Automotive Stainless Steel: Take a Look at the Cybertruck...

If you asked somebody to name the first stainless steel car, they would most likely say the DeLorean (the DMC DeLorean, to be precise, with DMC standing for the manufacturer's name 'DeLorean Motor Company'), which spent just two years on the market from 1981 until 1983. In large part, this misconception can be attributed to the appearance of the distinctive vehicle in the 1985 blockbuster movie 'Back to the Future'.

The DMC DeLorean was the brainchild of an Italian vehicle designer named Giorgetto Giugiaro, who actually drew inspiration from one of his previous designs. This was the Porsche Tapiro, a concept car that he had designed in 1970.; this, however, is also not where the stainless-steel-car story begins. In fact, the very first stainless steel cars were built in a unique collaboration between the Ford Motor Company and the Allegheny Ludlum Steel Company four decades earlier. 

The futuristic vehicles were Ford Model 68 Deluxes and just six were built. Each year, managers at Allegheny Ludlum would reward their best-performing sales staff by loaning them one of the prized vehicles. This soon became a tradition, one which continued for a decade and saw the odometers of all six cars topping the 200,000-mile mark. Despite these vast distances, the unpainted stainless steel bodies of the vehicles kept on shining and remain so to this day. 

Fast forward about a hundred years to the present day and Elon Musk is treading the same shiny stainless path as his predecessors with the long-awaited arrival of the Tesla Cybertruck. First announced in 2019 with a confident prediction that production would be well underway by 2021, the release of the Cybertruck has been delayed multiple times due to various issues. 

Who can forget the email that Musk sent to employees as pressure for an explanation for the delays mounted? The message went viral immediately, especially the final sentence in which Musk demanded that the Cybertruck had to be 'built to sub 10-micron accuracy: if LEGO and soda cans, which are very low cost, can do this, so can we'.

Though the first deliveries of Cybertrucks to impatient customers started last month, it is believed that 'fully ramped-up production' (which is set to be around 200,000 vehicles annually) won't be achieved until 2025. 

The Cybertruck has no shortage of unique features but its definitive characteristic is its body, which is constructed from panels of cold-rolled stainless steel; these are directly bolted onto a monocoque, also crafted using steel ('monocoque' refers to a type of vehicle or aircraft design wherein the body and the chassis are an integral unit). 

Upcoming editions of the BS Stainless blog will be looking in more detail at the Tesla Cybertruck; make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter so you don't miss out! In the meantime, please browse our website to find out more about stainless steel products and how they are used in the automotive and transportation industries

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