Jump to content


Photo

Cooper magnesium wheels


  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#1 BritishV8

BritishV8
  • Member

  • 159 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:14

I'm just starting to learn about Coopers. Their wheels particularly interest me. I have a ton of newbie questions, and I hope you'll humor me:
(I've ordered the Doug Nye book on Cooper, but it hasn't arrived yet and anyhow I don't know if it will include such minutia as this...)

1) When Cooper started having wheels of their own design cast (~1949), the wheels had integral brake drums. Was that a new innovation that's attributable to Cooper?

2) With Cooper's integrated brake drum wheels, surely the friction surface must have been iron, right?

3) According to www.500race.org, the Cooper proprietary wheels of 1949 were made from aluminum alloy. On another page, the same site says that in 1950 Cooper started offering magnesium alloy (Elektron?) wheels. Did Cooper keep offering aluminum too, as an option?

4) When manufacturer's referred to "light alloy", did that term specifically mean aluminum alloy, or magnesium alloy, or either metal?

5) What was the real point of the integral brake drum anyhow? Stiffness? Lightness? Better heat dissipation than regular brake drums?

6) This wheel is installed on the ex-Tippy Lipe Cooper-Porsche (which was built on a Mark VII chassis, circa 1953). Am I correct to think that this is some sort of aftermarket wheel, and not an actual Cooper wheel?
Posted Image

7) This wheel is currently installed on a Cooper T43 MkII (Climax FPF) Formula 2 car, circa late 1956. I'm thinking this is a real Cooper wheel, but that it's a newer design than the car. Didn't the T43 originally come with integral-brake-drum wheels?
Posted Image

8) When did Cooper start offering 8-spoke mags?

9) Did Cooper "invent" the Minilite style?

Thanks in advance. This is the most amazing message board!!!

Advertisement

#2 Gary Davies

Gary Davies
  • Member

  • 2,051 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:20

You need a book called "Cooper Cars" by some bloke by the name of Doug Nye. I'll open up my copy when I get home but I'll bet a host of TNfers will have swamped you with information well before then! :wave:

#3 onelung

onelung
  • Member

  • 546 posts
  • Joined: November 07

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:35

"Was that a new innovation that's attributable to Cooper?"

Bugatti Type 35, 1924, integral brake drums with alloy wheels. Don't know if this was the first ever example, but suspect it might well be..

I've just read Nye's "Cooper racing Cars" courtesy of the SCC of SA's superb library. The book is a true "tour de force" of research: formidable...


#4 kaydee

kaydee
  • Member

  • 342 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:36

"Was that a new innovation that's attributable to Cooper?"

Bugatti Type 35, 1924, integral brake drums with alloy wheels. Don't know if this was the first ever example, but suspect it might well be..

I've just read Nye's "Cooper racing Cars" courtesy of the SCC of SA's superb library. The book is a true "tour de force" of research: formidable...

Posted Image
Geoff, from my research some years ago, I think that you are correct in stating that the first recorded appearance of an aluminium wheel appears to have been on August 3rd, 1924 when Ettore Bugatti entered five of his Type 35 cars in the Grand Prix of the Automobile Club de France at Lyon. All five cars were fitted with Bugatti designed fully cast aluminium wheels. Unfortunately it was not an auspicious debut for the aluminium wheel as all of the Bugatti cars suffered from repeated tyre failures and the race was eventually won by Vittorio Jano in the brand new P2 Alfa Romeo.
.
Although Bugatti lodged 3 patent applications in 1924 for cast aluminium wheels his patent was not the first. This honour would appear to belong to the brilliant American racing engineer Harry A. Miller who filed his patent on Sept 22nd, 1919. The Bugatti wheel was certainly very similar in design to Miller's patent, the main differences being that Miller's drawings were of a six spoked wheel whereas the Bugatti wheel had eight spokes and incorporated brake drums. The Bugatti aluminium wheel debut may well have been the first use of an integral brake drum but I somehow doubt it as many innovative ideas abounded in those early days of automotive development.
Kevin


#5 HiRich

HiRich
  • Member

  • 388 posts
  • Joined: May 06

Posted 12 November 2009 - 11:26

The integral hub Cooper wheel appeared in 1948 for the Cooper Mk II (T5), the first production Cooper. The brake surface is a pressed-in iron hoop. As already answered, I doubt very much it was an original idea. The design remained in use right through the 500 models, the only change being the cutting-away of the brake hub on the later disc-braked cars.

As to why they designed them, I honestly have no idea. I don't recall reading anything explaining the decision, but I suspect it was a combination of issues leading to a decision to "stop dicking about and do it properly". The Topolino brakes on the prototypes had already shown themselves inadequate, so the need for larger brakes was there and longer races required excellent cooling for fade-free operation. Speeds of 100mph were already predicted for the 500s, and light weight was already seen as a key design feature. Cost would also be a factor (both for Pa Cooper and the customer), and the Mk II concept was based on custom designs for components rather than continuing to steal parts from scrapped road cars. So my suspicion would be that they didn't find a satisfactory off-the shelf combination of readily available parts and so committed to making their own single component.

I can't swear to it, but I would be surprised if the aluminium option didn't remain available post-1950.

On your first photo, the Lipe car, that uses a hubless wheel where the rim bolts to the circumference of the brake hub. Another popular techique at the time (and I think it dates back to about 1905). The hub certainly looks like a Cooper pattern (eight spoke, four nut) but it's outside my field. I'm not aware of it ever appearing on a Cooper 500, but I would guess it appeared on a larger model.

Doug's book is of course a tour de force as onelung says, but (and feel free to call me a heretic) there are some errors and gaps in the 500 story. This is to be expected given the complexity of the story, the number of cars built, patchy records, and how poorly researched it is compared with the bigger cars. Even now, fundamental questions like "what is the difference between a Mk III and a Mk IV, and when were they introduced?" leads to more chin scratching than answers, so imperfections are to be expected even from Mr Nye.
It's still by far the best resource on the subject and 95% correct, just don't take every word as gospel. Sorry Mr Nye, please see this as praising by feint damning.

#6 Dutchy

Dutchy
  • Member

  • 648 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 12 November 2009 - 14:12

aluminium wheels. Unfortunately it was not an auspicious debut for the aluminium wheel as all of the Bugatti cars suffered from repeated tyre failures and the race was eventually won by Vittorio Jano in the brand new P2 Alfa Romeo.
.
Kevin


I take you meant to say the race was won by Antonio Ascari in one of Vittorio Jano's brand new P2 Alfa Romeos?


#7 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 7,264 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 12 November 2009 - 14:43

Sorry Mr Nye, please see this as praising by feint damning.


I like that, I'll be using it myself.

Reminds me of the time that Oscar Wilde, who was never slow to re-use other people's quotes, saying "I wish I'd said that" to someone, earning the response, "you will Oscar, you will".

(But you should have said faint, not feint).


#8 ianselva

ianselva
  • Member

  • 250 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 12 November 2009 - 15:04

[quote name='BritishV8' date='Nov 12 2009, 07:14' post='3989765']
I'm just starting to learn about Coopers. Their wheels particularly interest me. I have a ton of newbie questions, and I hope you'll humor me:
(I've ordered the Doug Nye book on Cooper, but it hasn't arrived yet and anyhow I don't know if it will include such minutia as this...)

1) When Cooper started having wheels of their own design cast (~1949), the wheels had integral brake drums. Was that a new innovation that's attributable to Cooper?

2) With Cooper's integrated brake drum wheels, surely the friction surface must have been iron, right?

3) According to www.500race.org, the Cooper proprietary wheels of 1949 were made from aluminum alloy. On another page, the same site says that in 1950 Cooper started offering magnesium alloy (Elektron?) wheels. Did Cooper keep offering aluminum too, as an option?

4) When manufacturer's referred to "light alloy", did that term specifically mean aluminum alloy, or magnesium alloy, or either metal?

I think you'll find that Cooper wheels were always magnesium alloy or electron - at least my mk 4 ones were. I have seen some recent aluminium replica ones and the difference in weight is very noticable.

#9 David Birchall

David Birchall
  • Member

  • 3,006 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 12 November 2009 - 16:15

9) Did Cooper "invent" the Minilite style?


Yes. Well, almost certainly.

The advantages of the cast in drum were improved brake cooling,a more rigid wheel structure and quicker access to the brakes.

Cooper never cast wheels in aluminium as far as I am aware.

Edited by David Birchall, 12 November 2009 - 16:18.


#10 Tony Matthews

Tony Matthews
  • Member

  • 17,499 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 12 November 2009 - 16:18

Reminds me of the time that Oscar Wilde, who was never slow to re-use other people's quotes, saying "I wish I'd said that" to someone, earning the response, "you will Oscar, you will".

I could very well be wrong, but I thought the opposite was true...

#11 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,690 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 12 November 2009 - 16:20

British V8: Welcome to the Forum. When you get your book by Doug Nye on Cooper Cars you will be astounded. This is the Bible of Cooper Cars.

Doug has put everything about Cooper Cars that anyone needs to know into this book.

Edited by Jerry Entin, 12 November 2009 - 23:30.


#12 HiRich

HiRich
  • Member

  • 388 posts
  • Joined: May 06

Posted 12 November 2009 - 16:25

Quoting from a book that I recently foolhardy enough to have slagged off:

John (Cooper): "My cousin Colin Darby was a draughtsman for a firm called Celestion, who made loudspeakers in Kingston. One evening we got together and discussed supply problems with wheels. We wanted a 15" of our own which would be stronger and lighter than the old Fiat type which we just couldn't find anymore. So with Colin we designed our own, including integral brake drums like Bugatti prewar, and patented them and had them cast in aluminium by a foundry in Croydon, I think."

So, if Doug and JC himself are to be believed: originally made in aluminium, instigated by supply problems with an opportunity to improve, and inspired by Bugatti. I'm not going to argue with that.

DCN may not always be right, but sometimes he can be very, very right.

#13 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 3,085 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 12 November 2009 - 17:39

I could very well be wrong, but I thought the opposite was true...

Conventional wisdom has it that OW said "I wish I'd said that" either to, or in the hearing of, Whistler, who said "you will Oscar, you will".
But who knows - it's just the sort of thing someone would attribute to them (and either way) at any time for the next half century.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 12 November 2009 - 17:39.


#14 Tony Matthews

Tony Matthews
  • Member

  • 17,499 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 12 November 2009 - 17:51

Conventional wisdom has it that OW said "I wish I'd said that" either to, or in the hearing of, Whistler, who said "you will Oscar, you will".

Thanks Allan. I have an imperfect memory. It rather detracts from OW as the supreme wit - he had at least a toe of clay.

#15 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 3,085 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 12 November 2009 - 17:59

Thanks Allan. I have an imperfect memory. It rather detracts from OW as the supreme wit - he had at least a toe of clay.

Oh, I don't know!
In wit, as in life, it is recognising something worthwhile when you see it (or hear it), rather than inventing it yourself, that is a large part the "99% prespiration" bit that makes up genius!

#16 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Member

  • 14,664 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 12 November 2009 - 18:39

... and the race was eventually won by Vittorio Jano in the brand new P2 Alfa Romeo.


I take you meant to say the race was won by Antonio Ascari in one of Vittorio Jano's brand new P2 Alfa Romeos?

I hope you both really meant to say that the race was won by Giuseppe Campari in one of Vittorio Jano's brand new P2 Alfa Romeos.

#17 ianselva

ianselva
  • Member

  • 250 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 12 November 2009 - 20:10

Quoting from a book that I recently foolhardy enough to have slagged off:

John (Cooper): "My cousin Colin Darby was a draughtsman for a firm called Celestion, who made loudspeakers in Kingston. One evening we got together and discussed supply problems with wheels. We wanted a 15" of our own which would be stronger and lighter than the old Fiat type which we just couldn't find anymore. So with Colin we designed our own, including integral brake drums like Bugatti prewar, and patented them and had them cast in aluminium by a foundry in Croydon, I think."

So, if Doug and JC himself are to be believed: originally made in aluminium, instigated by supply problems with an opportunity to improve, and inspired by Bugatti. I'm not going to argue with that.

DCN may not always be right, but sometimes he can be very, very right.

In Arthur Owens 'The Racing Coopers' he gives the spec of the 500s year by year and in 1947 he says of the first production coopers:
"Cast Electron wheels with 8 " brake drums cast integrally"
I think that aluminium is used as a generality rather than to specify the alloy used. If they


#18 HiRich

HiRich
  • Member

  • 388 posts
  • Joined: May 06

Posted 13 November 2009 - 10:44

In Arthur Owens 'The Racing Coopers' he gives the spec of the 500s year by year and in 1947 he says of the first production coopers:
"Cast Electron wheels with 8 " brake drums cast integrally"
I think that aluminium is used as a generality rather than to specify the alloy used. If they


If they what? Don't leave us hanging!  ;)

Seriously, I thought it was Elektron (sic) which is a magnesium alloy, so it would seem strange to refer to aluminium or aluminium alloy. But it highlights the problem with 500 history - no two stories match (and if they do, they came from the same source, just by different routes).

#19 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,621 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 13 November 2009 - 11:46

2) With Cooper's integrated brake drum wheels, surely the friction surface must have been iron, right?

I am probably having another of my c.r.a.f.t. moments, but ISTR that the friction item was iron, cut out, in true Charles Cooper style, from some surplus piping of a convenient diameter, possibly from a ship or factory, to the relevant bandwidth, and with the alloy wheel etc shrunk onto it. Or am I wrong?
Roger Lund

Edited by bradbury west, 13 November 2009 - 12:18.


Advertisement

#20 ianselva

ianselva
  • Member

  • 250 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 13 November 2009 - 12:00

I am probably having another of my c.r.a.f.t. moments, but ISTR that the friction item was iron, cut out, in true Charles Cooper style, from some surplus piping of a convenient diameter, possibly from a ship or factory, to the relevant bandwidth, and with the alloy wheel etc shruck onto it. Or am I wrong?
Roger Lund

A bit of both ! . I seem to recall that the brake drum liner was old ships propshaft or something similar but that it was moulded into the wheel in the same way as Wellworthy alloy JAP barrels were made.

#21 Dutchy

Dutchy
  • Member

  • 648 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 13 November 2009 - 13:10

I hope you both really meant to say that the race was won by Giuseppe Campari in one of Vittorio Jano's brand new P2 Alfa Romeos.


Quite. Apologies to all

#22 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,459 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 13 November 2009 - 21:17

Doug's book is of course a tour de force as onelung says, but (and feel free to call me a heretic) there are some errors and gaps in the 500 story. This is to be expected given the complexity of the story, the number of cars built, patchy records, and how poorly researched it is compared with the bigger cars. Even now, fundamental questions like "what is the difference between a Mk III and a Mk IV, and when were they introduced?" leads to more chin scratching than answers, so imperfections are to be expected even from Mr Nye.
It's still by far the best resource on the subject and 95% correct, just don't take every word as gospel. Sorry Mr Nye, please see this as praising by feint damning.


Pretty fair comment I'd say. Thanks for scoring it so high. All I can say is that at the time - just like the Mouth Breather in No 10 - "I did my best". :p

DCN

PS - I do remember both John Cooper himself and Owen Maddock assuring me that some of the 500 model name changes were made to help convince would-be buyers that the new year's update was substantial - and therefore worth buying - whereas in truth....well, you can imagine the rest...

Edited by Doug Nye, 13 November 2009 - 21:21.


#23 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,621 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 13 November 2009 - 22:42

Doug's book is of course a tour de force ..., but (and feel free to call me a heretic) there are some errors and gaps in the 500 story. This is to be expected given the complexity of the story, the number of cars built, patchy records, and how poorly researched it is compared with the bigger cars. It's still by far the best resource on the subject and 95% correct, just don't take every word as gospel. Sorry Mr Nye, please see this as praising by feint damning.

So, with the greatest of respect, why labour your points? My copy was published in 1983, so allowing for research and publishing time we are talking about a work produced nigh-on 30 years ago. Your profile indicates the f3 500s are your speciality. How much did you know in 1980?

No offence is intended, but 20/20 hindsight leaves me unmoved.
Usual disclaimers, Doug knows I do not "do" patronising, and he can ceratinly defend his own corner.
ISTR that DCN was given a prestigious award in period for the quality of the book as a definitive work.
Roger Lund


#24 BritishV8

BritishV8
  • Member

  • 159 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 13 November 2009 - 23:39

Okay gentlemen... Thanks for all the great information! I think I've got a pretty good clue about Cooper wheels, at least for now. Thank you especially Jerry Entin for the warm welcome to the forum. I hope to meet you in a paddock one of these days...

I'm still waiting for Doug Nye's book to arrive in my mailbox. Curiosity is killing me. Today I'm curious about Cooper transverse leaf springs.

See the link attached to the center of this spring? (Can we call it a Panhard rod? It locates the spring laterally on this Cooper T43.)
Posted Image
A similar Panhard rod is shown on a different T43 here: http://www.finecars..../60405f25bb.jpg

The Panhard rod is apparently an alternative to the famous "curly link". If you're not familiar, you can see a curly link here: http://www.classicca...01256568221.jpg (on yet another Cooper T43), or here: http://www.500race.o.....ng detail.jpg (on a Cooper MkVIII F3 car.) As I understand it, the curly link provides a modest amount of anti-roll effect. I'm can't find a photo of it, but I'm sure I've also seen Coopers where the transverse leaf springs float laterally on rollers, and where neither a Panhard rod or curly link is fitted. Did some Coopers have fixed-length halfshafts, and in that case maybe it's desirable to let the leaf-spring float, eh?

My question? Well, I'm just not comprehending the pattern...

Which design (curly vs Panhard) is "correct" for a F2 Cooper?
Which design is "better"?


Bonus question: Why haven't I seen long trailing links added to supplement the leaf springs on transverse-leaf-spring Coopers? Surely they'd help these cars accelerate out of corners even better. No?

Edited by BritishV8, 14 November 2009 - 02:37.


#25 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 3,085 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 14 November 2009 - 08:57

Possibly a bit technical for this Forum, but:
No that's not a panhard rod. A panhard rod locates an axle (live, dead, de Dion, etc) sideways, not a spring
The spring is supported by the two mounting points at approx half its semi-span, the middle being free to move up and down.
That was done to give different spring rates in bump and roll. In order for it to work, the mountings had no lateral location role (and were rollers), so something had to be introduced to supply that location and that's your link.
Your so-called curly link will do the same, but looks as if it will add to stiffness of the middle bit of the spring, increasing the spring rate in bump (and probably the roll rate too).
Fixed length half-shafts won't work with this system as there was a lower wishbone as well as the spring and halfshaft. Too many fixed length items give you a structure, where you need a mechanism!
Fore-and-aft links (as in Lotus) move the axis about which things pivot from longitudinal to diagonal, and need a suitably compliant joint on the other bit to function (as in the Lotus reversed lower wishbone).

I've no idea about the originality of the various solutions on the various Coopers - my guess is that they were tried in succession.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 14 November 2009 - 08:59.


#26 rbm

rbm
  • Member

  • 293 posts
  • Joined: October 05

Posted 18 November 2009 - 18:19

Just to chuck in my tuppence worth,

the 1948 Cooper 500 mk2 (first production Coopers) had Aluminium wheels, I have 1 original (but very dead) mk2 wheel - from the German cars remains I picked up in the summer (the early mk2 wheels are identifiable as they have a different badge which was only fitted to the mk2 - oval not round)

Richard

#27 BritishV8

BritishV8
  • Member

  • 159 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 18 November 2009 - 19:38

Thank you Richard!

Thank you Allan too. Yes, of course that's not REALLY a Panhard rod... I was just using the term for convenience since it's serving the same essential purpose. As you rightly pointed out, fore-and-aft links (like Lotus) would require multiple changes, but I can't help but think the transverse rear leaf-spring must have twisted and wrapped all sorts of ways under acceleration and braking - especially on the big-engined T43 Moss drove in the Argentine Grand Prix!


Well, the Doug Nye book arrived here yesterday. If you're mainly interested in personalities and events, it surely can't be beat. It'll be a joy to read. For technical details though, it's not looking as helpful as I'd hoped. I've found another old Cooper to take photos of and analyze, so I'll be busy for awhile. Clever chaps, but I keep noticing more and more design details that make me think "What in the world were they thinking!" or "These guys won a Grand Prix championship!?!" I'm sure they were lovely people. They had awesome drivers.

#28 David Birchall

David Birchall
  • Member

  • 3,006 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 18 November 2009 - 20:50

Consider that the virtually identical suspension was fitted to AC Aces and consequently the first few hundred Cobras!

#29 elansprint72

elansprint72
  • Member

  • 3,388 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 18 November 2009 - 21:54

Just to chuck in my tuppence worth,

the 1948 Cooper 500 mk2 (first production Coopers) had Aluminium wheels, I have 1 original (but very dead) mk2 wheel - from the German cars remains I picked up in the summer (the early mk2 wheels are identifiable as they have a different badge which was only fitted to the mk2 - oval not round)

Richard


And I'm reasonably sure that the Cooper Car Company Minis had Alluminium wheels too (possibly to stop John Rhodes from setting fire to the whole equipe :rotfl: )


#30 kaydee

kaydee
  • Member

  • 342 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 18 November 2009 - 23:41

This is a very interesting thread and raises my interest in finding out who was first to use cast magnesium / Elektron for wheels on cars and when? I know that cast magnesium / Elektron was being used for some aircraft and automotive applications prior to WWII but I can’t find any reference to cast magnesium wheels being used then.

It seems to be generally accepted that Ted Halibrand produced some cast magnesium wheels in California in 1949 for use at Indianapolis that year but due to some cracking problems they were not actually used until the following year - 1950.

From the information in this thread it appears that the early Coopers of ‘48/’49 had cast aluminium wheels and may have first offered or (used) cast magnesium / Elektron wheels in 1950?

So who was the first to use cast magnesium / Elektron wheels for automotive use Halibrand or Cooper, or someone else? – or was there a previously recorded use of cast magnesium wheels on aircraft and the automotive use was a spin-off from this? (Ted Halibrand did work as an aircraft engineer for Douglas before and during WWII)

Edited by kaydee, 19 November 2009 - 00:26.


#31 BritishV8

BritishV8
  • Member

  • 159 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 19 November 2009 - 00:17

So who was the first to use cast magnesium / Elektron for automotive use Halibrand or Cooper, or someone else?


I don't know, but besides Halibrand and Cooper a third possibility might be "Lawrie" (Lawrence) Bond.

ref: http://www.500race.o...arques/Bond.htm

Laurie set about designing and building a new car for 1948 season and the Type-C was the result. Again, an aluminium monocoque formed the basis for the car with a JAP engine mounted in a Elektron cast frame which supported the specially designed wishbone front suspension. The car also featured front wheel drive with his own design alloy wheels and inboard mounted front brake drums to reduce the un-sprung weight.


This is yet another case of someone using the term "alloy" without being appropriately specific. It's an absolutely infuriating habit... and, frankly, it's very British. I have a theory - it is mine - that the problem stems from collective self consciousness of the fact that the whole British nation spells and pronounces the word aluminum wrongly;)

Edited by BritishV8, 19 November 2009 - 00:23.


#32 elansprint72

elansprint72
  • Member

  • 3,388 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 19 November 2009 - 00:30

This is yet another case of someone using the term "alloy" without being appropriately specific. It's an absolutely infuriating habit... and, frankly, it's very British. I have a theory - it is mine - that the problem stems from collective self consciousness of the fact that the whole British nation spells and pronounces the word aluminum wrongly;)

You have conducted a survey addressed to "the whole British nation" (sic), and have received an acceptably full response?
Show us yer numberz , Bruce: :cool:


#33 ianselva

ianselva
  • Member

  • 250 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 19 November 2009 - 01:49

I don't know, but besides Halibrand and Cooper a third possibility might be "Lawrie" (Lawrence) Bond.

ref: http://www.500race.o...arques/Bond.htm


This is yet another case of someone using the term "alloy" without being appropriately specific. It's an absolutely infuriating habit... and, frankly, it's very British. I have a theory - it is mine - that the problem stems from collective self consciousness of the fact that the whole British nation spells and pronounces the word aluminum wrongly;)

As this is the Nostalgia Forum it seems only right that we should pronounce and spell it aluminium as was current in the UK and the US up to 1925 .

#34 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Member

  • 14,664 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 19 November 2009 - 09:25

In English - aluminium
En Français – aluminium
Auf Deutsch – aluminium
In het Nederlands – aluminium
Ελληνικά - αλουμίνιο
In Italiano – alluminio
Em Português - alumínio
En Español - aluminio
______________________

In American - aluminum
_____________________

So who's really out of step here? :p

#35 Geoff E

Geoff E
  • Member

  • 1,211 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 19 November 2009 - 09:36

It was apparently first called alumium, then aluminum and finally aluminium.

http://www.worldwide...s/aluminium.htm

#36 RogerFrench

RogerFrench
  • Member

  • 398 posts
  • Joined: February 08

Posted 19 November 2009 - 09:45

The Issigonis Lightweight Special (1938) has, or had, Elektron wheels, I believe.

#37 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 3,085 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 19 November 2009 - 10:08

Elektron was developed quite early and was in use in the 1920s. Fritz v. Opel used it for pistons and crankcase of a motorcycle in 1922, and C.M. van Eugen used it for the sump, cam/rocker cover, timing case, etc. of the 1930 Lea-Francis "Ace of Spades" engine.

#38 kaydee

kaydee
  • Member

  • 342 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 19 November 2009 - 22:56

The Issigonis Lightweight Special (1938) has, or had, Elektron wheels, I believe.

Thanks for the lead Roger. From what I can see by looking at photos of the Issigonis Lightweight Special on the Internet the wheels are not fully cast in one-piece as I was looking for. They look like they are of two piece design - i.e. a cast Elektron centre (with integral brake drum) which in turn is riveted / bolted to maybe a seperate "spun aluminium" rim?

#39 elansprint72

elansprint72
  • Member

  • 3,388 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 19 November 2009 - 23:26

Usually, if Lanchester didn't do it first, Porsche did. Back in 1900 his electric cars had cast-bodied electric hub motors, does this count? They look like ally in all the shots I have but there is still a set of wooden spokes involved on some of the wheels.

Advertisement

#40 BritishV8

BritishV8
  • Member

  • 159 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 29 September 2011 - 21:08

I guess for the sake of closure I'll report here that... I've FINALLY finished my article about the little Cooper-Porsche.

Curious to see results/conclusions? They're here: Tippy Lipe's Cooper-Porsche

Posted Image

#41 rbm

rbm
  • Member

  • 293 posts
  • Joined: October 05

Posted 30 September 2011 - 07:03

So who was the first to use cast magnesium / Elektron wheels for automotive use Halibrand or Cooper, or someone else? – or was there a previously recorded use of cast magnesium wheels on aircraft and the automotive use was a spin-off from this? (Ted Halibrand did work as an aircraft engineer for Douglas before and during WWII)



The Jack Turner / Reg Bicknell detachable rim 15" wheels as fitted to the Revis 500 F3, the Bardon Turner 500 F3 and a few sports cars are cast Electron and from early 1948.


#42 HiRich

HiRich
  • Member

  • 388 posts
  • Joined: May 06

Posted 30 September 2011 - 13:40

That's a great article and answers a lot of questions. May I add:

- Gordon Lipe's car began as a Cooper Mk VII. The early chassis number suggests it might even have been built in late 1952 (the prototype ran in October 1952), but can definitely be considered a 1953 chassis.
- Lipe began 500 racing in 1951, driving an Effyh. In 1952 he had a Cooper - probably a Mk V - and ran a Triumph motor. Also in 1952 he raced a Porsche F-prod
- We don't know what engine Lipe ran in 1953. The lack of note on the chassis plate might suggest he kept using the Triumph
- Most records do not define Lipe's car, but it is likely he used the Mk VII at Bridgehampton (23/05), Thompson (6/09) and Watkins Glen (18/09) in 1953, as well as the confirmed run at Giants Despair (but strangely, not Brynfan-Tyddyn)
- That also strongly hints that the engine transplant was a Winter rebuild.
- Whilst I don't have a programme for Giants Despair 1954, I now agree that the Cooper-Porsche is Lipe, not Lyeth. I have seen a photo of the front of Lipe's car (showing a larger, recessed grille than the original Cooper Mk VII) and they are very similar. Transcription errors are rather common in US sources of the time.
- Lipe may have run an Effyh again in Formula III in 1954, but had effectively abandoned the series, presumably for the Cooper-Porsche
- Lipe was from Fayetteville, NY, at least through 1952-53.
- It strikes me as more likely that the car ran in some form of Formula Libre, and retained the single-seater body right through 1954, gaining the sportscar body in a full rebuild in the Winter of 1954-55. No real evidence for that other than dates - Wilkes-Barre is so far into the season, it would be easier to wait.
- In single-seater form, the car appears to still have the original chassis tubes around the engine bay. The cylinder heads (and much of the barrels) stuck through with the exhausts fully outside the frame. I'm not sure how they extracted it (or ever got it in) - perhaps the rear suspension section was bolted on - but I can see how and why that was totally revised (as seen on the current version). That would lend weight to the idea of the sportscar body, with these chassis changes, being a Winter rebuild project.

So that section of the story is simplified. Lipe was already a Formula III racer, ordered a new Mk VII of 1953, upgraded to Porsche power for 1954, and probably revised the body & chassis to enter F-mod for 1955.