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Use of titanium for chassis


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#1 Nev

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 13:42

I was interested to find (in an original 1964 study) that Jaguar considered using titanium for the chassis/monocoque of the Jaguar XJ13. I posted some more detail here Jaguar XJ13 - Building the Legend

It led me to wondering if this was done for any/many racecars in the 1960s?

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#2 kayemod

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 13:53

Back then, the cost would have been a problem, but with the right sponsor, almost anything is possible. In 1963, one of Mickey Thompson's Harvey Aluminum Specials built for the Indianapolis 500 was constructed with a titanium chassis. Not surprisingly, it was named the Harvey Titanium Special.

It's always puzzled me that the stuff isn't referred to as "Titanum" in the USA, shows a surprising lack of consistency.

#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 14:30

Americans might also point to our lack of consistency with regard to metals such as platinum, tantalum, lanthanum, etc. :p

#4 Nev

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 14:37

It's always puzzled me that the stuff isn't referred to as "Titanum" in the USA, shows a surprising lack of consistency.


:rotfl:

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#5 Amphicar

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 14:56

Back then, the cost would have been a problem, but with the right sponsor, almost anything is possible. In 1963, one of Mickey Thompson's Harvey Aluminum Specials built for the Indianapolis 500 was constructed with a titanium chassis. Not surprisingly, it was named the Harvey Titanium Special.

It's always puzzled me that the stuff isn't referred to as "Titanum" in the USA, shows a surprising lack of consistency.

Not to mention Uranum and Plutonum! It's enough to give you a pain in the cranum.

Edited by Amphicar, 20 November 2011 - 14:57.


#6 AJB

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 16:35

I was interested to find (in an original 1964 study) that Jaguar considered using titanium for the chassis/monocoque of the Jaguar XJ13. I posted some more detail here Jaguar XJ13 - Building the Legend

It led me to wondering if this was done for any/many racecars in the 1960s?

Well of course there was the Ti22 CanAm car.

#7 Duc-Man

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 16:46

And according to Peter Bryant's book they also used partially titanium for the chassis of the Shadow Mk.II and III.
I know it was already the 70ies.

#8 Nev

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 17:07

Well of course there was the Ti22 CanAm car.


I see it used titanium in its construction in 1969. I suppose the tie-up with the Titanium Corporation of America meant the issue of cost didn't apply in this case as they supplied all the metal needed.

Found a video - You Tube - Ti22 Titanium Can-Am Racer

I also see that one of the car's drivers was David Hobbs (who was also involved with the XJ13).

Edited by Nev, 20 November 2011 - 17:35.


#9 Amphicar

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 18:30

The fourth Eagle Mk 1 (the one that Dan Gurney won the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix in) featured extensive use of titanium in the suspension components and exhaust headers. The monocoque was also skinned with magnesium sheet - leading Gurney to describe it as "like driving a Ronson lighter".

#10 buckaluck

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 00:07

I knew Peter Bryant and we had talked about the use of Titanium in the car and he said that they did stuff in Titanium that people had said they couldn't do it was not possible and he proved them wrong it most likely is the largest use of Titanium then any other car but it is most likely due to cost back then. Now it's all carbon fiber and lighter then Titanium but foulable just ask Vettle as I think his suspension in the last race broke and poped the tire.
I have been a big fan of The Auotcoast Ti22 car since seeing it run at Riverside in 1970/71. When I acutally was able to meet him in 1991 at the Monterey Historics I had so many question for him and from then on we were friends and kept in touch I was very sad to here of his passing a few years back he was such a genuine person someone you were proud to know. I'm not sure why it didn't catch on after this car came out I can only think that the cost was vs the benefit over aluminum was just not enough to justify and 13 years later carbon fiber took over. McLaren was the first team to make the chassis out of carbon fiber and in a head on collision the chassis would twist and snap back in to shape but not collapse thus protecting the drivers legs after the first season of using this chassis in the interest of safety they declined to enforce their patent rights to this method of making a chassis and that is a big reason why we have had so few of drivers killed in the past 27 years we couldn't save them all but the amount killed is the past 27 years is most likely less then two seasions from the early 70's when they seemed to drop like flies it was so said back then.
I'm still amazed that Titanium is not used more often in racing for things carbon fiber can not do like pullies and flywheels and rods and pistons etc.

Buck