The combination of GM’s Jim Musser and Jim Hall proved to be one of the most potent combinations in autosport ever, counterbalancing the equally potent combination of Ford and Carroll Shelby. Together, Hall and Musser, along with their teams of brilliant engineers and technicians, produced some of the most famous racecars ever: the Chaparrals. In addition, one of the reasons today’s racers and tire companies know so much about the behavior of tires under the stresses of cornering can perhaps be traced to the landmark work GM, Musser and Hall did on the subject at the famous Rattlesnake Raceway in Midland, Texas. Born in Pennsylvania and educated in mechanical engineering at the Penn State engineering school, Jim Musser possessed an intuitive interest in what made things work. He entered the GM Tech Center just a couple of days after his June 1957 graduation, and ended up in the Chevrolet Research and Development Department as the result of an interview with Frank Winchell, head of the laboratory. There he created the Corvair Monza coupe, the first monocoque-bodied car General Motors ever made, and went on to work with Jim Hall and his Chaparral team to study various aspects of vehicle dynamics. VR Contributing Editor John Wright recently caught up with Musser at his engineering company in Almont, Michigan.
So Jim, to recap, please tell me again where you took your degree in engineering.
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