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No Ghosts: How Chevy Built Cars Back in 1935

by Paul Strauss

Many of today’s cars are built with unibody frames, with the increasing use of lightweight materials and improved safety through the use of crumple zones. But in the early days of the automotive industry, carmakers were just figuring out the best way to make frames that could even hold up to the everyday act of driving down a road. Keep in mind that back in the 1930s, there were a lot fewer paved roads outside of cities than there are today, and a much greater chance you’d have to drive on dirt or gravel at some point on your journey. As a result, driving was more taxing on a car’s frame than it is today.

In the oddly named No Ghosts, a 1935 educational film produced by Chevrolet, they walk us through the engineering and design of the “modern” automobile frame, which at the time was all about strength and rigidity, without today’s concern for fuel economy or safety in the event of a collision.

Oh, and look out for the rivets! Here they come!

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