The Signature Series: Overview - Chevy SSR Forum
 
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The Signature Series: Overview

The Signature Series

(The following is the Foreward found in all Signature Series SSR scrapbooks.)
The birth of the Chevy SSR was made possible through the passion, long hours and sleepless nights of a small group of deicated designers, sculptors, engineers and expert craftsman who created a true original. Their efforts fueled an enthusiasm that became contagous throughout the design process and ultimately grew to include hundreds of talented people form General Motors and its supplier community.

For many, there's an aura about SSR that triggers spontaneous acts of genuine excitement. Ask anyone who witnessed the reaction by the Corporate Leadership Team as SSR was revealed for the first time. The response was immediate and the message was unmistakeable. People connect with the SSR and that's what makes the vehicle special.

The connection to SSR has been felt across the entire spectrum of involvement, from development and execution to production and marketing. An example of this connection involved the GM Design Prototype Shop, just before the SSR took the stage for its debut at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Working right up until showtime, the team chose to use a micro-mesh sandpaper, as soft as cashmere, to give their SSR the ultimate exterior finish. To them, it was the crowning touch for a special vehicle that required that something extra. That's how strongly people connect with SSR.

The SSR has already been featured on 14 magazine covers, and has sold more than 350,000 scale models prior to its production release. The impact of Chevy SSR has been sensational and it's expected to only get better.

Chevy SSR joins a growing list of "gotta have products" that have ignited a new energy at General Motors. No matter the level of involvement, the SSR has struck a chord with nearly everyone associated with its creation. We hope that you enjoy the same energy and enthusiasm in your ownership experience as you become part of a unique chapter in automotive history.

Enjoy the ride.

Wayne Cherry
Vice President, GM Corporation, Design
May 2003

____________________________________________________________________________________
Unique Marketing Program--Exclusive Product Offering
To commemorate the production launch of the SSR, Chevrolet created a program as unique at the vehicle itself -- The SSR Signature Series.

Both a marketing program and an exclusive Chevrolet product offering, the Signature Series is comprised of the first 25 saleable SSRs. These Signature Series vehicles are identical in design and (as a package) feature content not available on any other 2003 model year SSR. In addition to their unique Ultra Violet color (later to become a publicly available, one year only paint choice in model year 2004), each vehicle is adorned with Signature Series badging, including a special badge on the "waterfall" interior panel that carries the engraved signatures of two or more team members who were instrumental in the development of the SSR program. These individuals include a range of designers, marketers and engineers, as well as select UAW members who actually had a hand in building the SSR.

Essentially hand built vehicles, the first Signature Series SSRs were assembled at ASC Incorporated's engineering facility in Oak Park, Michigan beginning in December, 2002. Assembly of the remaining 20 occured through May, 2003 at the Lansing Craft Centre (Lansing, Michigan) where all other production SSRs began their lives. The Signatures carry vehicle identification numbers (VINs) ending with numerals 000001 through 000025.
A note on vehicle identification numbers (VINs) for model year 2003:

Their are two distinct differences in VINs between the Signature Series SSRs and regular production (non-Signature Series) units. First, all Signature Series SSRs were built with a unique Regular Production Option (RPO) code--WB9. The 6th character in the VIN is a "6" for all vehicles built with WB9, and a "1" for those built without RPO WB9.

The second difference is the 12th character. All Signature Series SSRs have a "0" as the 12th character in their VIN, all non-Signature Series units have a "1" in this position.

So, while the Signature Series SSRs were the first 25 saleable units produced, non-Signature Series units with VINs 100001 through 100025 also exist and were built in model year 2003. However, none were built with RPO WB9 as VIN detail reveals.

Example:
  • VIN 1GCES64P63B000023 - Denotes 2003 Signature Series SSR #23
  • VIN 1GCES14P93B100023 - Denotes 2003 regular production (non-Signature Series) SSR #23
Clear as mud? Feel free to send a private message to the Moderator of the Heritage Center by clicking here if you have further questions.
The Signatures Series SSRs were used in a wide variety of high-profile activities around the country throughout the 2003 calendar year. Many were part of themed events created specifically around the SSR.

..
Signatures in use at the 2003 Indy 500.

During their use, representatives of Chevrolet collected memorabilia, photographs, autographs, news coverage and other keepsakes that documented the vehicle’s use. These collectibles helped create a history specific to each Signature Series SSR, and were placed in a special scrapbook and custom-designed metal “pedigree” box that was provided with the vehicle when it was ultimately purchased at GM sponsored car auctions.


Unique Content

All 25 of the Chevy SSR Signature Series vehicles were produced identical in appearance and content. In addition, they featured content that was not available on any other ’03 model year SSR:
  • Ultra Violet paint
  • A Signature Series badge on the “waterfall” interior panel between the bucket seat uppers. Each chromed badge is numbered and “signed” by at least two GM or supplier team members directly associated with the SSR program
  • Silver stitching on the black leather-wrapped steering wheel and seats
  • Addition of the SSR logo on the vehicle’s VIN plate
  • Signature Series badging on the tailgate
  • Body-color engine cover with silver insert and billet aluminum strips
Twenty-Three Auctoned at Program Completion

VIN #1 was be retained by General Motors as part of its Heritage Collection. VIN #2 was donated by GM to the
SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Foundation who used the vehicle as a fundraiser for its Heinz C. Prechter Scholarship for Automotive Excellence. When that auction closed on May 5, 2003, the winning bid was $137,850.

Kruse International was selected by Chevrolet to offer 18 of the Signature Series SSRs (VINs #3 - #20) through eight of its collector car public auctions beginning on August 30, 2003.

In addition, Chevrolet auctioned one Signature Series SSR through a GM-sponsored dealer auction in each of the division's five U.S. sales regions. Following completion of the program, Chevrolet donated a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these 23 vehicles to multiple charitable organizations.


Related Theads on SSRFanatic.com

2002-12-04: Chevy Announces SSR Signature Series

2003-01-08: Press Release - First Production Chevy SSR To Appear At Detroit Auto Show

2003-03-04: Signature Series Announced

2003-03-26: Press Release - Chevy SSR 'Signature Series' - Program Updates Add Flare To Pedigrees

2003-03-26: Press Release - Chevy's SSR Ready To Pace 2003 Indy 500

2003-07-09: Press Release - Winning eBay Bidder Takes Delivery Of Chevy SSR #2

2003-08-25: Press Release - Auction Plans Announced For Chevy SSR 'Signature Series' Vehicles

2003-10-25: Press Release - Chevy & GM To Auction Five Unique SSR Signature Series Vehicles

2007-02-13: Signature series

2010-03-29: Motor Trend TV - SSR Review from 2003


Urban Legend of The Gibson Guitar

One common misconception about the Signature Series SSRs is that each came with a Gibson guitar. Only Signature #12 had a custom Gibson guitar produced for it (complete with matching VIN). While some copies of the guitar have been produced by public admirers, the one and only guitar accompanied #12 when it was sold at auction, and remains with the truck and its proud owner today.

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