A while back on the 1978 Caprice Classic post, one of our commenters asked about deciphering the various General Motors platforms. My friend Carmine explained it all in a subsequent comment. There were a few even I hadn’t heard of (the Corvair was a Z-body?!). At the time, I intended to do a little post on it, and add pictures of the appropriate cars under his text. Of course, as often happens with me, it got put on the back burner, then was conveniently forgotten.
But today I remembered! So here it is, the Compleat Guide To GM Platforms. Enjoy. And thanks to Carmine, for running down all the different models.
A- Originated for the midsize RWD cars that replaced the compacts in 1964, Tempest, LeMans, Cutlass 442, GTO, Special, Skylark switched to the FWD A-body cars in 1982, Celebrity, Century, 6000, Ciera, retired in 1996.
B-The shorter wheelbase “big” standard car-originated around the late 40’s or so,used until 1996-Caprice, Impala, Bonneville, Delta, LeSabre.
C-The long wheelbase senior cars, Electra, 98, DeVille, Fleetwood Brougham.
D-Sometimes used for the big Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five sedan and limousines.
E- Always used for GM’s large personal luxury coupes(Eldorado,Riviera,Toronado) from 1966 through at least 1993, longer on the Eldorado maybe.
G-Originally used for the stretched A-body Grand Prix and Monte Carlo (1969-72), later used on the RWD A body cars from 1982-1987, when the the FWD A’s came out in 1982, later used again on the G-body Oldsmobile Aurora and Buick Riviera in 1995.
I-Never used as far as I know.
J-FWD compacts road roach made from 1982-2002 -replaced the H body, Cavalier, Sunbird, J2000, Firenza, Skyhawk.
K-Seville, used on the RWD 76-79 cars and the FWD 1980-85 and on through 1997.
L-Chevrolet Beretta and Corsica only.
M-Never used as far as I know.
N-FWD “intermediate” compacts made from 1985-2004-Calais, Grand Am, Skylark, Sommerset, etc,-this was replaced by the first Epsilon cars.
T-GM’s “world car” compact, the Chevette/T-1000/Acadian-don’t know if this was a T elsewhere under Opel or Holden etc.
U-The plastic spaceframe “dustbuster” vans made from 1990-1996. Lumina APV, Silhouette, Trans Sport.
W-FWD A/G body replacements, introduced in 1988-Cutlass, Grand Prix, Lumina, Regal-retired a few years ago when the last W-body Impala was made.
X-Originally used for the RWD compact cars made through 1979, used again on the FWD Citation, Phoenix, Omega, Skylark, through 1985.
Y-Originally used on the front engine/RWD GM compacts from 1961-1963, then used again on the Corvette from 1984 and up.
Z-Used on the Corvair from 1960-1969 and then on the Saturn S-series cars from 1990 and up.