Today we’ll take you for a journey down the history lane and show how a simple invention led to great improvement in transportation of cars. In 1960’s, cars were designed with respect to the mode of transportation; railway system in United States. A simple tweak here and there could greatly cut down the production costs.
The traditional 4 vehicle carrying boxcars were phased out when 85’ and 89’ flatcars were introduced. This invention led to the use of tri-level auto racks that could carry 15 cars but this was still insufficient when you compare it with the maximum weight allowable for each flatcar. This is where the main cast of the story comes in; The Chevrolet Vega. This beauty was introduced in 1970 and managed to really slash the production cost and was ingenious enough to take things to the next level. This led to the creation of the Vert-a-Pac – an auto rack specifically designed by collaboration of General Motors and Southern Pacific Railroad Company.
This system was capable of carrying 30 Vegas, almost double the number that was being transported before and it managed to pull this off because the vehicles were being transported vertically. This was a huge step forward from the regular 18 in the 3 leveled wagons.
Certain design changes had to be made to make this possible; the vehicle had to be designed so that it was capable of being transported with nose-down and also capable of riding right out of the wagon to the intended dealership. The engineers came up with a unique baffle for engine oil that prevented the oil from entering the first cylinder and batteries came with filler caps that were located on the back to prevent any acid spillage from occurring. The carburetor float bowl came equipped with a special tube that helped drain gasoline to the vapor canister during the shipment and the windshield washer bottle was installed at an angle of 45 degrees.
The Vega, however, was discontinued in 1977 due to lack of reliability and the Vert-a-Pac cars also became history with the racks transformed into metal sheets.