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Vic Elford and the 'Vacuum Cleaner' Can-Am Chaparral 2J


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#1 DOF_power

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 08:58

A very interesting piece of reading:



Vic Elford And The Vacuum Cleaner
© Andrew S. Hartwell
link



Among the many legends of motor racing there stands two men, working on opposite sides of the Atlantic ocean, who brought innovation to the race track time and again. In Europe, that man was Colin Chapman. His work with the Lotus Grand Prix cars saw radical changes with each new season and his cars were successfully campaigned by such legendary drivers as Jimmy Clark and Graham Hill.

On the American side of the ocean, a tall Texas oilman and student of engineering by the name of Jim Hall was also bringing some innovative and radical thinking to the sportscar scene. His Chaparral creations were the first to introduce effectively designed air dams and spoilers ranging from the tabs attached to the earliest 2C model to the driver-controlled high wing 'flipper' on the astoundingly different looking 2E, all the way through to his most idealistically inspired creation, the 2J. This is the car that would forever be known as the 'vacuum cleaner'.

Introduced in 1970, making its race debut at the Watkins Glen Can-Am race at the hands of world champion Jackie Stewart, the 2J had no precedent to compare it to. It was an angular car at the front and just a big box at the back. And the back was a place that housed two large 17-inch fans driven by a JLO - Rockwell 45 hp snowmobile engine. The fans purpose was to literally 'suck' the air from under the car and shoot it out the back. They acted like reverse fans pulling air through and then out, thus giving the car amazing grip.
...
.
.

...
What put an end to the 2J?
[Vic Elford] "The one single guy who really killed the technology of the 2J was Teddy Mayer, the team boss at McLaren - and a lawyer in the bargain. The Can-Am had been exclusively the property of the McLaren for what, three years or so, and so he could see all the money going away and so basically he killed it. And I think the SCCA was weak in not standing up to him really."

If it hadn't been banned? "Everybody would have followed suit, at least in Can-Am.
...
.

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#2 Tony Matthews

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:18

Here we go again...

#3 DOF_power

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:29

>
^ Go where ?!

Showcasing that the supposed sacrosanct garagistes went all political and banned their opposition ?!

That's nothing new. Why can't some biased fan-boys accept this is beyond me.

#4 David McKinney

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:38

I'm sure everyone accepts it's beyond you, DOF :lol:

#5 Tony Matthews

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:41

Originally posted by David McKinney
I'm sure everyone accepts it's beyond you, DOF :lol:


David, if, as Doug suspects, he's posting from the US of A it's way past his bedtime. 'Fractious' springs to mind...

#6 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:52

It's not Waldo in disguise is it? We mustn't appear to be too dismissive of new blood, but I really don't think TNF is normally a dismissive place. Perhaps it's all to do with how one initially presents oneself... :smoking:

CND

#7 David Lawson

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:53

Anyway, getting back to why F1 was better in the 1970s....

David

#8 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:55

:clap:

Cue thread title change????

DCN

PS - Ooh-err just noticed the other thread covering much this same ground. Sorry pardon. Back to the '70s indeed then? For me they weren't as charming as the '60s, but that's the age thing again I guess - as would be the '50s for those who grew up in racing through that decade. However, it's interesting to recall just how much generally seems to have come to a juddering, smoking, halt in the beknighted '80s, isn't it?

#9 Duc-Man

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:15

Well I haven't experienced formula one in the seventies 'on location' because i was a little kid. But since the mid-80ies I've been to lots of hillclimbs in the area. Going through the 'paddock' (which is mostly a sportsfield or a car-park or something similar) and see opponents talk with each other or helping each other fixing the racecar is what gave racing this human touch it even had back in the day in F1 as well.
It was competition and at the same time it was one big family.
What destroyed the innocence at the end of the seventies was the money...the big money.
Technology exploded and got really expensive. > Somebody had to pay for it. > Competition gets stronger and the presure gets higher to get better (or richer) sponsors. > Everything that brings even the smallest advantage has to kept secret....and so on and so on.

Money corrupts

#10 DOF_power

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:56

Originally posted by Duc-Man
Well I haven't experienced formula one in the seventies 'on location' because i was a little kid. But since the mid-80ies I've been to lots of hillclimbs in the area. Going through the 'paddock' (which is mostly a sportsfield or a car-park or something similar) and see opponents talk with each other or helping each other fixing the racecar is what gave racing this human touch it even had back in the day in F1 as well.
It was competition and at the same time it was one big family.
What destroyed the innocence at the end of the seventies was the money...the big money.
Technology exploded and got really expensive. > Somebody had to pay for it. > Competition gets stronger and the presure gets higher to get better (or richer) sponsors. > Everything that brings even the smallest advantage has to kept secret....and so on and so on.

Money corrupts




It's true that money corrupts, but I would also add power corrupts too. The FIA/FISA-FOCA (Balestre-Ecclestone) war was both about money and power.

As to costs, it all happened before. In the late 20s costs got so high that Grand Prix (with it's World Constructor Championship) racing died and till 1934 it was Formula Libre.

Then in the 30s the costs went up again and in some races their where fielding voiturretes to increase the field.
In the 50s, the MB silver arrows and Vanwalls where made with huge costs, and many teams withdrew, again needing F2 cars to increase the numbers.

The garagistes simply arrived to the same outcome/natural conclusion in the 80s.

The futile attempts to contain the contain the costs/level the playing field/increase the quality of racing simply destroyed innovation making costs spiral even more.

Racing was conceived in the late 19th century to accelerate the development and promote of the automobile, of the automotive industry.
Racing improves the breed, race on Sunday sell on Monday, is what TRUE RACING it's all about.

To return to true racing, the rules must be opened, the spec charity killed, no bailouts should handled, and all the necessary sacrifices must be made.

If that means sacrificing drivers (I don't mean their lives), teams, their fans, then so be it ; run GP2s and/or Formula Nippons to make up the numbers if necessary.

#11 TFBundy

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 11:41

Originally posted by DOF_power
>
^ Go where ?!

Showcasing that the supposed sacrosanct garagistes went all political and banned their opposition ?!

That's nothing new. Why can't some biased fan-boys accept this is beyond me.



I've always really liked the 2J. Does that make me a biased fan-boy?

#12 David McKinney

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:09

Originally posted by DOF_power
In the late 20s costs got so high that Grand Prix (with it's World Constructor Championship) racing died

Patent nonsense :mad:

#13 DOF_power

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 14:00

Originally posted by David McKinney

Patent nonsense :mad:




It's true they ran to Formulae Libre from 1928 till 34.
In

1925 First World Championship for manufacturers was held in 1925 and set up annually until 1930. Only the first three took place, the others failed AIACR approval because of rules noncompliance. Following WW I, German cars and drivers were excluded from GP racing in France, Belgium and England. In May 1925, the German Automobile Club was re-admitted into the A.I.A.C.R. and in November 1925, also into the CSI.



1928 Formula Libre; no engine capacity limit; car weights between 550 and 750kg - 1212 and 1653 lb. Minimum race distance 600 km - 372 mi (only used for Italian Grand Pix).

1928-1929 Some manufacturers lost interest and withdrew, reducing the glamour of grand prix racing. The formula was unpopular and some races were held for sports cars. Bugatti and Maserati sold grand prix racing cars.
(The World Championship for Constructors was essentially dead.)

1929
Formula Libre; minimum car weight raised to 900 kg - 1980 lb. Commercial fuel now mandatory with a consumption limit of 14 kg fuel and oil per 100 km - 14.5 mpg (only used at French and Spanish Grand Prix). Two-seater body with minimum body width of 100 cm - 39.3 in. Minimum race distance 600 km - 373 mi. Two mechanics in addition to the driver(s) allowed to assist at pit stops.

1930
Formula Libre as in 1929; except amended fuel consumption formula permitting up to 30% benzol mixed with commercial fuel. (Only used for the European Grand Prix in Spa, which was not even run at required minimum distance. Minimum engine capacity of 1.1-liter; minimum race distance 600 km - 372 mi.

1931
Formula Libre, except Grandes Épreuves counting towards the European Championship (Italian, French and Belgian Grand Prix) to last ten hours. Two drivers per car assigned for 10-hour races.


1931- First European Championship for drivers held, devised from 1931 to 1932 and revived from 1935 to 1939.

1932
Formula Libre but the Grandes Épreuves to last now between five and ten hours.
Two-seater body with minimum width of 100 cm; single-seat (monoposto) bodies allowed as of 1932.

1933
Formula Libre but the Grandes Épreuves to last now at least 500 km - 312 mi.


1934-1936 (return or true Grand Prix racing)
750 kg formula, maximum dry weight of 750 kg - 1653 lb (excluding water, fuel, oil and tires). Free choice of fuels. Minimum race distance of 500 km - 312 mi; minimum body width 85 cm.




About the World Championship:


The Rules
had been formulated by the Automobile Club of Italy [3] to enable the world's championship of motor racing to be decided each year. In January 1925, the CSI (Commission Sportive Internationale) of the AIACR met in Paris and discussed a future World Championship. [5] Present at the meeting were: Chevalier René de Knyff (France), also representatives of the Automobile Clubs of Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, Austria and America. Initially the AIACR had sanctioned an International 500 Miles event in Great Britain [7] but the authorities of the Brooklands track cancelled it owing to impending litigation on the subject of noise emanating from the track. In early February, the institution of a World Championship was announced [6] [27] on recommendation by the Automobile Club d'Italia. The proposed draft of the Automobile World Championship rules by Arturo Mercanti (Italy) was approved [4] with slight alterations, such as the exclusion of, the Grand Prix of Spain. [6] The only relevant races were now the Grands Prix of Indianapolis, Europe, France and Italy, from which the competitors had to choose the three or two races that they wanted to contest. [6][12] None of the above mentioned contests would be declared as obligatory, with the exception of the Italian Grand Prix, at which all contestants for the World Championship had to take part. [6] The Grand Prix of Italy had been declared mandatory in appreciation of the services, which the Italian Automobile Club had provided towards the creation of the World Championship for the year 1925. [27] During talks at the CSI meeting in February, it was also decided to exclude German contestants from participation of the Automobile World Championship, since Germany had not yet been granted admission in the AIACR. [8] The AIACR gave approval to the Italian draft and the CSI hastened to regularize the formal rules.

# The World Championship was for manufacturers, not for drivers.
# 2-liter formula; maximum engine capacity of 2000 cc - 122 cubic inch.
# Minimum unladen weight 650 kg - 1433 lb. Minimum body width 80 cm - 31.5 inch.
# Riding mechanic barred but driving mirror was for the first time obligatory as was the empty mechanic's seat.
# The series consisted of four races of at least 800 km in length: Indianapolis 500, European Grand Prix (Spa),
French Grand Prix and Italian Grand Prix.
# Italian Grand Prix participation was mandatory; non-compliance would exclude entrant from the Championship.
# Participation in the manufacturers national Grand Prix was mandatory, non-compliance would cause ineligibility.
# Manufacturers were awarded points in only three races of their selection but did not have to compete in all three
selected races.
# Only the lowest point score earned by one of its cars would count in each race contested.
# In case of a tie at the end of the Italian Grand Prix, an extra 200-km race on the Monza race track would be
staged within 48 hours after the Italian Grand Prix for the same vehicles to produce a final decision. [27]
# The manufacturer with the lowest points total would be awarded the Championship and would receive 70,000 FF
cash in prize money and a 30,000 FF trophy.
# Points Score: 1 point = first place
2 points = second place
3 points = third place
4 points = all other finishers (who completed the total distance of 800+ km).
5 points = non finishers (who completed less than the total distance of 800+ km).
6 points = non starters



http://www.kolumbus....ellman/gpw5.htm
http://en.wikipedia....27_Championship

#14 David McKinney

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 15:41

I was not disputing the fact that Formule Libre was in force in that period, nor that the WC was longer organised

As you yourself have now spelled out (redundantly), Grand Prix racing continued without a break. This is a complete reversal of your earlier statement

#15 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 16:08

Blimey, that's got to be a record - went off-thread at the second posting and never came back.

#16 MPea3

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 16:10

How many races did the 2J run? I saw it at Road Atlanta and although it was on pole, it really had nothing to compete with the McLarens in the race, with Hulme disappearing off into the distance before everyone broke down and Tony Dean went on to victory. While it was a fun piece of engineering and a fascinating concept, was there any real indication that it was going to be the downfall of McLaren?

Mister Elford is a member here, is it possible to get his input into the whole mess? Politics, misquotes, things taken out of context, hard feelings and the perspective of 40 years can certainly change things, it might be good to hear what he thinks now.

#17 PeterElleray

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 17:30

Originally posted by MPea3
How many races did the 2J run? I saw it at Road Atlanta and although it was on pole, it really had nothing to compete with the McLarens in the race, with Hulme disappearing off into the distance before everyone broke down and Tony Dean went on to victory. While it was a fun piece of engineering and a fascinating concept, was there any real indication that it was going to be the downfall of McLaren?

Mister Elford is a member here, is it possible to get his input into the whole mess? Politics, misquotes, things taken out of context, hard feelings and the perspective of 40 years can certainly change things, it might be good to hear what he thinks now.


Good Post - A nice reappraisal. It makes you groan when an off the cuff remark from one driver (where. when?) is recycled to make fact out of conjecture... I dont want to start a war with Quick Vic - if he's looking - but, to paraphrase a rather more British fracas, from a few years before, "he would say that wouldn't he..."

Completely off topic, but relevant, there's a parallel with the six wheel tyrrell - to my mind there were three possible outcomes of making that car ; 1) it was quicker than every other car. then everyone would have needed to make one. and it would have been banned. 2)it was slower than every other car. in that case it would have been binned., and 3) it was competitive, some of the time. thats excatly what happened - and so it wasnt worth the hassle. And with that logic, other than the engineering stimulus it created, it was a dead end. I think the 2J falls into the same category.

peter

#18 alansart

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 17:44

Originally posted by PeterElleray


Good Post - A nice reappraisal. It makes you groan when an off the cuff remark from one driver (where. when?) is recycled to make fact out of conjecture... I dont want to start a war with Quick Vic - if he's looking - but, to paraphrase a rather more British fracas, from a few years before, "he would say that wouldn't he..."

Completely off topic, but relevant, there's a parallel with the six wheel tyrrell - to my mind there were three possible outcomes of making that car ; 1) it was quicker than every other car. then everyone would have needed to make one. and it would have been banned. 2)it was slower than every other car. in that case it would have been binned., and 3) it was competitive, some of the time. thats excatly what happened - and so it wasnt worth the hassle. And with that logic, other than the engineering stimulus it created, it was a dead end. I think the 2J falls into the same category.

peter


It may have been a dead end, but it was an early version of Ground Effects. OK it did rely on fans (Like the F1 Brabham) but it did, in it's own way, point others into a similar direction. Was the 2J the first car to have skirts?

#19 MPea3

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 18:00

Originally posted by alansart


It may have been a dead end, but it was an early version of Ground Effects. OK it did rely on fans (Like the F1 Brabham) but it did, in it's own way, point others into a similar direction. Was the 2J the first car to have skirts?


No, plenty of women raced before then.

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#20 red stick

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 18:03

:D

#21 alansart

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 18:04

Originally posted by MPea3


No, plenty of women raced before then.


But were there skirts made out of Lexan :)

#22 DOF_power

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 18:05

Originally posted by David McKinney
I was not disputing the fact that Formule Libre was in force in that period, nor that the WC was longer organised

As you yourself have now spelled out (redundantly), Grand Prix racing continued without a break. This is a complete reversal of your earlier statement




Real/true Grand Prix racing a.k.a. formulae GP racing did not take part from 28 to 34.
They where giving Grand Prix titles to races center, left and right, but no true GP racing took part.

#23 PeterElleray

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 18:19

Originally posted by alansart


It may have been a dead end, but it was an early version of Ground Effects. OK it did rely on fans (Like the F1 Brabham) but it did, in it's own way, point others into a similar direction. Was the 2J the first car to have skirts?


Yes - it was, i wasnt belittling it, only pointing out that imho it could only ever be a dead end..

#24 rl1856

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 18:25

Originally posted by alansart


It may have been a dead end, but it was an early version of Ground Effects. OK it did rely on fans (Like the F1 Brabham) but it did, in it's own way, point others into a similar direction. Was the 2J the first car to have skirts?


When the 2J ran it was demonstrably faster than any other car. It's problem was reliability of the suction engine, fans, associated gearing and then splintering of the lexan skirts. Everyone understood that when the problems were overcome, it would win all of the races, forceing everyone else to build their own version.

Similar to what happened when Porsche introduced the 917/10 then 917/30. Once they were reliable, they won everything and choked off competition.

Best,

Ross

#25 Rosemayer

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 18:35

Originally posted by Duc-Man
Well I haven't experienced formula one in the seventies 'on location' because i was a little kid. But since the mid-80ies I've been to lots of hillclimbs in the area. Going through the 'paddock' (which is mostly a sportsfield or a car-park or something similar) and see opponents talk with each other or helping each other fixing the racecar is what gave racing this human touch it even had back in the day in F1 as well.
It was competition and at the same time it was one big family.
What destroyed the innocence at the end of the seventies was the money...the big money.
Technology exploded and got really expensive. > Somebody had to pay for it. > Competition gets stronger and the presure gets higher to get better (or richer) sponsors. > Everything that brings even the smallest advantage has to kept secret....and so on and so on.

Money corrupts


I all actually started in 1968 when advertising was allowed to be put on cars changing F One from gentleman racers to a bunch of money grubbing Businessmen.

#26 alansart

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 18:36

Originally posted by rl1856


When the 2J ran it was demonstrably faster than any other car. It's problem was reliability of the suction engine, fans, associated gearing and then splintering of the lexan skirts. Everyone understood that when the problems were overcome, it would win all of the races, forceing everyone else to build their own version.

Similar to what happened when Porsche introduced the 917/10 then 917/30. Once they were reliable, they won everything and choked off competition.

Best,

Ross


Did the 2J have a 3 speed Gearbox?

#27 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 19:43

DELETED

Within the context of 1970 CanAm racing Teddy (and the other entrants who supported him) was merely doing what any responsible team principal would do to protect the best interests of his team, his people and his sponsors. Equally, Jim was doing his darndest to do the same, having just - with typical ingenuity - driven a coach and horses through (or around) the regulations. Jim lost - in just the way that Colin Chapman would lose with the Lotus 88, or Ferrari with the moveable floor, or, or, or...

Amongst hyper-competitive people few holds are barred. There's nothing especially new, unappreciated, hitherto unreported or previously un-analysed here. Move along?

DELETED.

DCN

PS - And it's 'FORMULE' Libre, not &^%$£@ing 'Formula'.

#28 PeterElleray

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 20:00

well said Doug .

Peter

#29 PCC

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 20:04

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Within the context of 1970 CanAm racing Teddy (and the other entrants who supported him) was merely doing what any responsible team principal would do to protect the best interests of his team, his people and his sponsors. Equally, Jim was doing his darndest to do the same, having just - with typical ingenuity - driven a coach and horses through (or around) the regulations.

In fact, the same time-honoured defence of self-interest is unfolding today and tomorrow in the International Court of Appeal. And now - as in 1970 - it is the FIA making the decision, not rival team managers.

#30 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 20:11

Originally posted by Doug Nye


Within the context of 1970 CanAm racing Teddy (and the other entrants who supported him) was merely doing what any responsible team principal would do to protect the best interests of his team, his people and his sponsors. Equally, Jim was doing his darndest to do the same, having just - with typical ingenuity - driven a coach and horses through (or around) the regulations. Jim lost - in just the way that Colin Chapman would lose with the Lotus 88, or Ferrari with the moveable floor, or, or, or...


Precisely! Absolutely bang on.

NB

#31 DOF_power

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 21:44

Originally posted by Doug Nye
The awful product of just a cursory trawl around the Internet seems to have returned to the lectern... Do the words granny, eggs and suck seem appropriate, once more?

Within the context of 1970 CanAm racing Teddy (and the other entrants who supported him) was merely doing what any responsible team principal would do to protect the best interests of his team, his people and his sponsors. Equally, Jim was doing his darndest to do the same, having just - with typical ingenuity - driven a coach and horses through (or around) the regulations. Jim lost - in just the way that Colin Chapman would lose with the Lotus 88, or Ferrari with the moveable floor, or, or, or...

Amongst hyper-competitive people few holds are barred. There's nothing especially new, unappreciated, hitherto unreported or previously un-analysed here. Move along?

And might a TNF Prix Citron (err, that's 'Lemon', not a French car manufacturer) perhaps prove to be a suitable award for a loudly expressed yet plainly inadequate grasp of otherwise familiar history? Just a thought.

DCN

PS - And it's 'FORMULE' Libre, not &^%$£@ing 'Formula'.




To me that just how true racing died. Those things should not have been banned.
I thought it was Formula, I've never read the formule word, just formula and formulae.
We need true racing, not ban-this-restrict-that nonsense.

#32 David McKinney

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 21:48

Originally posted by DOF_power
Real/true Grand Prix racing a.k.a. formulae GP racing did not take part from 28 to 34.
They where giving Grand Prix titles to races center, left and right, but no true GP racing took part.

You're perfectly entitled to have your own definition of what constitutes a Grand Prix, but it's not one many people share

#33 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 23:14

Hall was a greater innovator that Chapman.

Discuss....

:smoking:

#34 PeterElleray

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 23:40

Originally posted by Jack-the-Lad
Hall was a greater innovator that Chapman.

Discuss....

:smoking:


good one - so perhaps you could set the ball rolling with your own thoughts to support the proposition.....

#35 JacnGille

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 00:24

Originally posted by Jack-the-Lad
Hall was a greater innovator that Chapman.

Discuss....

:smoking:


Well, Jim was certainly taller that Colin. :cool:

#36 kayemod

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 07:48

Originally posted by Jack-the-Lad
Hall was a greater innovator that Chapman.

Discuss....

:smoking:




Can't really comment on Jim Hall, but what impressed me most about Chapman was his vision and grasp of ideas that would work and those that wouldn't. He could look at what you were doing and sum up in an instant what you were doing right, and where you were going wrong, certainly by far the best intuitive engineer I ever worked with. He went off on occasional flights of fancy, but his strike rate was pretty impressive compared to most of his opposition. My understanding of Jim's work comes from books, but as the field he was working in was far narrower, no F1, F2, F3, no production cars, and no boats, it's hard to compare them. I've always regarded Chapman as something of an Escoffier or Bocuse, whereas Hall struck me as a bit Heston Blumenthal, indisputedly clever and innovative, but a much less broad talent. I hope no-one regards that as being unfair to Jim though.

#37 DOF_power

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 08:15

Originally posted by Doug Nye


Good for you, mate. That's more like it. It would (briefly) be nice. But the truth is simply that it doesn't happen that way.

Right now Formula 1 - sorry 'One' - is in grave danger of truly destroying itself simply because its rule book has become too thick, too all-embracing, its print far too small, and the rule-making lunatics have been allowed (indeed encouraged) to run the asylum. Without some of them, however, motor racing would probably have gone the way of multi-wheeled, semi-silent gas turbine cars, out-performing all available circuits until too many spectators had died to keep us insulated from politicians who would have banned all that we admire, and enjoy.

DCN




The turbine AWD cars weren't effective in GP racing/road courses as Chapman found out.
Ofcourse today there's active (differential) AWD systems witch coupled to (advanced) active suspensions

To protect people from getting killed it's very simple, take the DARPA Challenge root. Meaning cars with no drivers and no spectator enclosed tracks.

If racing was to die from politician's interference, so be it IMO, better for racing to have died honorably, pushing the boundaries of technology due to the most cut throat competition possible, then to descend in spec crap racertainment mediocrity.

Death is preferable to bliss mediocrity/hyper-restricted spec crap.

#38 Tony Matthews

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:30

Originally posted by DOF_power
Death is preferable to bliss mediocrity/hyper-restricted spec crap.


Death is certainly almost preferable to your posts. You obviously have no interest in Motor Sport as I, and, I suspect, most other enthusiasts, see it. It is competition betweeen people, whether designers and engineers or mechanics and drivers. Of course there are rules and restrictions, all sports have them, and there are times when they fail to provide what enthusiasts want, which is innovation, great-looking and sounding cars, spectacle and close competition on the track. Sometimes the rule-makers get it right, in my opinion this is not one of those times.

If you look at other sports, how about the 'skins' in swimming? They give a great advantage to those favoured by the manufacturers, then filter down to those that can afford them, then are universally available. To what end? A brief supremacy for a select group, then a general raising of standards followed by a level playing field and a slew of World record times. So what? What about pole-vaulting? Do you think the heights achieved now are remotely attainable by vaulters using pre-carbon, rigid poles? Does it make the competition better? I don't think so.

Quite what you expect from mechanical engineers I'm not sure, but an engineer from the only period you seem to have an interest in would not be amazed to see what is done nowadays. Nearly all the major innovations are decades old, if not a century or more, it is only detail design, material availability and manufacturing processes that have enabled the specific power outputs to soar and chassis to be so light yet strong.

You say "The turbine AWD cars weren't effective in GP racing/road courses as Chapman found out." Well, yes, at that time. You make it sound as though it means they never would be. Peter Wright wrote a very interesting feature for, I think, Racecar Engineering magazine, about how such a vehicle could be made to work. If so, and the rules allowed, we could see almost silent cars with phenominal cornering speeds infront of empty stands. Thanks, but no thanks.

#39 fines

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:11

I believe you both have no idea how well the original Lotus 56 went on road circuits! It was VERY difficult to control, yes, but that is something which practice would have corrected, eventually, but these things were extremely fast: iirc, Graham Hill was fastest in practice at Mosport before he crashed, and Leonard qualified 3rd at Riverside.

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#40 Tony Matthews

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:57

Originally posted by fines
I believe you both have no idea how well the original Lotus 56 went on road circuits! It was VERY difficult to control, yes, but that is something which practice would have corrected, eventually, but these things were extremely fast: iirc, Graham Hill was fastest in practice at Mosport before he crashed, and Leonard qualified 3rd at Riverside.


Well I was commenting on DOF's thrust more than trying to be historically precise, as that would involve time I don't realy have trying to find books I have probably given away! But thanks, Michael...

#41 rl1856

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:52

Originally posted by Jack-the-Lad
Hall was a greater innovator that Chapman.

Discuss....

:smoking:


A crucial differance between the 2 was that Hall had the benefit of receiving back door help from the GM Engineering department. He had graduated CalTec with most of them. Several of the Chaparral's innovations came directly or indirectly from GM. The 2J was a GM concept that Roger Penske lobbyed for.

Several of Hall's aearodynamic improvements (ducting/tabs/wing profiles) on the 2 and 2c, the 2D package, 2E high wing, 2G endurance derivative etc, all benefited from GM expertise. After the racing ban was enforced and the Corvette Grand Sport program was ended, Hall became one of the preferred outlets for GM racing concepts. Mecom Racing and Penske also benefited to a lesser extent.

With the exception of involvment with Ford, first in the US then via Cosworth, most of the designs and concepts at Lotus came from Chapman.

I would rate Chapman much higher overall than Hall. That said, Hall had the engineering background and native intellect to capitalize on the technology made available to him. After Chaparral proper wound down, Hall became heavily involved in F5000 with Carl Haas. They did quite well. He also brought Ground Effects to Indy via the Penzoil Chaparral 2K, which was essentially and American copy of the Lotus 79, with a stiffer chassis. It was the fastest car on the track for 2 years.

Best,

Ross

#42 PeterElleray

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 14:30

Originally posted by rl1856


He also brought Ground Effects to Indy via the Penzoil Chaparral 2K, which was essentially and American copy of the Lotus 79, with a stiffer chassis. It was the fastest car on the track for 2 years.

Best,

Ross


For your own personal safety, longevity, quality of life and future bank balance i do hope John Barnard isnt tuned into TNF right now..

Although , to be fair, you don't credit Jim Hall as the designer...

;)

Peter

#43 DOF_power

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 15:34

Originally posted by Tony Matthews

If you look at other sports, how about the 'skins' in swimming? They give a great advantage to those favoured by the manufacturers, then filter down to those that can afford them, then are universally available. To what end? A brief supremacy for a select group, then a general raising of standards followed by a level playing field and a slew of World record times. So what?
[/B]




So what ?!
That's the whole point of true racing, of what it truly is.
Contemporary motor-sport should be like swimming.
The individuals are insignificant in the greater picture, the fruits of competition are what truly is about in the end.
It's the casual fanboys that are attracted to these individuals instead of true racing.



... but an engineer from the only period you seem to have an interest in would not be amazed to see what is done nowadays. Nearly all the major innovations are decades old, if not a century or more, it is only detail design, material availability and manufacturing processes that have enabled the specific power outputs to soar and chassis to be so light yet strong.




I know that very well.
Nearly all the major innovations are decades old because pesky corrupted garagistes and/or manufacturers teams kept complaining, demanding bans, and the idiots in charge kept banning stuff like ground-effects, turbos, active suspensions, twin-chassis cars, TC-LC, ABS, eCVTs, 4WS, mass dampers and so on and so forth.
The Williams FW14B and FW15C are the most advanced racecars ever made, and the only Grand Prix cars truly to the same/or above the/ standards of the 1930s silver arrows.

Between FIA, FOM, FOTA, the teams, the casual fanboys (interested in individuals) I don't know which is worse, which contributed more to the murdering of true motor-racing.

#44 PeterElleray

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 15:48

DOF - i wonder if it might help the group of us that you have mustered together here into collective debate if you could provide a little background about yourself ? It might make your observations and opinions a little easier to understand ... You see, i feel i know something about the others, either by professional reputation, personal contact or by the respect i have learned to attach to the opinions expressed in their postings here.

You're still a bit of an enigma, and it is increasingly worrying that many of your posts still hark back to the pre war German GP teams - like your last one --- AGAIN.

#45 DOF_power

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 16:34

Originally posted by PeterElleray
DOF - i wonder if it might help the group of us that you have mustered together here into collective debate if you could provide a little background about yourself ? It might make your observations and opinions a little easier to understand ... You see, i feel i know something about the others, either by professional reputation, personal contact or by the respect i have learned to attach to the opinions expressed in their postings here.

You're still a bit of an enigma, and it is increasingly worrying that many of your posts still hark back to the pre war German GP teams - like your last one --- AGAIN.




The pre-war german teams are important because they innovated, building cars that in some areas where decade ahead of their time, because of their professional approach, because they pushed the envelope so high it took half a century to reach those standards again.

True, unadulterated, unrestricted, cut throat competition, in other words true racing.

But they could have easily been french, italian, british or whatever, set in another decade, it's what they produced (the super advanced cars, the professional racing team model, the competition) that's important.

#46 Tony Matthews

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 17:04

Originally posted by DOF_power
Between FIA, FOM, FOTA, the teams, the casual fanboys (interested in individuals) I don't know which is worse, which contributed more to the murdering of true motor-racing.


Christ, it's like trying to talk to a precocious child. DOF,nothing you say makes sense, it just sounds as though it does. So, yes dear, I'm sure your right, yes I know you know all about it, yes, of course those horrid men don't understand... now, ten more minutes on the computer...Oh, please, not another tantrum...

#47 PeterElleray

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 17:05

Originally posted by DOF_power




The pre-war german teams are important because they innovated, building cars that in some areas where decade ahead of their time, because of their professional approach, because they pushed the envelope so high it took half a century to reach those standards again.

True, unadulterated, unrestricted, cut throat competition, in other words true racing.

But they could have easily been french, italian, british or whatever, set in another decade, it's what they produced (the super advanced cars, the professional racing team model, the competition) that's important.


Right - so its not a nationalistic thing - good, bit of a relief...

Now, i'd still like to understand a bit more about why you feel the need to champion this - its not something that anyone who has joined in, or read these threads will be unaware of. Virtually everyone here will be familiar with the on track record of the Mercedes and Auto Union teams, and quite a high proportion will know a lot more than either you or I about the engineering of the cars.

What i would like to know is what your understanding is of why the situation that you depict, pre and post war came to pass. You might feel you have already done so but i beg to differ.

So, do you think you could present that here, for debate?

And i would still like to know your background....

#48 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 17:11

Originally posted by PeterElleray


good one - so perhaps you could set the ball rolling with your own thoughts to support the proposition.....


No way I'm sticking my head up on that one! (I'm just a facilitator.....;) )

Jack

#49 PeterElleray

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 17:25

Originally posted by Jack-the-Lad


No way I'm sticking my head up on that one! (I'm just a facilitator.....;) )

Jack



Not to worry, just a practice run for the above....

#50 RStock

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 17:33

Originally posted by PeterElleray




Now, i'd still like to understand a bit more about why you feel the need to champion this - its not something that anyone who has joined in, or read these threads will be unaware of. Virtually everyone here will be familiar with the on track record of the Mercedes and Auto Union teams, and quite a high proportion will know a lot more than either you or I about the engineering of the cars.


If he's going to continue going on about this , I just wish he'd credit Edmund Rumpler (who's Austrian , by the way) with being the real genius behind the scene .