1996 EV1 Test-buck
(Space-frame & Tune-in body)
Copied below are pictures of the collection's '96 pre-production
'Test-buck'. Test-bucks were factory built space frames that
were destined for engineering testing. That testing focused
on measurements, including door jams, roof lines,
trunk openings, sub-frame, body panel and component fitting,
and/or structural testing of all sorts. Engineers would order frames
built for a variety of reasons and the factory would build the
orders testing and praticing factory processes, and then
forward those frames to engineers to refine the various designs and
processes. This was a critical function to building one of the
first all-aluminum bonded space frames in an entirely
new manufacturing process c1996.
It is estimated that GM built 50 to 75 test-bucks before starting
production in late 1996, most all were recycled
as a product of testing, but at least one survived as shown here
in the Beata Collection. Eventually this old buck will be finished in
OEM blue, for the simple reason that we have more spare blue panels
than any other color, and, green and red
are already taken.
Some hints that lead us to the test-buck legacy include the 1) black
primer roof, as all production '97 EV1 panels came supplier
final-color-coated for assembly (only the '94 LPF Impacts and '96
pre-production EV1 test panels came in black primer); 2) the partial
assembly-status of the space frame; including no VIN, no battery
pack installation, no hood or trunk SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound)
supporting structures, no adheasive in either
side-structure or the windscreen/wiper shroud areas; and, 3) the
windscreen, as fitted, appears to be an early test sample,
as the production units were electrically (47v) heated, and this unit's
screen is absent its electronic wiring.
The early space-frame production capacity was a particularly slow
process yielding only +/- nine (9) space-frames per day in
the manufacturing process.
To date, c2023, the collection has about 60% of the parts
necessary to achieve a mostly complete EV1 based on this chassis.
Motor, inverter, wheels, wiring harness, seats, dash,
and steering are in-hand, with body panels (doors, rear quarters,
and trunk), suspension components and some
modules our primary search goals.