Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Hagerty Employee

Did GM steal the innovation that made the LT1 possible? The decade-long legal battle.

Chevrolet’s LT1 V-8 was a major step forward for General Motors. From 1992 to 1997, the LT1 helped pull GM out of the Malaise Era, updating the nearly half-century-old small-block engine for modern use. The General dubbed this V-8 the second-generation small-block, but in reality, the engine shared a great deal with the original Chevrolet “mouse motor” introduced in 1955. The $100-million revamp was the pinnacle of old-school Chevy engineering, a host of simple solutions and tiny improvements executed in pursuit of power and efficiency.


Read the full article on

Intermediate Driver

Judges and lawyers will screw you every time!  GM robbed this man of hundreds of millions and the judge let it happen.  Evans made a mistake of trust.  SAD!


Corporate greed has no boundaries! Politicians and the Judiciary also fall victim to money. Document, Document, Document is the lesson learned in this story. Trust No One !

Pit Crew

This story has an analogous theme to that of the Ford Motor intermittent wiper motor controversy that occurred in the 1970s. A movie was made of this (after a book) called "Flash of Genius" about engineer Robert Kern's 20-year battle with Ford after they stole his invention. This is a sober tale with important lessons for everyday people about dealing with big corporations. It's an unfair fight.

New Driver

What else is really new with GM?   And is these days,  this greed is present in almost every Corporation, especially finance and tech.


In the 1950s, around half of all new car sales in the US were GM vehicles.  Then greed got in the way, and the Japanese started offering better cars for less money.  Corporate greed and unwillingness to be honorable ultimately leads to failure in cases like GM, which attempted to leverage its domnance in order to sell inferior products in the 1980s and beyond.


Pit Crew

Makes me lose faith in GM's "engineering genius".  Also makes me wonder who actually invented the small block V8 and the Corvette magnetic shocks?


"....who actually invented the small block V8 ..." ford 1st profuced in usa, no?
Intermediate Driver

But wait.  Pontiac V8's from 1955 through about 1958 or 1959, used reverse cooling.  How can GM steal a concept THAT THEY'D  HAD IN PRODUCTION DECADES EARLIER?  


Intermediate Driver

It is not the reverse cooling but the steam vents (size) to top of radiator.

New Driver

Bottom line, GM and the courts, cheated Evans out of his rightful invention, and his rightful realization of monetary benefits.  What was Jim Hall's cooling solution for the Chaparrals...?


Intermediate Driver

Mr Evans should have never left the automobile overnight with General Motors. He was robbed. How much was the Judge paid?


Agreed. Can't take it home for the night? Sleep in it.

New Driver

Rummor has it GM (John Delorean I believe) also stole the radiator over flow catch can design.


Typical GM ethics. They stole the Hummer grille design for $75k by a payoff to General Dynamics. I was in a meeting with a designer and 2 GM trial liars that couldn't (wouldn't) see any problem with using a design used by Jeeps, back to 1941. They also got a friendly judge to rule against Chrysler. Lying sacks of poop!

Pit Crew

Mr. Evans got himself painted into the corner that all the big corporations want smaller sub-contractors to be in. GM owed his company for work previously done.  They used that as leverage by "by referring the payment to their auditing department" thus delaying payment of money owed. The amount owed wasn't a large amount to GM but it  represented a substantial amount for Evans to carry as a receivable. The survival of his company depended on getting paid.


I worked as a commercial lender that had loan requests from  guys like Mr. Evans for  accounts receivable and inventory that large contractors like  GM, Boing and the defense industry forced them hold. It is the way the big guys do business. Let the little guy buy the materials, pay for the labor to produce and then store the inventory they contractually ordered and have sometimes taken contractual delivery of but have not paid for because the contract is being "Audited". The little guy has few choices he either does not do business with them or he has to pad the contract initially to offset the cost of money. If they overbid to protect themselves they take the chance that the big guy will just find another mom and pop manufacturer that will bid the actual cost  get the contract and then get burned.  

Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

Typical bean counter automotive manufacturers. They'll shake your hand with a friendly

smile and stab you in the back at the same time.


And the irony here, is that the heat problem in C4 Corvettes wasn't an engine problem, it was Chevy's moronic body design that turned the engine bay into an Easy Bake Oven; an idea they stole from Kenner toys.  Let cool air in, and hot air out, and the problem goes away!  Corvette's idiotic engineers just could not grasp that concept.

New Driver

I understand ,Evans went on to sell waterless coolant to the Military ,mainly for the Blackhawk helos!

 also i use Evans coolant in many hi-performance cars ,since 1990, BBC in camaro

 a turbo Mazda Rx7, and jag V12 , NEVER had a boilover, some times digital temp readouts get hi , but no problems!

 it simply does not boil into a steam pocket like water base can!

and Shist many smart tech guys have little business sense, they are interested in there inventions not some garbly **bleep** paper work, has anyone here ever in reality have a piece of paper make an engine run better(and no BS rationalizations?)

New Driver

i knew Smoky personaly , and he many ideas and theories that he never followed up because of the problems of getting paper PATENTS and crap!

 i knew him enough that some of his exploits will never be known, and out of my respect for him never will be known!!


One minor point.  Your article implies that OptiSpark replaced a BELT DRIVEN distributor...earlier Chevrolet V8’s had a distributor driven by a gear on the rear of the camshaft.

Advanced Driver

Obviously GM was ripping off Mr. Evans, starting with the previous unpaid invoices. As far as reverse cooling: buried in Smokey Yunick's autobiography is a reference to that cooling sytem design he was playing with in the '70s.
New Driver

Yeah ! They stole it ! This is why I won't buy american. These co. Also ford who stole Inter/wipers we all got lied to+screwed.we build m/cars for 40yrs that can't corner, while Europe is building the full pkg w/total car evolution. Still make solid axles+2ton+ muscle cars 800hp STILL CAN'T CORNER ! Watch "Hidden Figures" learn who really put U.S.A. into space !

New Driver

Yeah ! They stole it ! This is why I won't buy american. These co. Also ford who stole Inter/wipers we all got lied to+screwed.we build m/cars for 40yrs that can't corner, while Europe is building the full pkg w/total car evolution. Still make solid axles ,2ton+ muscle cars 800hp STILL CAN'T CORNER ! Watch "Hidden Figures" learn who really put U.S.A. into space !