GM B platform

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GM B platform
1948 Pontiac Streamliner Deluxe - Flickr - exfordy (1).jpg
Overview
Manufacturer General Motors
Production 1936–1996
Body and chassis
Class Full-size car
Layout FR layout
Chronology
Successor GM H platform (FWD) (full-size)
GM G platform (1995) (full-size)
GM W platform (full-size)
GM V platform (RWD) (for Chevrolet Caprice sold in the Middle East)
GM Zeta Platform (for Chevrolet Caprice sold in both the Middle East & North America and Chevrolet SS for the RWD Impala SS)

The B platform, or B-body, was General Motors' full-size rear-wheel drive automobile platform. It was closely related to the C-body and D-body and was used for convertibles, hardtops, coupés, sedans, and station wagons.

From at least 1936 through 1958, GM used at least four different designations for various bodyshells/platforms including the A-body for Chevrolet, most Pontiacs, and the Oldsmobile Series F and Series 60, the B-body for the Pontiac Streamliner Torpedo and Streamliner, the Oldsmobile Series L, Series 70 and Series 88, the Buick Special and Century, the LaSalle Series 50 and the Cadillac Series 60, Series 61 and Series 63, and the C-body for the Pontiac Series 24/29 Torpedo, Oldsmobile 90, the Buick Roadmaster, Super and 1958 Limited, the LaSalle Series 52, and all remaining Cadillacs except for the Series 90, Series 85 and the Series 75 which were built on the D-body, along with all remaining Buick Limiteds. For the 1959 model year, the previous A and B bodies were built on the new B-body[1][2] that lasted until 1996. The A-body designation would be resurrected by GM in 1964 for a new series of intermediate-sized cars including the Chevrolet Chevelle, Pontiac Tempest, Oldsmobile Cutlass and Buick Skylark.

The GM B-body had at least 12 major re-engineering and restyling efforts, in 1937, 1939, 1941, 1949, 1954, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1965, 1971, 1977, and 1991; along with interim styling changes in, 1942, 1969 and 1980 that included new sheetmetal and revised rooflines. The platform was downsized in length by approximately 10 inches in 1977 and reduced in weight by an average of 800 pounds. In 1991, the platform received its last major redesign, regaining several inches in length, numerous frame improvements and reinforcements, while the shorter wheelbase remained unchanged. The last B-cars rolled off the line in 1996, leaving only Ford producing domestic large rear wheel drive sedans until the line was phased out in late 2011, with Chrysler reentering the market with their LX platform in 2005.

1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon

Known for being durable and reliable, most B-body cars used suspensions utilizing coil springs both front and rear, exceptions include the 1959-60 Oldsmobile 88 which used coil springs in front and multi-leaf springs in the rear. All B-body cars since 1965 have used perimeter frames with side rails, along with the 1961-64 B-body Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles. The 1958-60 Buicks and 1959-60 Oldsmobiles used a ladder-type frame while an X-frame without side rails was used on 1959-60 Pontiacs, 1959-64 Chevrolets and 1961-64 Buicks.

The Rear Drive B-body was the last platform design to have the gasoline tank filler port behind the license plate. Exceptions included all station wagons, as well as all 1961-64 cars - which had the tank filler in the rear fender on the driver's side and 1965 Buicks which had their fuel filler door above the license plate. Also the Pontiac B-Bodys from 1941 till 1948, they had the fuel filler door in the rear fender on the driver's side. Very likely this would also have been the case with the B-Body Oldsmobile and Buick.

At approximately 12,960,000 across four marques not counting 1966 full-size Chevrolet station wagons (production of 1966 full-size Chevrolet station wagons is unknown but a good guess is about 150,000) the 1965-70 GM B platform is the fourth best selling automobile platform in history after the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Model T and the Lada Riva.[3]

By 1986, the Buick LeSabre and Oldsmobile Delta 88 moved to the GM H platform. And in 1991, Chairman Robert Stempel said:[4]

He also stated that the 1992 Buick Roadmaster and Chevrolet Caprice had been produced "over my dead body." [4] No rear drive successor for this platform was made after 1996, when the Buick Roadmaster and Chevrolet Caprice ceased production. Though the Caprice would be revived & built on the Opel developed V platform for the Middle East but built by Holden, while years later the Caprice for police use along with the Impala SS' successor the Chevrolet SS would return to America built on the GM Zeta Platform which was developed by Holden in Australia.

Sedans built on the rear wheel drive B platform include:

Two-door only offerings include:

Station wagons include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Requiem for Misterl: The 1959 Cadillac and the Winter of Harley Earl". ateupwithmotor.com. Retrieved 2013-01-05. 
  2. ^ "AUTOMOTIVE ORAL HISTORIES: The Reminiscences of William L. Mitchell". www.autolife.umd.umich.edu. Retrieved 2013-01-05. 
  3. ^ Kowalke, Ron (1997). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946–1975. Krause publications. ISBN 0-87341-521-3. 
  4. ^ a b Bonsall, Thomas (2004). The Cadillac Story: The Postwar Years. Standford UP. p. 167. ISBN 978-0804749428. 
  5. ^ Model 460, 4BR per 1976 sales brochure
  6. ^ Model 166
  7. ^ Model 1BN
  8. ^ Model 164
  9. ^ Model 1BL
  10. ^ Model 156
  11. ^ Model 1BK
  12. ^ Model 154
  13. ^ Models 3BQ and 3BR
  14. ^ Model 2BR
  15. ^ Model 2BL

External links[edit]