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Racing cars with adjustable suspension


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#1 Roger Clark

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 07:56

Who were the first and how quickly were they copied?

I mean the ability to adjust things like camber, toe-in and anti-roll bar stiffness in the pits or paddock so that the car could be tuned to the peculiarities of the circuit or the driver. I always thought that Cooper were the first when they put wishbone front suspension on the 1958 T45 but I expect to be told that the 1948 Grimethorpe Special (or something) beat them to it.

How quickly did Lotus pick up on this? I think that the 12 had adjustable steering arms but not suspension and that the 16 was similar. THe 18 certainly had adjustable wishbones. I meant to ask David Beard about this last night but got distracted and forgot.

This was a very important innovation in racing car development and the pioneers don't seem to have received sufficient credit. In The Racing Car Denis Jenkinson criticised one driver who asked for the stiffness of his anti-roll bar to be adjusted. Such things, said the sage, were part of the fundamental design of the car and not the concern of drivers. He didn't say, but I think that the driver was Paul Frere.

If I am right and Cooper were the innovators, was this another Brabham idea, perhaps following a long chat with his mate in Australia?

Lasly (for now) how much use of adjustability dod the frivers of the '50s make? Moss said in Design and Behaviour that he did very little with the Lotus 18. I can believe that Jack Brabham was always seeking to improve his Coopers but not many other drivers of the time.

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#2 eldougo

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:36

The pre war cars i do not know much about and i would think they had little adjustment . Some TNFer will put us right?...However i thing you have nailed it first time with Cooper cars and the Brabham influence,which was very big and Ron Tauranac was indeed instrumental in passing ideas to JB a man way ahead of his time.The rest is history as the say.

#3 Michael Ferner

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:49

I would be very surprised if Mercedes-Benz hadn't thought of that in the thirties, or the fifties at the very least, but I'm not sure I can back that up. Will have to do a bit of reading.

Very good thread idea! :up:

#4 Roger Clark

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:52

I would be very surprised if Mercedes-Benz hadn't thought of that in the thirties, or the fifties at the very least, but I'm not sure I can back that up. Will have to do a bit of reading.

Very good thread idea! :up:

Mercedes did, of course, build W196s with different wheelbases and inboard/outboard front brakes for different circuits. The fact that they went to those lengths suggests they couldn't adjust the suspension in the way I was thinking.

#5 Michael Ferner

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:45

Fair point...

#6 D-Type

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:01

Didn't the prewar Mercedes have some form of adjustment for the weight change as the fuel load decreased?

#7 bradbury west

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:08

I cannot swear to it, but something I have read recently on holiday identified just this point, Roger, so probably when re-reading Michael Oliver's Tales from a Toolbox, or one of the car comics. A story about or by a 50s mechanic rings a bell.
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#8 Roger Clark

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 13:56

Didn't the prewar Mercedes have some form of adjustment for the weight change as the fuel load decreased?

I can't recall anything on the pre-war cars but the W196 had a device that enabled the driver to adjust the rear spring rate, compensating for reduced weight of fuel. It was adopted during the 1955 season which suggest that it came from 54/55 experience rather than pre-war.

#9 Roger Clark

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 13:59

I cannot swear to it, but something I have read recently on holiday identified just this point, Roger, so probably when re-reading Michael Oliver's Tales from a Toolbox, or one of the car comics. A story about or by a 50s mechanic rings a bell.
Roger Lund

I can't remember that from Toolbox, but there were certainly stories of drivers in the 60s who fiddled a lot - G Hill and D Gurney spring to mind.


#10 Roger Clark

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 14:11

Cooper Cars says that Armstrong adjustable shock absorbers were introduced during 1957. Was this a first, and did anybody other than Cooper adopt them that year?

#11 garyfrogeye

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 14:20

I Know that some of the sebring sprites had the (yellow) armstrong adjustable rear shock absorbers which would have been 1960-ish. Didn't early road going cars such as Bentleys have adjustable springs?

#12 David Birchall

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 16:33

Pre war Bentley and Rolls had adjustable shocks but then so did a number of other cars. Bear in mind that the Hartford friction shock was adjustable in standard form. Tele control Hartfords were available in the mid thirties using fluid filled bladders inside the shock connected by tube to a control on the dash.

I don't think that prewar racing cars generally could adjust more than toe in-with the drag link being adjustable for length. Or camber, by varying the thickness of wedges between the front axle and the spring.

On my Derby Bentley the drag link has to be cut and rebrazed if you wish to adjust toe-in...

#13 JtP1

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 17:05

I can't remember that from Toolbox, but there were certainly stories of drivers in the 60s who fiddled a lot - G Hill and D Gurney spring to mind.


I seem to remember that Colin Chapman thought the words G Hill and spring were never used in the same sentence.

#14 Bloggsworth

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 22:52

Most BMC cars had self-adjusting front dampers, after a very short time they had faded away to uselessness...

Lots of pre WWII had adjustable friction dampers, I recall them on pre-war Triumph Dolomites and Glorias - they had a spider that one tightened or loosened as required.

Coopers pre F3 had fixed length wishbones.

#15 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 23:56

A fair percentage of road cars going back to the 20s had some form of adjustment for toe [adjustable draglinks] and you could wedge springs to adjust caster.Usually to compensate for the spring sagging! Euro racecars prewar were independent on 4 corners so one would guess that there was adjustmant built in. Probably shims on wishbones.

#16 arttidesco

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 00:31

This article on the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 MM mentions that these vehicles had 'an independent adjustable suspension' with out giving any further details in the third paragraph.

#17 Roger Clark

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 08:10

This article on the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 MM mentions that these vehicles had 'an independent adjustable suspension' with out giving any further details in the third paragraph.

Simon Moore, in The Immortal 2.9 also says that these cars had adjustable rear shock absorbers, cable operated on the early cars, hydraulic later.

Am I right in thinking that most of the examples quoted were to compensate for changing fuel loads or perhaps to change between "sports" and "comfort" modes? I am really interested in the tuning of racing cars to a particular circuit.

#18 Red Socks

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 08:29

The Motor in January 1959 has a cutaway drawing and long description of the Elva Mk 4 and the front and rear suspension are both pictured and described with adjustable ball joints.

#19 arttidesco

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 08:42

Simon Moore, in The Immortal 2.9 also says that these cars had adjustable rear shock absorbers, cable operated on the early cars, hydraulic later.

Am I right in thinking that most of the examples quoted were to compensate for changing fuel loads or perhaps to change between "sports" and "comfort" modes? I am really interested in the tuning of racing cars to a particular circuit.


Compensation for fuel loads might be one reason though on the MM held on a 1000 miles public roads another might be to tune the suspension to the road conditions hard for flat straights soft for undulating bends for example.

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#20 bradbury west

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 12:15

I suspect that Roger's query centres on the introduction and common use of spherical rod end joints, Heim and Rose, which provided wide adjustability in a working environment rather than in the workshop. Wikiedia suggests they were discovered here on a captured German warplane in WW2.
They refer to a Keith Howard piece on rod ends in MS 8/1999, I will check it.
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#21 Catalina Park

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 12:40

I remember reading a story about Fred Wacker racing a Gordini in the early 50s and how Fred wanted to change castor, toe and ackerman but Gordini wouldn't let him.
I suspect that there was some people that could tune the handling of a car well before it became popular in F1.

#22 Allan Lupton

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 13:11

Although the suspension of the A type Connaught had no adjustable mountings, in 1953 the last example AL10 had a driver-operable roll stiffness control.

Oh and if some of the posters above try to use drag-link length to adjust toe-in they won't have much luck. The track-rod is what controls toe-in. :)


#23 Roger Clark

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 14:31

I suspect that Roger's query centres on the introduction and common use of spherical rod end joints, Heim and Rose, which provided wide adjustability in a working environment rather than in the workshop. Wikiedia suggests they were discovered here on a captured German warplane in WW2.
They refer to a Keith Howard piece on rod ends in MS 8/1999, I will check it.
Roger Lund

It was but anything that allowed rapid adjustment of handling characteristics would be interesting.

The Kieft 500, designed by John "Autocar" Cooper and raced by Moss allowed adjustment of spring rates (by varying the number of rubber bands) and a variety of mounting points for the radius arms.


#24 Roger Clark

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 14:34

Compensation for fuel loads might be one reason though on the MM held on a 1000 miles public roads another might be to tune the suspension to the road conditions hard for flat straights soft for undulating bends for example.

Do you have any evidence of that, or is it speculation?

#25 David Birchall

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 14:38

Although the suspension of the A type Connaught had no adjustable mountings, in 1953 the last example AL10 had a driver-operable roll stiffness control.

Oh and if some of the posters above try to use drag-link length to adjust toe-in they won't have much luck. The track-rod is what controls toe-in. :)


Yes, I had a mental block and couldn't remember what it was called :blush:
Bloody aging...

Edit: And of course I meant castor not camber!

Edited by David Birchall, 26 June 2010 - 17:45.


#26 bradbury west

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 15:05

The Kieft 500, designed by John "Autocar" Cooper and raced by Moss allowed adjustment of spring rates (by varying the number of rubber bands) and a variety of mounting points for the radius arms.


I wonder whether the Erskine Staride had any mechanism for adjusting the spring rate or travel on the rear end with its single spring.

Cooper later had the ability to alter the spring rate on the transverse springs via the adjustable saddle-clamp, or whatever it was called - a clamp amidships on the spring with threaded rod adjustment clamping resistance/pressure at differing points. I am sure an engineer with explain it correctly.

RL

Edited by bradbury west, 26 June 2010 - 18:08.


#27 arttidesco

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 15:48

Do you have any evidence of that, or is it speculation?


The only evidence I have is that the conceptcars page mentions that the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 MM had 'an independent adjustable suspension' the use of it to compensate for loss of weight as the fuel burned off or to adjust according to road conditions is regrettably speculation based on my experience setting up a 2 CV to race and much later many days spent playing TOCA2 and GT4.

I am sure the very best drivers of the day would have grasped the advantages of using the 'independent adjustable suspension', just as Sterling Moss grasped the advantage of using the air brake on the 300SLR at Le Mans in 1955 to enhance cornering performance.

Edited by arttidesco, 26 June 2010 - 15:48.


#28 doc knutsen

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 17:35

The only evidence I have is that the conceptcars page mentions that the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 MM had 'an independent adjustable suspension' the use of it to compensate for loss of weight as the fuel burned off or to adjust according to road conditions is regrettably speculation based on my experience setting up a 2 CV to race and much later many days spent playing TOCA2 and GT4.

I am sure the very best drivers of the day would have grasped the advantages of using the 'independent adjustable suspension', just as Sterling Moss grasped the advantage of using the air brake on the 300SLR at Le Mans in 1955 to enhance cornering performance.



If he did grasp the advantage of the air brake of the M-B in 1955, how come nobody held on to the idea, and took it further?
I mean, Bill Lyons did pay attention to the Mossman and his observations regarding 300SL straight line performance advantage at the Mille Miglia in 1952...

#29 David Birchall

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 17:46

If he did grasp the advantage of the air brake of the M-B in 1955, how come nobody held on to the idea, and took it further?
I mean, Bill Lyons did pay attention to the Mossman and his observations regarding 300SL straight line performance advantage at the Mille Miglia in 1952...



Possibly because of the negative association with MB and the '55 LeMans?

#30 arttidesco

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 02:00

If he did grasp the advantage of the air brake of the M-B in 1955, how come nobody held on to the idea, and took it further?
I mean, Bill Lyons did pay attention to the Mossman and his observations regarding 300SL straight line performance advantage at the Mille Miglia in 1952...


Did a designer ever pay any attention to what a driver said ?

#31 doc knutsen

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 09:11

Did a designer ever pay any attention to what a driver said ?


Teams used to do a lot of testing, but for a long time their basic tools would be limited to a stopwatch and the driver feedback.
It may be not so critical after data acquisition became available. But before that, of course they did. Consider the testing feedback of Andretti versus that of Peterson. Who do you reckon would get Chapman's attention?
Similarly, the emergence at BRM of the Rudd/Graham Hill partnership. Plus many, many others.

My point is that Moss had sufficient clout with the powers-that-be at Jaguar to make them go for a wholesale revision of the C-type bodywork just a few weeks before Le Mans in 1952, with disastrous results. I cannot imagine that Tony Vandervell would not have paid attention to the concept of aerodynamic downforce, if he had been told.


#32 arttidesco

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 21:40

My point is that Moss had sufficient clout with the powers-that-be at Jaguar to make them go for a wholesale revision of the C-type bodywork just a few weeks before Le Mans in 1952, with disastrous results.


Being part of the unwashed and not so widely read pray do tell some more ?

Could be of course SM was obliged not to give away too much about his experience with MB to other manufacturers ?

#33 D-Type

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 22:04

Stirling Moss drove a C-Type Jaguar in the 1952 Mille Miglia with Norman Dewis as riding mechanic. They found the new Mercedes 300SL coupes to be faster than the C-Type. Moss sent William Lyons a telegram saying "Must have more speed at Le Mans". Jaguar hastily developed a more streamlined version of the C-Type for Le Mans. These had small radiators with separate header tanks, but the cooling system was wrong - coolant circulated to the header tank by-passing the radiator and the cars all retired with overheating.

Moss says that he noticed the download effect of the air brake on the 300SLR at Le Mans as it improved grip accelerating out of corners while it was still retracting. He mentioned it to Uhlenhaut who gave the impression he was not surprised and knew about it. But this was purely coincidental to the braking effect. He probably promptly forgot about it and never mentioned it to Vandervall and only remembered the SLR incident when wings came commonplace.

Edited by D-Type, 13 April 2011 - 09:36.


#34 arttidesco

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 22:12

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL appeared at the Mille Miglia and proved to be faster than the
Stirling Moss drove a C-Type Jaguar in the 1952 Mille Miglia with Norman Dewis as riding mechanic. They found the new mercedes 300SL soupes to be faster than the C-Type. Moss sent William Lyons a telegram saying "Must have More speed at Le Mans". Jaguar hastily developed a more streamlined version of the C-Type for Le Mans. These had small radiators with separate header tanks, but the cooling system was wrong - coolant circulated to the header tank by-passing the radiator and the cars all retired with overheating.

Ouch ! no wonder nobody listens to racing drivers I bet Mr Lyons was not amused !

Moss says that he noticed the download effect of the air brake on the 300SLR at Le Mans as it improved grip accelerating out of corners while it was still retracting. He mentioned it to Uhlenhaut who gave the impression he was not surprised and knew about it.

But this was purely coincidental to the braking effect. He probably promptly forgot about it and never mentioned it to Vandervall and only remembered the SLR incident when wings came commonplace.


Sounds like a feasible explanation of what happened, imagine if Moss had been a trained engineer and a top driver :-)

#35 JtP1

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 00:28

Sounds like a feasible explanation of what happened, imagine if Moss had been a trained engineer and a top driver :-)


Kept acting like one. How many Moss desired mods ended up trackside. Jaguar C type bodywork, Colotti boxes in Coopers off hand. Others?


#36 David Birchall

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 00:37

The Cooper/Alta?

#37 Allan Lupton

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:41

Moss sent William Lyons a telegram saying "Must have More speed at Le Mans". Jaguar hastily developed a more streamlined version of the C-Type for Le Mans. These had small radiators with separate header tanks, but the cooling system was wrong - coolant circulated to the header tank by-passing the radiator and the cars all retired with overheating.

Ouch ! no wonder nobody listens to racing drivers I bet Mr Lyons was not amused !

Art Tedesco, or whoever you are, Moss reported his findings correctly and it was up to the Jaguar designers to make the changes. That the changes had the desired effect is history, as is the consequent cooling system malfunction.

Moss says that he noticed the download effect of the air brake on the 300SLR at Le Mans as it improved grip accelerating out of corners while it was still retracting. He mentioned it to Uhlenhaut who gave the impression he was not surprised and knew about it.

Sounds like a feasible explanation of what happened, imagine if Moss had been a trained engineer and a top driver :-)


Uhlenhaut, who was a trained engineer and (could have been) a top driver, used his knowledge well during the design of the 1954/55 W196 Grand Prix and W196S Sports cars.

#38 Roger Clark

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:15

Art Tedesco, or whoever you are, Moss reported his findings correctly and it was up to the Jaguar designers to make the changes. That the changes had the desired effect is history, as is the consequent cooling system malfunction.




Uhlenhaut, who was a trained engineer and (could have been) a top driver, used his knowledge well during the design of the 1954/55 W196 Grand Prix and W196S Sports cars.

Denis Jenkinson wrote in Motor Sport, March 1966, about Moss's use of the 300SLR airbrake to generate downforce. Uhlenhaut was delighted when he heard about this; he was quoted as saying that he had been aware pf the possibilities but had not thought that any driver would be able to operate it in this way while racing. Moss was always pleasing him in this way; he had not previously met a driver who was able to do so many things while driving a racing car at competitive speeds. It is interesting that Fangio does not appear to have used the airbrake in this way.


#39 D-Type

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:19

I thought it was obvious that I was replying to this question, although admittedly I didn't say so. The response is a précis of what Moss and Doug Nye wrote in My Cars, my Career, which again I didn't say as it has been widely published elsewhere.

Being part of the unwashed and not so widely read pray do tell some more ?

Could be of course SM was obliged not to give away too much about his experience with MB to other manufacturers ?


As to the second question, even if D-B had wanted to place a constraint like that on Moss, it would have been unenforceable.

Edited by D-Type, 28 June 2010 - 12:20.


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#40 doc knutsen

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 15:04

Kept acting like one. How many Moss desired mods ended up trackside. Jaguar C type bodywork, Colotti boxes in Coopers off hand. Others?

The BRM-powered Cooper?

#41 bradbury west

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 17:21

Looking back to the earlier point about compensating devices for reducing fuel loads reminds me, IIRC, that the Alfettas in their final guise carried two dampers at the rear, one a telescopic I think - must check my photos- and a friction damper, specifically to offer varying resistance to the ful/empty fuel tank with minimum adverse effect on handling, since fuel consumption of around 2mpg required tankage wherever they could fit them.
Roger Lund

#42 David Birchall

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 17:24

Art Tedesco, or whoever you are,



Allan, are you sure that is the tone you wanted to use?

#43 doc knutsen

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 18:52

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL appeared at the Mille Miglia and proved to be faster than the
Stirling Moss drove a C-Type Jaguar in the 1952 Mille Miglia with Norman Dewis as riding mechanic. They found the new mercedes 300SL soupes to be faster than the C-Type. Moss sent William Lyons a telegram saying "Must have More speed at Le Mans". Jaguar hastily developed a more streamlined version of the C-Type for Le Mans. These had small radiators with separate header tanks, but the cooling system was wrong - coolant circulated to the header tank by-passing the radiator and the cars all retired with overheating.

Moss says that he noticed the download effect of the air brake on the 300SLR at Le Mans as it improved grip accelerating out of corners while it was still retracting. He mentioned it to Uhlenhaut who gave the impression he was not surprised and knew about it. But this was purely coincidental to the braking effect. He probably promptly forgot about it and never mentioned it to Vandervall and only remembered the SLR incident when wings came commonplace.


That would make sense, Moss did notice something and might have been on the verge of discovering downforce...but did not place in its context and probably forgot about it until a few decades later. Great one for the "if only" brigade :lol:

Incidentally, has there ever been a thread on drivers who were also engineers? There's Brabham and McLaren, also Ginther and Jim Hall.
Chapman could also drive a bit. Uhlenhaut was allegedly a quick driver, but driving quickly is one thing, doing it in a race is a different thing altogether. He was probably too important as an engineer to be allowed to risk his neck in a race.

#44 arttidesco

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 22:19

Incidentally, has there ever been a thread on drivers who were also engineers? There's Brabham and McLaren, also Ginther and Jim Hall.
Chapman could also drive a bit. Uhlenhaut was allegedly a quick driver, but driving quickly is one thing, doing it in a race is a different thing altogether. He was probably too important as an engineer to be allowed to risk his neck in a race.


I am sure B squared will confirm that Mark Donohue held a degree in engineering, and I am sure Nico Rosberg was accepted on to an aerodynamics degree course at some stage of his career but decided to stick with being a driver.

#45 Allan Lupton

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 08:18

I am sure B squared will confirm that Mark Donohue held a degree in engineering, and I am sure Nico Rosberg was accepted on to an aerodynamics degree course at some stage of his career but decided to stick with being a driver.

That's an important point about Donohue: some of the "known" engineer-drivers were actually mechanic-drivers which really isn't the same.
As for being accepted for a course, we older folk feel that you'd still have to do the course and pass the finals before it counted. Perhaps when he gets fed up with MS getting all the attention he could drop out of driving and make an honest engineer of himself.

#46 arttidesco

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 09:15

That's an important point about Donohue: some of the "known" engineer-drivers were actually mechanic-drivers which really isn't the same.
As for being accepted for a course, we older folk feel that you'd still have to do the course and pass the finals before it counted. Perhaps when he gets fed up with MS getting all the attention he could drop out of driving and make an honest engineer of himself.


Roger

I was of course only alluding to Nico's engineering potential :-)

Mansell claims he was an aerospace engineer by trade does anyone know if this was through an apprenticeship or by taking degree ?

Many US drivers like AJ Foyt, were excellent mechanics as well as drivers I believe AJ is credited with being the last driver to set up his own engine in preparation for the Indy 500, and many NASCAr drivers have risen through the ranks of family stock car dynasties to become fine drivers, I believe Kyle Busch was his brothers crew chief when Kurt was rising through the junior leagues.

Roger Penske I believe trained as a lawyer and while doing so did up old cars and sold them on to finance his own driving ambitions.



#47 D-Type

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 09:53

Roger

I was of course only alluding to Nico's engineering potential :-)

Mansell claims he was an aerospace engineer by trade does anyone know if this was through an apprenticeship or by taking degree ?

Many US drivers like AJ Foyt, were excellent mechanics as well as drivers I believe AJ is credited with being the last driver to set up his own engine in preparation for the Indy 500, and many NASCAr drivers have risen through the ranks of family stock car dynasties to become fine drivers, I believe Kyle Busch was his brothers crew chief when Kurt was rising through the junior leagues.

Roger Penske I believe trained as a lawyer and while doing so did up old cars and sold them on to finance his own driving ambitions.

From memory it was via the apprenticeship/HNC/engineering technician route, not the chartered engineer route. I'll check tonight.

#48 Tim Murray

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 10:31

There's a very old thread on drivers and their education:

Educated drivers

which contains these relevant posts:

Nigel Mansell attained a Higher National Diploma in Engineering at age 21.


Ron Flockhart's obituary in Road & Track states he was one of the few first-line drivers to hold a Bachelor's degree in engineering.



#49 Allan Lupton

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 10:44

From memory it was via the apprenticeship/HNC/engineering technician route, not the chartered engineer route. I'll check tonight.

Matthew Boulton College, so probably as Duncan says.
Edited (having now seen Tim's post) to say that in my day (1960ish) a HND could be worth something, but by 1974 it had sunk back as tuppenny degrees took over.
We Chartered Engineers can get a bit precious when the word Engineer is used for general engineering workers, although we have absolutely nothing against them (and their trades) and badly need them to be there for our work to be made, brought into production and maintained.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 29 June 2010 - 10:47.


#50 arttidesco

arttidesco
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Posted 29 June 2010 - 11:12

I'll make all further posts about drivers education on the Educated Drivers thread Tim thanks for keeping me alert to thread creep :-)