<VV> Fisher Body input WAS GM Wankles

kenpepke at juno.com kenpepke at juno.com
Sun Apr 18 07:33:10 EDT 2010

Fisher Body produced almost all the car bodies for GM and. like the Corvair, the Vega was no exception.  The Mazda rotary engine was the talk of all the engineering departments as had been the Corvair flat six.  The Corvair engine was a WOW but there were big questions with the rotary as it had failed to meet GM testing standards miserably in all categories so the prospects did not look good.  GM has never been known for sitting around waiting for answers so FB Body Engineering designed and released parts specific for rotary engine application and FB Processing sent tool design orders to FB Die Design ... but, most, if not all, were 'Design but do not build' status.  There were not many parts and the differences, with the exception of the hood inner, were minor.  Body testing was done using parts built with 'soft tooling' in those days so it is not likely any actual rotary engine body parts were ever released into production.  The 'Monza' cars were design specific to allow the use of a small V8 so the rotary engine would have fit in the engine compartment like a pea fits in a box car :-)
Ken P

"Bill Elliott" <corvair at fnader.com> wrote:

If you look at the engine compartment on the first H-bodies (Monzas, 
Starfires, etc )you can clearly see that they were designed for the rotary.

I understand the primary issues were the poor fuel economy (just after the 
first major fuel crisis) and the new 1975 emissions (which required most 
cars to fit cats)... between the two issues they apparently pulled the plug 
at the very last second...


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