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Matich A50


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#1 island

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Posted 14 September 2002 - 17:28

Did Frank Matich himself do the design of his F5000 racer ?
The car featured an unusual bi-plane rear wing in some 1972 Gold Star events (as did the A51
in 1973 L&M races in the US)
What was the reason behind that ? Did the bi-plane work better than the standard rear wing ?
Ray, did you ever ask Frank...?

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 September 2002 - 18:40

Frank who?.... oh, yeah, Frank Who!

How you been, island? Long time no see...

Frank was very secretive at that time, and I've not asked him since. I would believe that he did do at least a significant part of the design work on the A50-53 series of cars. If anyone else had any 'significant' input it would have been John Joyce at Bowin Designs, who built much of the car (to the best of my knowledge)... and who has just recently died, as we learned here a little while ago.

Somewhere I have a close-up photo of that bi-plane wing that I took the first time I saw it at Surfers Paradise in '72. No doubt he was looking for a bit of extra downforce, possibly hoping to get it without presenting any extra frontal area to the wind to increase drag.

I'll ask... I'll be seeing him soon.

#3 WGD706

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Posted 14 September 2002 - 19:54

Ray
Here's a link to those wonderful sergent.com.au pages you told me about. There's a color (colour?) photo of Frank Matich in a Matich Repco A50 about half-way down, 5th picture.
The Matich A50, designed and built by Sydney racing driver Matich, is also an original design and based on Matich's experience with McLaren Formula 5000 cars, notably the much-modified M10B he raced in the 1971 series. This car is also of monocoque construction, 16-gauge alloy being employed. The shape is rather angular, resembling the Surtees in some respects, and the car has been designed to make maintenance as simple as possible. The stressed Repco V8 engine, for example, can be replaced within a couple of hours while the front and rear suspension have also been designed for easy replacement. This design enabled the car to run in the NZGP with 13in front and 15in rear wheels and then switch to 14in wheels all round for Levin without any dramas. The A50 weighs around 1380lb and has a variable-length wheelbase, ranging from 98in to 103in. The length can be altered quite easily to suit various circuits. Matich is producing the car for sale and already has delivered some examples to the United States. The A50 part of the name, incidentally, denotes that it is a Formula A and that Repco is celebrating its 50th birthday this year.
The rear wing almost looks like something Chapman was starting to use on his 72, more than one element.
http://www.sergent.com.au/tas72s.html
Warren

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 September 2002 - 20:33

Originally posted by WGD706
....This design enabled the car to run in the NZGP with 13in front and 15in rear wheels and then switch to 14in wheels all round for Levin without any dramas....


Now there's a total surprise...

I didn't think there were suitable tyres in 14" at that time, but they may have been expreimental ones from Goodyear.

anyone else know about this?

#5 LittleChris

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Posted 14 September 2002 - 23:40

So I take it that Chunky Chapmans Lotus 76 rear aerodynamics may well have involved a bit of plagiarism then ?

#6 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 08:32

Originally posted by WGD706

This design enabled the car to run in the NZGP with 13in front and 15in rear wheels and then switch to 14in wheels all round for Levin without any dramas. The A50 weighs around 1380lb and has a variable-length wheelbase, ranging from 98in to 103in.



I've been checking some 1972 race reports and while the A50 did start the Tasman Series with 13in front and 15in rear wheels it was converted to 13in all round for the second meeting at Levin. He had handling difficulties there, missing the second practice session while the rear suspension was modified. The changes must have improved the car as he set the second best time in the final session.

A week later at Wigram the car was still on 13in wheels but the wheelbase had been lengthned by half an inch and new parts fitted in the rear suspension. Matich commented that the A50 still wasn't handling the way he wanted it but he stuck with the changes. He could only manage fifth on the grid at Wigram.

At Teretonga the A50 was back on 13in front and 15in rear wheels and he qualified second, albeit a full second behind Hailwood's Surtees TS8A.