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 Composite fenders?

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Lynol

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PostSubject: Composite fenders?   Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:56 pm

I just bought a '91 Olds salesperson's reference/comparison book. (I scanned and posted it in the B-body literature sticky in the pics & video section) and one of the things that struck me while reading the OCC section was when comparing it to the 1991 Ford Crown Victoria/Country squire wagons, it mentions that the Custom Cruiser has composite front fenders, and the Ford does not. I know that the OCC does not have composite fenders, but were the B-body wagons going to originally? I know that some GM cars of the day did have composite fenders, like the Olds 98. My other thought was it could have been a typo, and they meant the Ciera-based Cutlass Cruiser, but that car didn't have composite fenders, did it? Anyone ever hear of this? Here's the blurb that mentions it:
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MG Davis

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PostSubject: Re: Composite fenders?   Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:49 pm

Wow, I wonder why they went back to metal. Maybe their plastic didnt do well with UV or dings? I mean, how bad was that Pontiac body cladding back in those days. Didnt hold up well.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Composite fenders?   Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:50 pm

They were embarrassed when somebody pointed out that most ricers are composite,..
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Big Wagon Guy

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PostSubject: Re: Composite fenders?   Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:14 pm

Likely something that was planned but did not make it past testing or the bean counters. Or they could be referring to the body side cladding?
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: Composite fenders?   Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:59 am

I know half of my Mom's 96 Camaro is composite and it's holding up fine...same with little Saturns and Fieros. Would have been nice to have the rear quarters that way, lol.
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sherlock9c1



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PostSubject: Re: Composite fenders?   Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:57 pm

Some of 77-90 B-bodies had composite inner fenders. I looked at swapping them in but the engine bay packaging on those cars is almost completely reverse of the 91-96 cars.
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Lynol

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PostSubject: Re: Composite fenders?   Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:02 pm

sherlock9c1 wrote:
Some of 77-90 B-bodies had composite inner fenders.  I looked at swapping them in but the engine bay packaging on those cars is almost completely reverse of the 91-96 cars.
Yeah I saw that touted as a big deal in some of the B-body promo videos I watched over at testdrivejunkie.com. I've seen them in person in junked cars, they seem kind of flimsy. I wonder if they were prone to cracking or shattering, and that might be why they went back to steel?
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JaySS
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PostSubject: Re: Composite fenders?   Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:17 pm


Lynol wrote:
...it mentions that the Custom Cruiser has composite front fenders, and the Ford does not. I know that the OCC does not have composite fenders, but were the B-body wagons going to originally? I know that some GM cars of the day did have composite fenders, like the Olds 98. My other thought was it could have been a typo, and they meant the Ciera-based Cutlass Cruiser, but that car didn't have composite fenders, did it? Anyone ever hear of this?

Well there were certainly composite and aluminum body panels sprinkled throughout the Oldsmobile line. (Typically, Oldsmobiles tended to have some unique features not shared with the other divisions, but that is a story for another day.)

I suspect it wasn't a typo, but like the power rear vent windows, something that either never made it to, or was dropped very early in production. There could be many reasons why, but by then GM had sufficient experience with the C4 Corvettes that SMC fenders were unlikely to be any real challenge.

If you were around to remember, you may recall there was a recession during the time the 1991 models were being brought to the showroom, due in some part to a spike in oil prices.

As composites tend to be less beneficial in terms of weight savings over exterior steel body panels, they weren't going to appreciably improve fuel economy. So they were reduced to mostly a differentiating sales feature, admittedly with some additional resistance to parking lot damage.

Since sales projections probably had to be readjusted due to the effects of the prevailing economy, it would make sense that any superfluous features or low-volume and/or low-margin options were pruned from the intended equipment list. Clearly the steel fenders already in the Chevrolet production schedule would have little trouble stepping in to replace those intended to be made of the composite material.

Regardless, finding a set now would certainly be something to talk about,

- J

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95BRMW

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PostSubject: Re: Composite fenders?   Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:18 pm

It's interesting the way GM comes up with ideas and never impliments them. The 1987-1989 Lesabre T-types could be had with either steel or plastic front fenders. What was odd was it was a luck of the draw what type it ended up with.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Composite fenders?   Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:15 pm

I had an oldsmobile with red plastic inner fenders,..
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