DETROIT – The fifth-generation Chevrolet Corvette pulled off a technological feat when it was introduced in 1997 with marvelously engineered floor panels consisting of lightweight balsa wood coated with fiberglass and polyester resin. Each floor panel was about 4 ft. (1.2 m) long, 2 ft. (0.6 m) wide and about a half inch (1 cm) thick and would contribute significantly to improved ride and handling that, until 1997, was foreign to Corvette enthusiasts. MFG employees load mold with ...

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