Dave and I stopped by our 7931 East Pecos Street location to check on the construction status recently. As we drove near the building, I looked out East of Ellsworth Road, to see the skeletal remains of the now closed GM Proving Grounds stretching for miles.
Established in 1953 east of Phoenix, the desert facility was used by all GM divisions running tests on HVAC, propulsion, and competitive testing of various systems in our harsh climate. It was closed in 2009, and is slowly converting to housing. Some of the fencing and high berms still remain on the southwest end, along with the GM muscle car ghosts that still haunt that hallowed ground. Looking at GM’s archives on their heritage center website, they share videos of three generations of prototype Firebirds (1954, 1956, 1958) with the Superstition Mountains looming in the distance.
Most of GM’s muscle car influence rolled through garages and test tracks at this location. The 1953 Corvette, Rochester fuel injection, Pontiac Ram Air IV, Posi-traction, Muncie transmissions, 12-bolt rear axles, Buick turbocharged V-6, and ZR1 all put through their paces on the GM Proving Grounds.
As we push forward with our moving and expansion of Superstition Specialty Cars, knowing that we will be in the shadow of the very location where this awesome hobby got its start is very cool.