Monocoque starting to take shape …

Getting closer to a rolling chassis now and work is focussed on finalising fuel tanks*, gear-linkage location and bulkhead details. Work has also started on hand-forming aluminium panels for the body. The following picture shows the view from the front of the car with an original 1965 photo superimposed. There is still a lot of detail to complete on the bulkheads but we should end up pretty close!

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The (steel) rear engine mount and front suspension mount has now returned from the powder-coaters and the many original-spec Avdel rivets can be applied to attach everything together. Paul wasn’t completely happy with the shade of silver used by the coaters and both sections will be hand-painted to more closely match the original finish before they are finally attached to the central body section.

After a lot of deliberation, and having taking advice from an aeronautical specialist, we have decided to complete the rivetting of the engine mounts using modern high-strength rivets. Most of these will be hidden anyway and I wanted the additional security they will provide. The intention is to drive the finished car in the way it was intended to be driven so I want to make sure this part of the car is as firmly fastened down as possible! The rivets we will use for this engine mount section are the same as supplied to Richard Noble for use in his latest Land Speed Record Car so I’m sure they will be up to the job!

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The chassis engine mounts are fabricated from steel as original and provide the main attachment of the engine to the chassis – via my CNC-machined solid-stainless engine mounts. The chassis engine mounts also provide location for the roll-bar. The picture shows the mounts at quite an early stage and, since the photo was taken, they have been coated/painted, welded and rivetted. The strain on the engine mounting arrangement was subject to a lot of detailed analysis by Jaguar and I was able to make use of the data contained therein. I’m confident this major structural part of the car is pretty well “nailed”!

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Some extracts of the many original reports focussing on this very critical area are shown below (copyright images reproduced with permission):

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* The current “original” was rebuilt in 1972/73 with only a single small fuel tank. My recreation of the 1966 car will have a fuel tank setup similar to that originally installed (3 tanks and a setup more suited to endurance racing). Individual key components supplied by Kinsler in the US.

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