“Boulevard”: El coche que convirtió a Serra en constructor además de carrocero "
"Boulevard": The car that turned Serra Coachbuilder in Car Maker " (by Pablo Gimeno)
The author wishes to note that for the description of this model and its history has enjoyed the help of Javier Rucabado , a great expert on American cars, which also meets the conditions of amateur and professional, something not always common in the world of classic cars.
In the 1970 Barcelona Motor Show was showed a car unknown to almost everyone.This is one of those marks were only in their home country and Spain, where he came so can be sold here due to the room to be able to import three cars by simply exposing them, and three production units in this pose such a sale to be considered.
The car in question is called LMX and graceful is a sporty design with engine and other mechanical components from the Ford Taunus.
At the booth of LMX was its creator, an engineer named Michele Liprandi. As fate would have Serra, always ready to craft copy for obvious reasons, is interested in that car and, after making a number of questions, went on to engage in further conversation with the engineer said.
The end of the story was that Liprandi Serra and agreed that the second design a chassis on which to mount the mechanics of the Dodge Dart produced in Spain, and Serra was responsible for the construction of self and body. It was therefore an operation similar to the thought about the Ghia 450 SS that we have mentioned when speaking of non-Spanish-born De Tomaso.
The project is progressing throughout 1970. This is not a body but rather to design a new car to the chassis must match the Dodge mechanical elements made in Spain.
About a year later, Liprandi work already finished, Serra is redirected to the factory in Villaverde, although this might not Barreiros Diesel makes it to Chrysler Spain, which since the end of 1969 controlled the company years before create Eduardo Barreiros and his brothers. His visit and his project practically coincide with the new Dodge model in Spain which is the model 3700 that has built numerous advantages over previous models, such as disc brakes, already on the GT since 1969 - and address assisted. Unlike what occurred five years earlier, this time Chrysler Spain gives its approval for the provision of mechanical elements and the project starts. In addition, cars are sold under the Dodge brand, which will avoid many approval procedures. All were facilities. Too bad the missed opportunity for all in 1966!
JR Note: Here I think the Ministry of Industry demanded that Serra should become Automobile Manufacturer, which I think never happened and that ´s
what originated a bureaucratic battle that caused serious delays in the delivery of the units and perhaps be a reason for the commercial failure of Boulevard, the pressure that Chrysler España S.A.was able to provide just got to be able to register the cars made and sold but not solve the underlying problem that never were certified Serra Boulevard because all were registered as mere Dodge 3700 GT Four doors and 5 passengers ¡¡¡¡¡
With the security of supply of mechanical, racks became built. The same structure was tubular, square tubes welded electrically. We are not therefore to another car bodywork by Serra in small series, as the construction of a specific chassis for this model makes Serra can pass constructor also be considered in addition to body builder.
Not only the engine, but all came from the Dodge front subframe and transmission, suspension, brakes and other mechanical parts, and clocks and other instruments.
Thus is born the so-called 3700 Dodge Boulevard commonly known as the Dodge Coupe Serra, is a two-seater coupe.
Note JR: Perhaps more common as Serra Dodge Coupe, the Boulevard is a gino maybe the fact that Serra facilities were in the Paseo General Mola (now Paseo de San Juan) that it was a boulevard for Barcelonians .
The body is made of fiber,
JR Note: Fiberglass is the first time that Serra used these materials in their creations, as he argued in its beginnings to the plastic as a kind of ersatz unbecoming a teacher, but at that time had already accepted as " worthy. "
JR Note: Not only was released to plastic but throw a head start as very modern assembly techniques to use silicone to secure each and every one of the decorative elements of the vehicle, creating an effective and curious union of architectural styles , the craft with saving lives, this mixture gives an extraordinary performance as are the balance between the sophisticated and masterful chrome window frames, trims sets with fins attached by welding hood worthy of a goldsmith and glass windshields glued and framed with flat chrome moldings, silicone, which was introduced by the major European manufacturers a few years later.
The Coupé Dodge Boulevard was presented to the public at the Barcelona Motor Show 1972. Among the initial sample and some of the models that followed his friend Javier Rucabado seen several differences such as:
JR NOTE: Enter the prototype and the Series, in the Salon of 72 showed the two, and only 73 in the series model and MM-30 Sport version.
- A different radiator grille, smooth lines in the prototype, which outlines the grill that lights behind which is the same in the radiator grille, whereas in later models, the grille is framed in an absolutely rectangular with a strong highlight separating the double headlights.
- And in keeping with the rear lights but this time we had five on each side, and the flash lit continuously one after another, striking and certainly something that used some American cars of that time as Ford Shelby Mustang and Mercury Cougar. This system was not retained and all or nearly all units produced were with more conventional headlights.
JR note: All bodies have circular holes for the sockets sequential cut to accept the mysterious German Hella inverted tulips, likewise the metal slats in the sequential were sandwiched between the installed optical single group were grouped into one of the sides to fill the space industry sobrante.Es likely to subsequently forced to install rear optical groups in order to be enrolling those already constructed.
2 º NOTE JR: We know that the tulips approved were the Hella who used the Saab 99 and Sonet but installed upside down, coincidentally SAAB was one of the brands of which agent was his neighbor SUBWAY and where also SEMSA had itsvehicles for sale. Perhaps you reuse an unsaleable stock?
- The prototype was written on the grill the Dodge brand in a very horizontal, while models wore standard 3700 GT logo shifted to the left. However, point out that it is possible that the prototype was replaced the Dodge brand for a reason with the letters SS and a small rods of different sizes on both sides of the double S. This ground is also located on the left side of the grill.
J.R Note: S.S. maybe it means Serra Sport
- The prototype had two gas caps and later models only one.
- In the prototype the doors of the roof seemed to incorporate the style of the Ford GT40 and its derivatives, but this was not the case rather than apariencia.
Nota JR: To reinforce this idea also includes a vinyl upholstered ceiling imitating a T -Top in the style of the Corvettes.
- Also on the deflector control ranged from prototype models that followed.
JR Note: The prototype has winddeflectors with control wheel(Fiat) but fixed and without handle in the Series I and rest of Boulevard.
- The prototype look a sheet elements have more-or whatever it is, something less than fiber-production copies.
- Another significant difference is the frame numbers in which we find that the prototype has been that of a Dodge, which should correspond to at least two years prior to the presentation of the car, while other units numbers are "logical" of the seventies. This can be deduced with virtual certainty that the prototype mechanical elements were taken from a copy purchased from time to study the feasibility of the design and testing. After all, to make that first unit and verify its feasibility as well serving a new mechanical components used, and the latter cost much less.
Another explanation would be that new mechanical use but which exploited the documentation-and-frame number of an old car purchased at lowest possible cost.
Subsequently, the decision taken and the mass-produced, was used to set new mechanical chassis numbers and also "new" and left for Spain as Chrysler, as stated above, the frame of these cars were "made in Serra" itself rather than Spain, although this society Chrysler's sponsorship and recognize as their own.
- Also the tires were of two types. The initials were branded Targa, excellent national tire that was supplied with enough pilots in our country and for the official team Seat. There were also models of other brand tires.
JR Note: The prototype uses French Delta-Mix wheels.The ring was riveted to fix the wheel center .After year some cars have wheel problems and were solved with balanced Targa wheels, made in Spain.
JR Note II: The first cars wear French Delta-Mix wheels,but probably due to the cost of imports were "cloned" by some local industry, and was used as a reference of wheel the code "Doje", which was the colloquial way that the spanish mechanics pronounced "Dodge".
Turning now to the description of these models say that the car was a Dodge Boulevard original line and, of course, unmistakable. Its long hood, the interior quite small, and a short trunk, gave the style of classic sports cars of large capacity, those of "long hood," but with a very own line of that time.
Except for some curves, such as wheel arches, the Dodge Boulevard was very angular lines that could be described as "hard", and certainly look manly.
The lovely instrument panel bore the Dodge Boulevard and Jaeger 3700 Dodge Bressel Veglia, while many other elements coming from various series cars manufactured at that time in Spain, so for example the arms were those of the Seat 124 Sport, while the keys inside and outside of the doors came from the Chrysler 180. The shifter had a curious knob that mimicked that of the automatic car
JR NOTE: It was a reproduction bakelite knob selector HURST Ergonomic a 4-speed manual gearbox used in Mustang Mach-1 which then had the Sr.Serra American arms and the steering wheel and drilled aluminum wood Nardi Sport Type had a central shield pale blue background that read "Serra."
In total and over two years were built 18 units including the prototype, having been a pale yellow copy designated as MM-30
JR NOTE: The name given to the press was MM-30 and so we looked at the black side strippings style Cuda Plymouth Barracuda and Dodge Challenger R / T from the early 70's with slightly different decor was mainly due to a sideband , and probably had slight changes that increased their power. This unit was painted and decorated in the style of "Muscle Cars" Americans were so popular until the oil crisis.
2 nd JR NOTE: MM-30 may mean "IMPROVED ENGINE 30 hp" hard to believe that the tweaks will give 30 hp more but it is unknown even to him.
I said Javier Rucabado that in speaking with any of the operators was surprised at the way the cars were still remembered by them as they used to describe some names referring to the fate of the car, its color, or both, and speak of them using words such as "Yes, Mallorca Dodge" or "No, that issue was to Zaragoza" or "So and so is that it was the blue Dodge." There is more customization especially if we think that these names are used thirty years after having made these copies.
The number of units planned was about forty or fifty, but industry standards to approve a car in order to enroll were already far more severe than what happened just five or six years ago, so even though Chrysler Spain accepted (which is really surprising and unusual) that these cars are Dodge considering enrolling as a variant of 3700, each registration was a major effort to resolve paperwork and more paperwork. It is significant that the first copy sold at the Salon of 1972 has not received its final registration until March-April 1973, and so each car, which also caused problems with customers who were surprised by these difficulties and were months months required to roll with temporary plates.
So, was finally chosen to leave the Boulevard project after selling the first series of chassis produced, but that is entrusted to a workshop fifty-two exhaust, or another industrial beg Him forty copies of set of cables and electrical connections that had this car, which was also the figure of forty units die a manufacturer of molds for body parts in order to pass on the cost of the molds on this figure, suggests that forty units were provided.
Then, in late 1973 also came the oil crisis helped not just to increased demand for these models were on sale until 1974.
Boulevard will be the last of the cars produced in small series by Serra.
Apart from his relationship with Serra, Liprandi, the engineer who designed the chassis of the Dodge Boulevard, took another job in Spain that was the design and development of two sports car chassis called Lynx Nevada (coupe body) and Lynx Marbella (body spider .) Lynx brand was created by Paco Sanjuán, builder of the car brand called Lynx for Formula 1430. The brand that lived in Seville.
Brought to fruition Liprandi advantage Lynx mechanics and chassis of the Simca 1000 Rallye. The only model which we are aware of its existence is the coupe, called Lynx Nevada.
Almost all of the development of this car was made in France, to the extent that the prototype presented to the press in May 1973 in the beautiful Maria Luisa Park in Seville had French tuition, specifically the 3132 YT 75.
The aim was to build a 700 (!) Yearly and also available here on the support of Chrysler Spain. There was even talk that Paco Sanjuán move his factory from Seville to Madrid, but the reality is no longer he spoke almost nothing of this car.On the other hand, the Lynx managed just F1430 performances worthy of interest since 1972, all of which made the brand to disappear quietly.