V8 space frame Firenza

Joined: November 6th, 2011, 10:14 pm

November 11th, 2013, 9:41 pm #1

Hello fellow retrobates , here in this chapter you'll find a description of a man doing something that he hasn't done before

for the first time, he hasn't even seen anybody else do this in real life , has only read about it or seen it done in films or tv .

So i ask you not to judge to harshly , and to give constructive criticism where you feel it may be warranted.

Any sagely advice will always be appreciated, as I'm a great believer in the fact that I always have something to learn, and

that there is always somebody smarter than me around the next corner.

So take a Vauxhall Firenza and build a V8 spaceframed racecar , with a very limited budget , sounds good ... well that

wasn't how it started out . This project started as a replica of my own Firenza which itself is a pretty close replica of the

famous "Old Nail" car driven by the illustrious Gerry Marshall , but as tome rolled on it became slightly less Firenza and a

bit more of a monster.









The first set of pics are just after I'd married what's left of the Firenza shell to the Euro Thunder saloon chassis,

WTF is a Euro thunder saloon are the exact words I used when the project financier told me he'd bought one.. (so that I could "just" take all the mechanicals out of it and place them into the Firenza)

Well Euro Thunder Saloon Spec sheet reads as follows....

engine........ 5.7ltr V8 Chevrolet approx 350hp

gearbox........ 4sp Richmond built like something you'd find in a Chieftain Tank

rear axle........ Volvo 240 with l.s.d. (personally I think the designers were on it)

front axle ....... Mk3 Granada stubs with weld in bolts where the strut would normally be to enable top wishbone.

front brakes... standard Granada equipment

rear brakes.... standard Volvo equipment.

Chassis.......... yes it had one.... 3mm heavy wall box section and tubing everywhere and tons of it !

Wheels ........... 7"X 15" whit Wellars fitted with a toyo control intermediate.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: July 20th, 2011, 12:16 pm

November 11th, 2013, 10:28 pm #2

Respect!
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 6th, 2011, 10:14 pm

November 12th, 2013, 5:40 pm #3

After setting what was left of the bodyshell and the remains of the thunder saloon chassis on a large surface table ,
i was able to start making outriggers to join the two together.

Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 6th, 2011, 10:14 pm

November 12th, 2013, 6:25 pm #4

Then the two parts became one unit....
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 1st, 2011, 9:44 pm

November 12th, 2013, 6:42 pm #5

Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 6th, 2011, 10:14 pm

November 12th, 2013, 6:43 pm #6

Note the puny front uprights sourced from a Mk3 Granada (modified) and the steering rack looks like it came from a 1.1 Popular Plus..... I decided that big changes were necessary ... so i went to the parts dept: (the other shed, more commonly known as the cat shed 'cause that's where the cats live) and found a pair of XJS front uprights and MX5 steering racks by the score ('cause I break them) so a plan formed on the harddrive....
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 6th, 2011, 10:14 pm

November 12th, 2013, 6:44 pm #7

more later............
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: July 29th, 2013, 10:56 pm

November 12th, 2013, 6:49 pm #8

Needs a V-


I have nothing bad to say about this.

AWESOME :)
You know... The Micra guy.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 6th, 2011, 10:14 pm

November 12th, 2013, 8:42 pm #9

the steering rack as I was saying , I thought was a puny affair for a vehicle that was capable of fairly rapid acceleration and now with even bigger stopping power. So taking stuff that I am already very familiar with ie.. MX5 running gear i decided to try and use a power assisted steering rack from one. The mazda rack is almost half as big again in the diameter of the actual rack and according to my machinist was as "Hard as the Hobs of Hell" to work with , so I reckon the quality is there aswell.
So as the 5rack was much to wide , we machined a measured amount off what would be the "passenger side, both the rack and the mounting tube. This was done so that the pivoting ends where the track rods meet the rack itself , were as close to the same centers as the bottom wishbones. We do this in order that the arc that the outer track rod travels through is as close to the arc that the btm ball joint travels through, this helps to reduce "Bump Steer".

Jaguar XJS front uprights....


Shortened MX5 PAS rack mounted forward of the axle unlike the original rack from the Thunder Saloon, i did this
just for a bit more room in front of the engine...
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 6th, 2011, 10:14 pm

November 13th, 2013, 12:11 pm #10

The wheels of choice are 16" x 11" compomotives , these were bought with nearly new Avon slicks and wets , sound like a lot of money spent , but surprisingly the 8 rims and tyres were bought for £800 which is pretty good as the tyres themselves would be a lot more than that....
Quote
Like
Share