Autocross and Sand Rail - SS (Super-Simple) Rolling Chassis

 

I'll bet that we all remember what fun it was to drive a go-kart when we were young, and the thrill of hugging the road through a series of 25-mph turns.  Because of the low center of gravity and the fact that you were sitting only a couple inches from the pavement made it feel like 100-mph.

Sitting out in the open air and driving something incredibly simple (many of then hand made by the driver) only added to the thrill.

Couple this with the old adage, "The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys." and it really got me thinking, "Wouldn't it be cool to build a Go-Kart for Grown-Ups?"

 

With the release of our FRONT Corvette Interface Adapter Kits in mid-2017, we're going to open up an entire new concept in street, off-road and race car platforms. 

Builders will be able to construct full, bolt-on aluminum suspension modules for the front or the rear, then simply make any frame configuration they desire - and bolt the entire thing together!

Just as an experiment, I decided to see just how simple this new concept could be:

  • Since our rear adapter kit, bolted onto a full-width cradle measures 31.75 outside to outside of the frame rails - and the front prototypes (and production models) are 34.75", the rear cradle was widened 3" to make everything equal.

  • I then secured the front and rear cradles the proper distance apart to yield a 104.5" wheelbase, which is the same as a C5 Corvette.

  • Next, I set the top 2" x 4" aluminum tubing rails in place and bolted them to the adapters.

  • Now the bottom two rails could be integrated into the cradle / adapter mounts.

  • Finally, the diagonal braces were added and everything was tightened up.

 

The entire process took less than two days and although there is still a lot to do, the project officially took on the description of an all-aluminum rolling chassis - on a weekend!

 

This would be a great starting point for an Autocross car - a sand rail - a street car - or whatever. 

And, of course the drivetrain could be set up in any of the four Types that were discussed earlier - with a front or mid engine.

 

(Please note that the FRONT suspension adapters in the photo are our prototypes and won't be available for shipping until mid-2017) 

 

                     Rear Suspension Module                                          Front Suspension Module

Here's another thought - looking at the photo below...

What about building a complete mid-engine drivetrain rear subframe that could be interchanged between a few different project vehicles?  You could have a pickup, an old Ford panel truck and a sand rail that all shared the same drivetrain.  It could even incorporate a quick-release wiring harness and a full cooling system, complete with the radiator and hoses.

These adapters are very simple to use.  Just decide on where you want to mount them on the frame, which will place all of the brackets and mounts in the proper position.  Then raise up the C5 Corvette cradle and suspension and bolt it to the adapters.  Done.

Remember, the all-aluminum frames that are pictured in the photos above are just examples of how simple a frame could be made.

Of course, a conventional 'dropped' frame could also be used along with any drivetrain configuration that you could imagine.

OK, let's say that you want to put your 'Super-Simple' chassis under a body and want to be unique.  Below are a few photos of a fiberglass-door-slammer-funny-car that we build for the street.

The customer had a full Nascar type chassis for a Monte Carlo, and since the dimensions were close, we decided to try a Camaro body on it - and it fit. 

 

Now imagine this project with a mid-engine all-aluminum chassis like the one pictured above... legal, (or almost legal) for the street.  Pretty Cool!

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