They say “necessity is the mother of all invention”. Some of the best inventions are thanks to committed enthusiasts who not only see a need, but also know the profits and the pitfalls surrounding it well enough to devise a way to fulfill it.
Some of the best solutions come about because enthusiastic folks feel the same burdens as others who share the same interests as themselves. They devise the best solutions, because they have the same concerns as the rest of those facing a similar problem.
Carl Zander has been into Corvettes since he purchased his first one in 1964, and has been restoring Corvettes since 1976. He currently owns a 1966 and 1967 big-block midyear (one coupe, one convertible) and a 1990 C4 ZR-1. He has been a National Corvette Restorer’s Society member since 1988 and is a 200-point level Master Judge. He is also a founding member of the ZR-1 Net Registry and is a member and contributor to the National Corvette Museum. He is also a Bloomington Gold National Corvette Certification Board (NCCB) judge and has served on several Bloomington Gold Corvette workshops.
Carl’s passion for Corvettes is evident, and he can truly comprehend the depth of the saying, “They’re only original once!” Case in point, are those states that require a front license plate. Who wants to drill holes in the front fascia of their Corvette to affix a state-required metal plate? Until folks in big, white-domed buildings decide a front plate isn’t important within their state lines, not having one can surely cost you. Having to drill holes to satisfy the .gov only adds insult to injury.
Carl and his company, Man Machine Interface, Inc. (440) 871-6496, have solved the drilling issue by offering the patented Aero-Plate front license plate mounting bracket for the C6 Corvette and 5th-generation Camaro. The Aero-Plate is CNC-machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum and comes in polished or black anodized finishes.
The Aero-Plate attaches using existing screw locations, so no drilling is necessary. The plate can be mounted in the “plate up” or “plate down” position (C6 Z06 and Grand Sport mounts in the plate up position only). The Aero-Plate is available through Zip Corvette, and many other Corvette specialty retailers.
A Riveting Solution
Carl also invented and patented the Aero-Rivet-II tool, which replicates many of the OEM-style rivet joints found throughout several areas on 1953-1982 Corvettes. The tool allows precise, factory-equivalent setting of steel, aluminum, and brass tubular and semi-tubular rivets used on classic Corvettes, such as those used on air vent doors, rebound straps, window channels, vent windows, heater boxes and ignition shielding ground straps, without damaging the material being riveted.
For over sixty six years, Corvette has been America’s world-renowned sports car. But, it is really about the people who own, drive, race, restore and love them. These are our customers, supporters and friends. Without their support, Man Machine Interface’s 40th anniversary would not have been possible. We at MMI send out to all, a heart-felt “Thank You”. – Carl Zander, Man Machine Interface, Inc.
The tool is CNC machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum and uses high-grade 4140 hardened steel components for greater durability and longer tool life. Its overall size is 4” x 3.5” with a 2” wide by 2.5” deep throat opening. It is supplied with three depth adjustable bases, one each for truss-head and flat-head rivets, and one for setting small rivets; and four interchangeable drive bolt tips, one each for setting large and small rivets and one each for truss head and flat head rivets.
Understanding the various rivet scenarios used in these early Corvettes has helped Carl and his company continue serving the needs of restorers and shop technicians for 40 years. And, even though the Aero-Plate is a relatively new addition to the Man Machine Interface family, it shows that Carl and company are still looking at ways to help fellow enthusiasts enjoy their cars the best way possible.
Congratulations to Carl and company at Man Machine Interface Inc. for this milestone, and may they continue to enjoy their cars, as well as help fellow enthusiasts enjoy their own for decades to come!