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I was at Chrysler Engineering from March, 1953 to October, 1971. I spent the first two years as a student engineer in the Chrysler Institute of Engineering Graduate school. From 1955 until 1968 I was in the "Performance Lab" where we did analysis of vehicle performance of future models and concepts.
We did what today would be called Performance Simulation. We calculated acceleration and fuel economy originally using Frieden desktop calculators and later using early mainframe computers. (It took two to three hours to calculate the acceleration data on one vehicle combination.) Using this data we helped make decisions on such mundane things as axle ratios for next years models to analysis of new type of automatic transmissions. But with this job I interacted with almost all parts of Engineering except Styling, and had a pretty good idea of what was going on most of the time.
I was a race enthusiast from the beginning and was always able to find time to do performance estimates on various people's race car programs. So when there were real Chrysler race programs, I was involved in estimating performance. By 1967 I was spending half my time on race projects, mainly NASCAR, so in 1969 I was officially transferred to work full time in the race group. I was very involved in the Daytona Superbird programs, the race cars, not the street cars. I was responsible for the chassis and drivetrain development of the 1969 STP-Plymouth Indy Car program.
I was a Chrysler Institute student in the late fifties and worked under George Wallace in the Vehicle Performance Lab. I was one of the original Ramchargers and, at that time, we were in the planning stage for the club's first car, "The High & Mighty" C/A 1949 Plymouth. I can vouch for George's willingness to help in such endeavors as he helped me to make valid performance predictions for the car. Calculated results were essentially identical to the car's actual runs on its first appearance at the NHRA Nationals in Detroit.
George also developed the empirical relationship between quarter mile speed, vehicle weight, and horsepower which was universally used by the Ramchargers to both predict performance and to evaluate the competition.
In preparation for the 1960 NASCAR compact car race on the road circuit at Daytona, George calculated the average speed for the winning car. I can't remember how many tenths of a mph off he was, but I distinctly remember the amazement that a calculated value could be so close to the actual!
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