhawk with the Mirage body panels but either way after I get the box we can fire away with any questions he is even going to contact Juratovic to help if he can't nail them down!

Brian
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby hammerdown7 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:37 pm

Wasn't the name 'Mirage' the reason the model was dropped? If GM had stuck with 'Rapide' maybe it would have been available in the later years.

Dick
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby stage169 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:32 pm

A gold mine of Mirage history was sitting at my front door when I got home today! Thanks for sharing this Jack!

So many things come up and I'm sure by myself the surface is just getting scratched. Berger Chevrolet, the Black 77 Mirage with the 78 Mirage exterior ( I have to say the hood looks like it has the Buick Nighthawk decal ) this is fun!

I hope the pictures I've sized are not too big! Long day for me but I wanted to post some tonight. There is more for tomorrow. Brian
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Re: GM Dealer-sold IMSA Monza

Postby stage169 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:40 pm

More.
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