Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Aluminum Bumpers

aluminum-bumpers
In the Malaise Era, manufacturers were eager to embrace whatever weight-saving, efficiency-enhancing technology and techniques their engineers could think up. One of those clever moves was lighter-weight aluminum bumpers, which were heralded as the next big thing. Usually, aluminum was only used for the front bumper, but the 1980 Chrysler New Yorker had alloy on the both the front and rear.
As it turns out, aluminum wasn’t an ideal choice for bumpers, for a number of reasons, and they didn’t really make that big an impact. [Ba-doom tish!] Nowadays, you’re much more likely to find a polymer honeycomb behind a non-rigid fascia. But how many different models did come from the factory defended by formed aluminum bash bars? That’s what this installment of Encyclopedia Hoonatica wants to know.
Difficulty: It helps if you’re a giraffe; the low-hanging fruit will quickly get gobbled up.
How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.
Image Source: Chrysler and GM sales brochures, each scanned by half the people on the Internet.

0 Comments

    1. The picture is of a Galaxie, but I think the lightweight versions of those had aluminum bumpers, as well.

    1. I’d say the traverse core between the bumper shocks is steel, clad in fibers – but aluminum brackets sounds pretty Porsch-y indeed.

  1. My 1975 Audi 100 LS had them…
    The only thing rarer than that car is finding a picture of one on the web.

  2. Omni/GLHS.
    Plymouth Feather Duster.
    The front bumper on my Typhoon is injection molded ABS, but the structural member it is rivited to is stamped aluminum.

      1. Not sure if in seventies USSR anyone cared about weight savings, probably alu mill was near and transport was easy to arrange.

    1. Finned aluminum rear drum brakes, too! A few years ago, I tried to grab a set for my ’86 Cutlass from the junkyard, but they were far too corroded. 🙁

  3. While doing research on this I found something interesting. Kaiser Aluminum (part of H.J. Kaiser’s empire but separate from Kaiser Motors) all-aluminum concept cars penned by Frank Hershey in the late 50’s. None of these were build but yes, they would have had aluminum bumpers.
    http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r293/VIEWLINER/0808/KACar1.jpg
    http://s147.photobucket.com/albums/r293/VIEWLINER/0808/KACar2.jpg
    http://s147.photobucket.com/albums/r293/VIEWLINER/0808/KACar3.jpg

    1. Orange, flathood wagon with Virgos?! So much want. Hell, I’d even take it with the less than beloved automatic of that era Brick, although it’s almost certainly a manual.

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