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Simple (dumb) question: F1 Cars


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#1 cts125

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Posted 24 September 2002 - 16:56

I have a rather simple question....did early 1960's front-engine F1 cars, like Vanwall, BRM, Connaught, have bodywork that extended fully underneath the frame?
I've never seen one of these cars...only models of them, which always have a 'belly-pan' that fits below the frame and the body attaches to this pan. Is that correct?...and did most such pieces extend the whole length of the upper body?

Thanks for helping answer this question!

CT

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#2 oldtimer

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Posted 24 September 2002 - 17:29

CTS, the Vanwall most certainly had a complete undertray that went from nose to tail, apart from the radiator exit. There is a picture in the Denis Jenkinson/Cyril Posthumus book on the Vanwall showing one of the cars on a sling being moved onto a ship. I assume the same would apply to the other front-engined cars of the 1950s era. The trend would have been set by the Mercedes and Auto-Union cars of the late 30s, which had virtually complete undertrays, with just openings for engine and gearbox cooling.

#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 24 September 2002 - 19:29

Yes, that's right. Most of the cars had detachable undertray panels but the BRM Type 25s had very subtly shaped, 'spooned' underpanelling which was permanently attached, riveted onto the chassis frame as stressed-skin stiffening. Some of the front-engined cars actually had detachable undertray sections which extended quite far up the car's sides, and these panels were devils to remove without damage. Some earlier 1950s Grand Prix cars did not have undertrays or did not always wear them - Ferrari and Maserati both lacked such panels, the lower body sides stopping in line with the lower-edge of the main chassis rails. Look out for pix of crashed cars lying upside down - the're quite instructive in this regard...

DCN

#4 scheivlak

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Posted 24 September 2002 - 20:02

The famous AVUS pic:
http://8w.forix.com/hh-d59.jpg
(perhaps somebody has one in better quality)

#5 David Beard

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Posted 24 September 2002 - 20:25

Lotus 16 belly up.....


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#6 dmj

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 08:20

How common was that practice in sports car racing? Jaguar D-type was fully covered underside, too, if models I have are any realistic... What about the others?

#7 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 16:09

Any self-respecting tailor-made sports-racing car from about 1955 forward had an undertray simply to make the shape more slippery. Aston Martin DB3S did not have an undertray so far as I recall, but I think one was fitted to the DBR1/300 series. Maseratis and Ferraris had fixed panelling riveted into place late on, but early ones simply have the chassis rails and floor boards then all the guts and giblets exposed. Frank Costin bodies on Lotus and Lister used very comprehensive underpanelling. D-Types had the underside of the central monocoque tub panelled, of course, but the tubular front bay below the engine was occasionally panelled, more often not. Basically most earlier sports-racing cars had a floor where the men sit simply so they could find their pencils - or cheese sandwiches - if they dropped them, rather than them falling out onto the road.

DCN

#8 Ian McKean

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 19:02

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Basically most earlier sports-racing cars had a floor where the men sit simply so they could find their pencils - or cheese sandwiches - if they dropped them, rather than them falling out onto the road.

DCN


Off topic, like many of my posts (sorry), but this reminds me that many years ago Barrie Williams told me he borrowed a Morgan from Peter Morgan for some rally or other.

They went over a big yump and the navigator dropped his pencil. He reached down to find it and suddenly screamed in pain. The yump had dislodged the Morgan's floor boards and he had touched the road!

Editing this as I just remembered that Barrie eventually hit something with the Morgan and they had to tie the front suspension to a tree and drive backwards to straighten it out.

#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 21:52

http://members.atlas...British GP Bira

Prince 'Bira's rolled 250F at Silverstone, 1954 - 'dropped' by Ron Flockhart and soon to be swopped with the Owen Organisation's sister car by way of atonement for the Scotsman's sins, and modified into 'The Owen Maserati' - note the full-length hyper-dynamic undertray...

DCN