Vert-A-Pac: An Unusual Way to Transport Automobiles

In the 1970s, Chevrolet came out with their Vega line of cars. Their goal for the Vega was to reduce the cost of purchasing their car to $2,000 (1970s value). However, Chevrolet had their assembly plant in Lordstown and they needed to pay a freight charge to transfer their assembled cars to the Pacific coast. This would cost them up to $4,800. The subcompact nature of the Vega model allowed 18 vehicles to be transferred on a railroad car instead of the normal 15 vehicles. The freight charge came out to $300 for each vehicle transferred. This was a lot of money to pay for a car that they were going to sell for $2,000.

chevy vega vert a pac

Chevrolet needed to come up with a way to transfer more vehicles all at once in order to bring these freight charges down. Southern Pacific Railroad and General Motors had their engineers come up with a solution to this problem. This solution was called the Vert-A-Pac, which was a specially designed vehicle rack that was used to load vehicles vertically onto a railroad car instead of horizontally. This allowed an 89-foot standard size railroad car to hold 30 Vega vehicles, which was 12 more than what it held before.

chevy vega vert a pac

The Vega’s popularity was short-lived because if its numerous safety and reliability issues. Once the Vega line of cars was discontinued, there was no place for the Vert-A-Pac either because that rack was designed to only be used with the Vega cars.

chevy vega vert a pac

chevy vega vert a pac

chevy vega vert a pac

chevy vega vert a pac

chevy vega vert a pac

chevy vega vert a pac

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