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Most unsuitable saloon racing cars


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#601 Charlieman

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 21:17

If you rake the windscreen more gently and move the front seats back, a car gets longer and heavier than you might expect. If you increase the thickness of noise baffle on every panel of the car, it gets heavier. And make the carpet a bit plusher too, please. If you fit fancy front seats, a car gets heavier. All of the windows need to be motor powered, and even when one person with no baggage drives the car, it needs central locking. Which is why the battery is as big and heavy as it was twenty years ago; just when the battery gets a smidge more efficient, somebody defines an electrical power sucker to be essential. 

 

At the same time, engineers have worked on weight reduction: aluminium for load bearing items which used to be made from iron or steel, substituting plastic when it will do. If you look at the engine and transmission train on a two wheel drive car, weight saving is obvious. Weight loss is as easy to see as weight gain from a stodgy car interior.

 

Four wheel drive, of course, is a good way to add stodge and profit. I presume that the erudite readers of TNF appreciate that four wheel drive, per se, does not amount to much. It's a tech fix, not the only fix, and it is oft inappropriate.

 

Inclining the windscreen reduces aerodynamic drag, or that is what most people think. It makes some cars look appealing. To make the most difference, the windscreen has to be 15 degrees or less above the horizontal, otherwise separation and turbulence occur. Look at 15 degrees on a bit of paper; did you walk up a slope like that without noticing? Second best is something like a quarter sphere bubble screen, as popularised on French Le Mans cars. You can't see much out of either of those windscreen designs. 

 

Laminar flow over a car is implausible, so we should acknowledge that designs try to manage turbulent flow. Super car designers manage turbulent flow; hatchback designers do the same thing; the big difference is that hatchback designers keep your rear screen clean so that you can see the overtaking super car.



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#602 arttidesco

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 21:41

What are they doing wrong on this modern stuff that are mostly plastic?

 

I suspect a lot of metal is used to build crumple zones, side impact protection and roll over protection the latter would be non existent in a Galaxy I imagine.



#603 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 22:01

I suspect a lot of metal is used to build crumple zones, side impact protection and roll over protection the latter would be non existent in a Galaxy I imagine.

Huge strong intrusion bars in the doors, a very strong body shell without A pillars that cause blind spots, a perimiter chassis that has front crumple zones, a huge steel bumper that spreads the load effectivly. The same basic chassis design actually as the Crown Victoria still for sale in the US. Maybe not quite so efficient in a crash as some modern cars but far better side impact protection, far more crumple area in the front. A crash between a modern 1600 kilo ecobox and the 71 Ford would = one dead eco box.  I work on modern cars and am amazed how puny many things are. front crash protection is generally ok, though they use the ENGINE as a member to spread load instead of the plastic bumpers.

The modern cars ofcourse drive far better, better handling, better steering, better seats, Though braking is as good, a modern 1800 kilo Falcon has only just got brakes actually as big on mainsteam models. The Galaxie had 12" rotors in 71 with a huge clamping force with 11" drums on the rear. And there has never been anything wrong with drums on the rear of any family car. 

So never knock something quite modern and strong for its period.



#604 GMACKIE

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 22:05

1954 VW Beetle weight..........740kg.

 

2014 VW Beetle weight..........1240kg.



#605 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 22:19

Using heavier plastics?

 

Wiring looms are certainly getting heavier, too...

Plastic bumper covers seldom exceed 5k. [Though some cube out @ 120k] Wiring looms actually are  far more comprehensive but generally use thinner wire. And generally are far more efficient.

I really dont know where the weight comes from. Very thin [and strong] steel. Starters and alternators are far lighter, engines are generally lighter though transaxles or transmissions are generally heavier. Glass is thinner. Seats are far lighter and more comfortable. Though not nesecerily stronger. Suspensions should be lighter though I doubt that. An alloy crossmember or wishbone has to use a LOT more material than a pressed steel one. Though are probably more 'rigid' in the end. Even carpet and underfelts are lighter. Even modern batteries are more efficient for their weight. The bodies often have no sound deadener. So where does the weight come from,, A 1700kilo Camry, a 1800 kilo Falcon, a near 1500kilo Corrolla. Even a I30 Hyundia is evidently pushing 1200kilo.



#606 kayemod

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 23:08

All of the windows need to be motor powered...

 

In general you're right with almost all those points of course, but a minor quibble on electric windows. No idea how today's systems compare, and it was so long ago that I can't remember exactly when the change was made, but at Lotus in the 70s we went over to electric side windows in a successful attempt to save both weight and cost, the small motors didn't cost much, and the lifting mechanism needed was lighter, simpler and cheaper than hand winding. Also, customers appreciated the "added luxury" in their Elans and Europas.



#607 David Shaw

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 04:26

1954 VW Beetle weight..........740kg.

 

2014 VW Beetle weight..........1240kg.

That's what happens when you move the engine to the wrong end.



#608 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 22:30

In general you're right with almost all those points of course, but a minor quibble on electric windows. No idea how today's systems compare, and it was so long ago that I can't remember exactly when the change was made, but at Lotus in the 70s we went over to electric side windows in a successful attempt to save both weight and cost, the small motors didn't cost much, and the lifting mechanism needed was lighter, simpler and cheaper than hand winding. Also, customers appreciated the "added luxury" in their Elans and Europas.

A modern power window reg and motor weighs less than a manual window reg of the 80s. though are generally less reliable too. As I have just invoiced a pair of new regs for a customer! Instead of being gears they are a cable and motor drum. The cables break as do the pullies.


Edited by Lee Nicolle, 06 March 2014 - 22:31.


#609 pete53

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 16:09

I think the Lagonda Rapide got a mention earlier. I have come across an Autosport report from a race meeting at Snetterton in April 1964 which informs me that such a car actually won the over 1000cc Saloon car race that day. It was driven by Pat Fergusson and sported a 4 litre Aston Martin engine. Even at the time the reporter reflected .. "surely one of the most unlikely cars to ever win a race"



#610 Stephen W

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:08

10271386_10152351577763560_4925665219972

Above: 1958 Dodge Coronet at Loton Park 2014

 

Two speed automatic transmission, leatherette bench seat, rock hard cross plies but the saving grace was whitewalls!



#611 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 07:51

10271386_10152351577763560_4925665219972

Above: 1958 Dodge Coronet at Loton Park 2014

 

Two speed automatic transmission, leatherette bench seat, rock hard cross plies but the saving grace was whitewalls!

If ya lucky it may have a 426 hemi! Witha 3 speed torqueflite. Still a very strong and efficient piece. A neighbour had one in my youth. It was frighteningly fast in a straight line and hooked up surprisingly well with Michelin X radials. Low 14s at the street drags and dont tell dad!

Bench seat means more passengers and the crossplies and drums limit the performance!

Actually I drove a Desoto version of that car recently. With radials it drove and stopped ok. And remember that weighs less than many modern full size cars now at around 1800 kilo



#612 bradbury west

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 10:14

ISTR that motor sporting benefactor Arnold Burton,, he of Burton's and Harewood inter alia, used to compete regularly in sprints and hillclimbs in the late 50s in a rare Facel Vega, not sure exactly which model but top of the range. There is a foto online somewhere of him luridly cornering it in full body- leaning  mode in a sprint at the Burton factory, where BARC /BRSCC/YSCC? held a series of sprint events.

Roger Lund



#613 LotusElise

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 17:08

I've just been reading about Willys jeeps being used in endurance racing in Brazil, in the 1950s and 1960s. How did that work? 

The Willys is the least aerodynamic vehicle in the world, and the suspension set-up would be, interesting.

They do have the advantage of being indestructable, I suppose. 



#614 BRG

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 18:24

Are you sure it was Jeeps?  Aero-Willys cars were made in Brazil in those days and these were normal saloon cars.



#615 Stephen W

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 08:26

ISTR that motor sporting benefactor Arnold Burton,, he of Burton's and Harewood inter alia, used to compete regularly in sprints and hillclimbs in the late 50s in a rare Facel Vega, not sure exactly which model but top of the range. There is a foto online somewhere of him luridly cornering it in full body- leaning  mode in a sprint at the Burton factory, where BARC /BRSCC/YSCC? held a series of sprint events.

Roger Lund

 

BARC ran the Burton sprint around the factory in Leeds. They still have "The Burton Trophy" which is now awarded at one of the Harewood meetings.

 

I've just been reading about Willys jeeps being used in endurance racing in Brazil, in the 1950s and 1960s. How did that work? 

The Willys is the least aerodynamic vehicle in the world, and the suspension set-up would be, interesting.

They do have the advantage of being indestructable, I suppose. 

 

I did once see a Land Rover sprinting at an event at Leconfield airfield (aka Carnaby 2).



#616 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 09:12

BARC ran the Burton sprint around the factory in Leeds. They still have "The Burton Trophy" which is now awarded at one of the Harewood meetings.

 

 

I did once see a Land Rover sprinting at an event at Leconfield airfield (aka Carnaby 2).

Someone ran a 4500 Landcruiser 80 series here a few years back. On passenger tyres it worked surprisingly well. Faster than many sports Cars



#617 LotusElise

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 09:41

Are you sure it was Jeeps?  Aero-Willys cars were made in Brazil in those days and these were normal saloon cars.

 

Yes. The Interlagos was commoner, but there was some Jeep racing, in Brazil and earlier in Europe, apparently.



#618 D-Type

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 15:36

I seem to remamber a class for jeep-type vehicled in the [real] Mille Miglia in at least one year in the early fifties.  I don't think a Willys ever competed but Alfa and Fiat  'jeeps' did.  Or maybe they ran as touring cars?



#619 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 16:13

I remember the Lagonda Rapide as I was flagging at Coram curve for that race.  I looked a very unlikely car for racing but Snetterton must have suited it as from my memory it easily led for most of the race.



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#620 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 06:41



I seem to remamber a class for jeep-type vehicled in the [real] Mille Miglia in at least one year in the early fifties.  I don't think a Willys ever competed but Alfa and Fiat  'jeeps' did.  Or maybe they ran as touring cars?

 

Like this?  2008 Mille Miglia, Alfa Romeo...

 

DSCF4614.jpg  DSCF4615.jpg

 

Vince H.


Edited by raceannouncer2003, 06 May 2014 - 06:44.


#621 GMACKIE

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:20

I really like those Alfa-Romeo 'Jeeps'.......especially the ones with the wire wheels.



#622 baz

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 11:14

A Toyota Landcruiser with lots of horsepower competes in hillclimbs in QLD and is rather quick



#623 pete53

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 11:38

I have come across an Austin A35 competing at a Croft Relay relay event. Of course A30/35s were commonplace on the circuits in the late 50s, but this one is worth a mention in that :

 

a) it was an estate version of the A35

b) it was as late as 1968.

 

The car in question was powered by a 1275cc engine, entered by Team Surgespeed and drive by Forbes McGregor.



#624 Dipster

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 18:15

I have come across an Austin A35 competing at a Croft Relay relay event. Of course A30/35s were commonplace on the circuits in the late 50s, but this one is worth a mention in that :

 

a) it was an estate version of the A35

b) it was as late as 1968.

 

The car in question was powered by a 1275cc engine, entered by Team Surgespeed and drive by Forbes McGregor.

I do not remember this car but it sounds quite suitable to me!



#625 pete53

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 19:01

I do not remember this car but it sounds quite suitable to me!

I'm surprised there weren't more around then.

 

I think what comes out of this thread is that there were cars that appeared unsuitable, but against the odds, turned out no to be that  bad. Then there were some that appeared unsuitable and, once on the track, proved that appearances weren't deceptive.



#626 johnny yuma

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 06:57

Returning to obesity in cars since 1990s,the car I have most weight knowledge on is the Holden Commodore series.They were a spacious, light and responsive car in 1992, weighing less than 1300kg having a 3.8 litre Iron engine,but motoring journalists and others began judging cars mainly on NVH and equipment criteria.By 1997 the Commodore had the same interior room,same engine and transmission,but had put on 250kg in weight.Yes they seemed quieter and smoother,but it was mainly achieved in the same way old cars seemed to ride better with all seats occupied rather than the driver alone.The weight of the extra steel used to beef up the body stiffness in the Commodores also improved the ride,more sound deadener went in,the wheels got wider and bigger,gadgets were added,ABS Brakes have heavy componentry and the IRS in probably heavier than the old beam axle rear and needs a stiffer platform as well.Today the Alloy 6 cylinder of 3.6 litres is lighter than the old 1948 2.2 litre in the first Holden.but I would guess the transmission in the Commodore would be 3 times the weight of the old 3 speed box of 1948.Even the 6 litre Alloy V8 in the Commodore is lighter than the 2.2 litre iron 6 of 1948.

Thus you end up with a heavy but powerful car,which carries the same number of people as before,but uses about the same amount of fuel driven at the speed limit.Comfort trumps efficiency gains.



#627 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 00:12

Returning to obesity in cars since 1990s,the car I have most weight knowledge on is the Holden Commodore series.They were a spacious, light and responsive car in 1992, weighing less than 1300kg having a 3.8 litre Iron engine,but motoring journalists and others began judging cars mainly on NVH and equipment criteria.By 1997 the Commodore had the same interior room,same engine and transmission,but had put on 250kg in weight.Yes they seemed quieter and smoother,but it was mainly achieved in the same way old cars seemed to ride better with all seats occupied rather than the driver alone.The weight of the extra steel used to beef up the body stiffness in the Commodores also improved the ride,more sound deadener went in,the wheels got wider and bigger,gadgets were added,ABS Brakes have heavy componentry and the IRS in probably heavier than the old beam axle rear and needs a stiffer platform as well.Today the Alloy 6 cylinder of 3.6 litres is lighter than the old 1948 2.2 litre in the first Holden.but I would guess the transmission in the Commodore would be 3 times the weight of the old 3 speed box of 1948.Even the 6 litre Alloy V8 in the Commodore is lighter than the 2.2 litre iron 6 of 1948.

Thus you end up with a heavy but powerful car,which carries the same number of people as before,but uses about the same amount of fuel driven at the speed limit.Comfort trumps efficiency gains.

Again we disagree!  The 6,2 alloy V8 would weigh a lot more than a grey. It is a fairly big lump of aluminium yet alone all the heavy parts inside,,, crank, rods, valves etc. Plus all the efi. Even the SAAB gunker would be heavier. The transmissions too will be heavier though not by nearly as much. A T5 with bellhousing and shift weighs just over a 100lb. About the same actually as a Muncie or alloy T10 which are both stronger. The old iron case and bellhousing grey box is probably around 90lb. The EH handgrenade with alloy b/h weighs about 25 lb less with the same internal gears.

Most VNs too approached 1400k IRS is probably 50k more on VP on. V8 VN with some fruit weighed over 1500.

And VNs were and understeering to snap oversteer pig that tramtracked all over the road and get very tired in the shocks very early. Plus 260mm brakes that were barely adequate for a 1200k VB.  [V8s did have better brakes and desperatly needed them] The much improved VR was the first Commodore worth driving, a lot more caster and respectable size brakes on the base models.  Still had a driving position like an FE Holden  and still tramtracked like any strut type suspension but far better mannered with far less understeer. And still with the harsh noisy rattly 3.8 engine. The Ecotec in the VS was a bit better though they crack heads worse than the earlier engine. 'Tis why most Commodores use lots of coolant, and often start on 5, they pump all the coolant out the exhaust.

Scarey to warranty the things too, or most cars over about 4 years old as they either corrode, crack heads or blow headgaskets. As well as stretchy headbolts that give up if and when the engine gets hot. Or worse they corrode the head on as the coolant gets up around them. 



#628 seldo

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 06:21

Again we disagree!  The 6,2 alloy V8 would weigh a lot more than a grey. It is a fairly big lump of aluminium yet alone all the heavy parts inside,,, crank, rods, valves etc.....

Not much in it really Lee 374lbs vs 409lbs, so 15.9kg.

#629 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 23:46

Figures I got was 374lb for a FB [manual flywheel]  grey complete and LS2  [auto flexplate]443lb complete. That basically makes the FB motor and gearbox the same weight as the LS2. Which uses generally a fairly heavy [and strong] auto. T56 is not really light either and the Getrag used for some models I feel is heavier too. 

 

Though all those figures will be rubbery to a degree. Having weighed individual components over the years they seem to vary quite a lot,, eg those real early grey blocks had thicker walls so were heavier. I have weighed SBC blocks and there is nearly 30 lbs difference between a 69 350 and a 79. At a guess the alloy engines may have some fair differences too. Probably far more than that between a small journal 327 and an early 350. 

Even some cranks weigh more, red steel crank is nearly 2 lb heavier than cast 186. About the same for a 350.  Blue 202 counterweight is 15lb heavier than red 202. Blue rods are heavier [and stronger] than red. Piston weight varies quite a deal. Red flywheels are heavier than blue/ black by about 3 lb.



#630 johnny yuma

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 00:01

Concede the ALLOY V8 is a tad heavier but my real point was the Alloy V6 is lighter.And again I spoke of the VP  V6 as a nice driver,had one for 10 years only sold it because the A/C was going to cost more to fix than the car was worth.My current VT is not as nice handling as the beam axle VP,I have since discovered the next model got the IRS fixed (is it true ?) ,although is smoother on very poor surfaces.Never had a head off the VP in 230,000km,cars only blow gaskets if you don't watch gauges...or if you ignore them ! Or you never check the water and oil.

Back to topic slightly,When did V8 Supercars morph from factory body structure stripped out and strengthened to the current artificial body/chassis.

Would it have been when the holden/falcon bodies got too heavy to strip to 1350kg in race mode? Thus making later  "V8 Supercars" unsuitable for racing in their street form as they were too heavy !!



#631 mph911

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 07:35

This is unsuitable, yet very cool  :yawnface:  426 Hemi Plymouth Belvedere competing in Daytona Continental sports car race, 1965.

 

21965PlyBelvedereDayConontrack2_zps9ac9d

 

41965PlyBelvedereDayConlft_zps9504a009.j

 

31965DaytonaContinentalrearlft_zps7dd722

 

11965PlyBelvedereDayConontrack3_zpse5ef0



#632 carlt

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 08:16

Huge strong intrusion bars in the doors, a very strong body shell without A pillars that cause blind spots, a perimiter chassis that has front crumple zones, a huge steel bumper that spreads the load effectivly. The same basic chassis design actually as the Crown Victoria still for sale in the US. Maybe not quite so efficient in a crash as some modern cars but far better side impact protection, far more crumple area in the front. A crash between a modern 1600 kilo ecobox and the 71 Ford would = one dead eco box.  I work on modern cars and am amazed how puny many things are. front crash protection is generally ok, though they use the ENGINE as a member to spread load instead of the plastic bumpers.

The modern cars ofcourse drive far better, better handling, better steering, better seats, Though braking is as good, a modern 1800 kilo Falcon has only just got brakes actually as big on mainsteam models. The Galaxie had 12" rotors in 71 with a huge clamping force with 11" drums on the rear. And there has never been anything wrong with drums on the rear of any family car. 

So never knock something quite modern and strong for its period.

Its so inconvenient that pedestrians , cyclists and other random unprotected beings are now considered in crash protection and bumper design 



#633 Dipster

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 08:42

This is unsuitable, yet very cool  :yawnface:  426 Hemi Plymouth Belvedere competing in Daytona Continental sports car race, 1965.

 

21965PlyBelvedereDayConontrack2_zps9ac9d

 

41965PlyBelvedereDayConlft_zps9504a009.j

 

31965DaytonaContinentalrearlft_zps7dd722

 

11965PlyBelvedereDayConontrack3_zpse5ef0

Unsuitable perhaps but I bet running it was a hoot! Probably hopelessly outclassed but I have no doubt that the folks involved had a great deal of fun. Isn't that so important, eh? 



#634 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 08:57

Concede the ALLOY V8 is a tad heavier but my real point was the Alloy V6 is lighter.And again I spoke of the VP  V6 as a nice driver,had one for 10 years only sold it because the A/C was going to cost more to fix than the car was worth.My current VT is not as nice handling as the beam axle VP,I have since discovered the next model got the IRS fixed (is it true ?) ,although is smoother on very poor surfaces.Never had a head off the VP in 230,000km,cars only blow gaskets if you don't watch gauges...or if you ignore them ! Or you never check the water and oil.

Back to topic slightly,When did V8 Supercars morph from factory body structure stripped out and strengthened to the current artificial body/chassis.

Would it have been when the holden/falcon bodies got too heavy to strip to 1350kg in race mode? Thus making later  "V8 Supercars" unsuitable for racing in their street form as they were too heavy !!

Have they ever fixed Commodore IRS?  They still eat tyres though they do drive better than a VT.

The Supercar people lost the plot and built heavy Sports Sedans instead. What do they weigh these days. more than 1350 I feel.

The VPs were a lot lighter than mininum. at one stage I feel Chris Smerdons Larry Built car was about 1250? It was well under weight. The smaller Commodore did it a lot easier than the Ford. Other way around now.



#635 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 09:00

Unsuitable perhaps but I bet running it was a hoot! Probably hopelessly outclassed but I have no doubt that the folks involved had a great deal of fun. Isn't that so important, eh? 

The results in class would be interesting. I doubt it was hopelessly outclasse. They were not a very heavy car per se. 

Ray may well know, he is on holidays though!


Edited by Lee Nicolle, 19 May 2014 - 09:01.


#636 mph911

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 09:58

It would have handled quiet well. Chrysler were banned from running the Hemi in Nascar and were looking at other classes.

I am about to start building up a 66 Barracuda for the track and regularity at the historic's, in my research found that Chrysler had FIA approval..Group 2 in '65 for rallying and Group 3 in '66 for sports car racing and was contemplating running in Europe at Le Mans etc for the Barracuda. They saw some potential in the cars, especially after the first year or two of Trans Am with the Dart and Barracuda.



#637 arttidesco

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 16:45

This is unsuitable, yet very cool  :yawnface:  426 Hemi Plymouth Belvedere competing in Daytona Continental sports car race, 1965.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11965PlyBelvedereDayConontrack3_zpse5ef0

 

Qualified 11th so Scott Harvey and Peter Hutchinson must have found a respectable turn of speed somewhere on the circuit :smoking: