Fender skirts, known in Australia and the United Kingdom as spats, are pieces of bodywork on the fender that cover the upper portions of the rear tires of an automobile.
Fender skirts are implemented for both aesthetic and aerodynamic reasons. Rather than air flowing into and being trapped in the rear wheel well, it flows smoothly over the bodywork. They are generally detachable to allow for tire changes and installation of snow chains. Automakers have also experimented with integral front wheel fender skirts, as on the 1949–1954 Nash "Airflyte" models and the compact 1950–1954 Nash Rambler, but with success limited by the fact that the front wheels must pivot for steering, extending out from the side of the vehicle slightly.The 1955 Ford Thunderbird introduced rear "fender shields" as a type of fender skirts with an edge molding and a gravel shield. In GM parts accessories books, fender skirts are known as fender shields.
First described as "pants", they were used for the streamlining effect by Frank Lockhart on a 1928 Stutz land speed record attempt car.Factory production of fender skirts began with the 1932 Graham-Paige. Aesthetically streamlined designs were copied to mass-produced models. The innovations introduced by Amos Northup, such as the V'd radiators, fender skirts, and sloping beaver-tails, became common after 1933. However, by the 1970s, fender skirts began to disappear from mass market automobiles. Fender skirts remained for some time longer on a few cars, particularly large American luxury cars.
Fender skirts were often paired with whitewall tires. The extent of the skirt also varied, before the 1950s it was common for all but the very bottom of the rear tire to be covered, while by the 1960s fender skirts only covered some of the top of the tire, and were largely absent on cars other than top line models. For example, up until 1976, the Chevrolet Caprice, Oldsmobile 98, Buick Electra, Pontiac Bonneville and the Cadillac Fleetwood, DeVille and Calais models used fender skirts. The Cadillac Eldorado models sported fender skirts from 1971 thru 1974. Starting in 1977 only the Pontiac Bonneville retained the use of fender skirts on General Motors downsized cars. In 1980 the Oldsmobile returned the fender skirts to its 98 model. By 1985, fender skirts would disappear from all standard General Motors cars. In 1989, fender skirts were used again on the Cadillac front wheel drive Fleetwood models until 1993. For the 1991-1996 model years, General Motors generally incorporated fender skirts into the design of their full size sedans for the Chevrolet Caprice, Buick Roadmaster, and Cadillac Fleetwood. The General Motors EV1 had fender skirts later.
When making Kustoms, fender skirts are a must accessory to close the rear fenders and add a special kind of sleekness.
In European automobile design, Citroën notably used fender skirts on nearly all models produced between 1950 and 1990, most prominently in the DS, 2CV, Ami, GS, SM, BX, and CX.
As of 2015, the last mass-produced car with fender skirts was the 1999-2006 Honda Insight, although they are available for some new cars as aftermarket accessories (the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Volkswagen Beetle being some examples).
Some cities, such as Los Angeles, have fender skirts on municipal buses for safety purposes, as they can prevent items in the road from slipping under the tires.
In 2013, the limited production Volkswagen XL1 reintroduced fender skirts on modern cars.
Personal luxury car is a North American car classification describing somewhat sporty, sophisticated coupes that emphasized comfort over performance. The North American manufacturers most often combined engineering, design, and marketing to develop upscale, distinctive "platform sharing" models that became highly profitable.
The Pontiac Bonneville was an automobile built by Pontiac from 1957 to 2005. Bonnevilles were full-sized, with the exception of a brief period of mid-size between 1982–1986. The brand was introduced as a limited production performance convertible during the 1957 model year. The Bonneville, and its platform partner, the Grand Ville, are some of the largest Pontiacs ever built; in station wagon body styles they reached just over 230 inches (5.8 m) long, and at 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) and more were also some of the heaviest cars produced at the time. Also, they came with a Jetaway 315 and also were available as hearses.
Badge engineering, sometimes called rebadging, is the practice of applying a different badge or trademark to an existing product and subsequently marketing the variant as a distinct product. Due to the high cost of designing and engineering a new model or establishing a brand, economies of scale make it less expensive to rebadge a product once or multiple times than to create different models.
The H Platform, or H-body, name has been used twice by General Motors. The 1970s H-body was an inexpensive rear-wheel drive compact automobile platform from the 1970s, used for the Chevrolet Vega and Monza and their Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac derivatives. The 1980s H-body was a front-wheel drive full-size car platform, and was the basis for GM's second generation downsized full-size cars, which included the Buick LeSabre, Oldsmobile 88, and Pontiac Bonneville.
Oldsmobile produced three versions of a diesel engine between 1978 and 1985: a 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8 in 1978-85, a 263 cu in (4.3 L) V8 in 1979, and a 261 cu in (4.3 L) V6 1982-1985. The engines powered front and rear-wheel drive vehicles; the 4.3-litre V6 was adapted to both transverse and inline front-wheel drive applications. Sales peaked in 1981 at approximately 310,000 units, which represented 60% of the total U.S. passenger vehicle diesel market. However, this success was short-lived due to a decline in gas prices as well as fuel quality issues including large volumes of diesel fuel containing water or foreign particles.
The GM B platform was General Motors' full-size rear-wheel drive automobile platform from 1926-1996. It was closely related to the original rear-wheel drive GM C and GM D platforms, and was used for convertibles, hardtops, coupés, sedans, and station wagons.
The Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser is an automobile that was manufactured and marketed by Oldsmobile in three generations from 1971 to 1992. The first full-size station wagon produced by Oldsmobile since the 1964 Oldsmobile 88 Fiesta, the Custom Cruiser was produced exclusively on the General Motors B platform as a five-door station wagon. The nameplate was first used by Oldsmobile from 1940 to 1947, denoting the top trim level of its C-body model line. 451,819 Custom Cruisers were sold over the years.
The Buick Roadmaster is an automobile that was built by Buick from 1936 to 1958, and again from 1991 to 1996. Roadmasters produced between 1936 and 1958 were built on Buick's longest non-limousine wheelbase and shared their basic structure with entry-level Cadillac and, after 1940, senior Oldsmobiles. Between 1946 and 1957 the Roadmaster served as Buick's flagship.
The General Motors Motorama was an auto show staged by GM from 1949 to 1961. These automobile extravaganzas were designed to whet public appetite and boost automobile sales with displays of fancy prototypes, concept vehicles and other special or halo models. Motorama grew out of Alfred P. Sloan's yearly industrial luncheons at New York City's Waldorf Astoria, beginning in 1931. They were almost invariably held in conjunction with the New York Auto Show, that for many years was held traditionally in the first week of January.
The Pontiac Parisienne is a full-size rear-wheel drive vehicle that was sold by Pontiac on the GM B platform in Canada from 1958 to 1986 and in the United States from 1983 to 1986. For most of its run, the Canadian Parisienne was nearly mechanically identical to the American Chevrolet Impala. The Parisienne wagon continued under the Safari nameplate until 1989. Parisienne or La Parisienne means a grammatically female person or thing from Paris, France.
Arlington Assembly is a General Motors automobile factory in Arlington, Texas. The plant has operated for more than 60 years and today manufactures large SUVs from GM's Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac divisions.
The 4T60-E is a series of automatic transmissions from General Motors. Designed for transverse engine configurations, the series includes 4 forward gears. The 4Txx family is an evolution of the original Turbo-Hydramatic 125 transverse automatic introduced in the late 1970s.
The Pontiac Grand Ville is a full-size car that was the top-trim model in the Pontiac line from 1971 to 1975. It displaced the Pontiac Bonneville, which had served as Pontiac's top-trim model since 1958.
The General Motors G platform was an automobile platform designation used for mid-sized rear-wheel drive cars. It made its first appearance from 1969 to 1972, adapted from GM's A-body, and reappeared from 1982 to 1988. The second series of G-bodies began production designated as A-body cars in 1978, but were redesignated as G-body when the new front-wheel drive A-body platform was introduced in 1982.
Fender is the American English term for the part of an automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle body that frames a wheel well. Its primary purpose is to prevent sand, mud, rocks, liquids, and other road spray from being thrown into the air by the rotating tire. Fenders are typically rigid and can be damaged by contact with the road surface.
Opera windows are small, discrete, and fixed side windows in the C-pillar of some cars. Originally porthole-sized and shaped to provide light and rear passenger visibility in luxury 4-door sedans and limousines in the 1930s, they made a brief appearance in two-door coupes in the 1950s before becoming a sweeping design fad in the 1970s.
A scraper is an informal term to describe a modified American-made luxury/family car, usually a General Motors model from the 1980s to current vehicles, typically enhanced with after-market rims. Scrapers are popular in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California, usually associated with the hyphy music and lifestyle movement. An example of hyphy is shown in the E-40 lyrics "sittin' in my scraper watching Oakland gone wild". A scraper is a general description and can refer to a number of different model cars. Popular models include the Buick Regal and LeSabre, Pontiac Bonneville, Buick Century, Oldsmobile Delta 88, Buick Riviera, Buick Reatta, Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, Pontiac Grand Prix, Lexus SC, Chevrolet Caprice Classic, and Chevrolet Impalas, as well as full size conversion vans such as the GMC Vandura. Supercharged automobiles are particularly sought after due to their high performance.
Hi-Risers are a type of highly customized automobile, typically a traditional, full-size, body on frame, V8 powered, rear wheel drive American-built sedan modified by significantly increasing the ground clearance and adding large-diameter wheels with low-profile tires. Depending on the model and style of body, autos customized in this manner can be labeled "donk," "box," or "bubble."
A brougham was originally a car body style where the driver sat outside and passengers seated within an enclosed cabin, as per the earlier brougham horse-drawn carriage. Similar in style to the later town car, the brougham style was used on chauffeur-driven petrol and electric cars.
The GM C Platform (1936) was a rear wheel drive (RWD) automobile platform used by General Motors for its full-sized cars from 1936 through 1984. From at least 1941, when the B-body followed suit in adopting the C-body's pioneering lower and wider bodystyle with no running boards, it may be viewed as a larger and more upscale version of the GM B platform. It was also related to the full-size luxury D platform. With the introduction of a severely downsized front-wheel drive new GM C platform in 1985 it was redesignated as GM's D platform and continued in production for a number of Cadillac models through 1996.
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