Video Interviews with Chevrolet R&D Engineer Jim Musser

On January 29, 2013, retired Chevrolet engineer Jim Musser joined General Motors’ Vice President of Global Design Ed Welburn for an intimate conversation about his career and many of the special projects he worked on during his time with Frank Winchell’s Chevy R&D team. Orchestrated by the GM Design Archive & Special Collections and filmed in GM Design’s Mechanical Assembly garage, Musser opened up on a range of topics including the development of the Corvair Monza GT, GM’s relationship with Jim Hall and Chaparral, and the underappreciated Corvette XP-819 concept. The short clips presented here are some of the highlights.

Videos: Courtesy of General Motors.

  1. Awesome stuff, especially the mid-engined car clocking a better time than the Birdcage Maserati at Riverside! No wonder Jim Hall jumped on their technology!

  2. ETMC

    Love it. Wish the entire conversation was available somewhere…

  3. Many thanks to Gary, Ed Welburn, and Christo Datini for sharing this video. Some amazing cars from Jim Musser and Bill Mitchell.

  4. In the video of the XP 819 in Studio X with Jim Musser, Larry Shinoda and unidentified, that would have been Tom Krauzowicz who was the studio engineer.

  5. Regarding Monza GT chassis #3 which later became the basis for the Astro I race/show car: Does anyone know the history of the paint color? The original clay model dynoc and the subsequent Cobo Hall show car was painted pearl white with translucent pearl white side windows. Later, the car was repainted transparent red over pearl for the INYAS (this time with the body colored side windows replaced with clear windows). Later, the car showed up painted yellow. Now it is at GMHC painted a metallic clear coated red orange with clear side windows. Who was responsible for painting the car yellow?

  6. Ike

    Knew Jim Musser from our mutual hometown back in York, Pa.
    It was a Hot Rod town par excellence. Some of us formed the Gent’s Roadster Hot Rod Association of York.

    As teenagers, we tore Ford V8 engines down & rebuilt …bored, stroked, ported, chopped flywheels, and in some cases, supercharged, etc.
    Some may not realize it, but Ford offered a 3 belt driven centrifugal supercharger option in the late 1930’s. Somehow I got hold of a used one and tried it myself.
    Worked out fine for about 4 months, until during one race, blew out 4 pistons in the souped up V8. That ended my supercharger experiment.

    Chrysler Hemi’s were becoming somewhat popular, but too expensive for most of us in that era.

    Ike Eichelberger


  7. Scott

    Thanks for sharing this great interview. I noticed recently that the Corvette GSII b has resurfaced, I’m guessing under the ownership of Jim Hall. Can I request an article on this chassis ?

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