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Re: Should have just put the Nova four in it, that engine was in production for nine model years prior. The Vega engine had an iron cylinder head; I recently read somewhere that the Nova four was lighter!

In the DeLorean bio, he claimed that GM had an impressive for the time thinwall cast iron engine that used some new foundry processes, was quiet with good power and torque (perhaps an OHC?)

However voices within the company were dead set against an iron engine... as if the Corvair experience hadn't soured then sufficiently. Oh, and we own a factory that makes pushrods and rocker arms.

Incredibly, the engine ended up with the worst of both worlds, an alloy block that would not hold seal, and an iron head guaranteed to fail the gasket. Like Corvair didn't teach anything? Sleeves would be expensive, their process would use a simple etching process that rarely worked outside the laboratory. It is generally agreed that Ed Cole and Pete Estes were driving a lot of the decisions, simply based on personal whim. Pete's affection for the Wankel and the insane development process was legendary - GM built and validated an entire engine module and killed it after pilot production. A neighbor was a pee-wee engineer on the project and had hours of stories...

Ultimately it proved the folly of sending cars through GM 'staffs' ... individual, siloed teams for ride and handling, body engineering, HVAC, etc. versus a dedicated single platform team.

At the time, GM was planning on longer product cycles, and once a product would launch, it would not need the all-new renewal attention for a while as it approached end of life, which could be a decade or longer.

So, rather than have expensive staff sit on their hands, they broke up the groups that would always be busy, not realizing that the interaction of all the teams with Fisher and Design and the institutional knowlege of people like Zora and Bill Collins created the magic.

The 'staff' silos went straight to the center of the earth, with chief engineers battling for people, turf and budget, not really giving a blank what the other guys needed. "You said you wanted a $XX.XX transmission and 400,000 of them a year. This is what you get."

So yeah, that's how the Vega failed.

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