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................................................-- Body Sketches --
I've had a pretty good idea what body shape I've wanted all along, but have had a hard time describing it to someone else even when they are looking at the car. Recently my friend Rex Schimmer said he would do some sketches and asked for some dimensions. I told him that the body would hug all of the frame, chassis, side pods, etc. that are there. So the car has been made as much as possible to permit a body to be made like I had envisioned. The first two sketches or the ones I got from Rex and the third is one of his that I modified (not very well) to try and get the look a little more like I hope it will be. Rex thanks for taking the time to make these sketches, Sum
Rex calls his first sketch the "Flat Panel Version" and it would be the easiest to form/make with pretty much flat panels and fewer compound curves. I didn't get him the overall length and wheelbase before he did these. I don't know what he used, but imagine this with the real axle a little further back on the car with less overhang back there. The side pods will also be an equal height for their entire length. The pods in real life are not as big as the sketches or what they look like in the pictures on my site. They are 6 inches high and only 11 inches wide. Cup your two hands and hold them 11 inches apart and that is basically the frontal area they have. Since the front of the body curves in they are wider there, but where the car is the widest at the cockpit (largest frontal area) they are only 6 by 11 each.
Rex named this the "Formed Panel Version" and except for the tops/bottoms/sides of the pods the rest of the body is compound curves. Harder to make, but a slight aero advantage over the first one.
I took the "Formed Body" one above and modified it some to look a little more like what I feel the car will look like. The nose will be rounded (using the nose off of a drop tank) and stick out a little ways forward by itself (more like Rex's first sketch). The front of the pods will come off the nose at almost a 90 deg. angle (more like Rex's first sketch). Seems like I've read that a wing coming off of a body at more than a 7 deg. angle is not as aero as one they comes off more perpendicular to the body. They will have a reversed airfoil shape on their leading edge. I'm hoping the body will come apart across the nose and along the leading edge of the front of the pods and down the sides of the pod as these mostly are areas where the air has little speed, so is less likely to be tripped and become un-attached to the body. Somewhere (probably near or at the firewall) the front of the body will separate from the rear of the body and the body under the car will probably do the same. Back that far the air is no longer attached, so seams don't hurt as much. One thing you can't see in these sketches is the bottom of the car. The car has been built in such a way that the lowest point on the car will remain 6 inches off the ground. Also the bottom from the pod on one side over to the other side will be rounded. This will help to not compress the air between the bottom of the car and the ground. I went with this approach since I wanted the car to have suspension. If I would have run it rigid it would be right down on the ground like Costella's cars/bikes.
I know Rex likes NACA ducts and has them in his versions, but I don't want to risk not designing them right and maybe not locating them right so I'll have an air inlet above the cockpit. It will taper into the tail. The tail height will be determined later to get the center of pressure where I would like it. The rear-end of the pods will also taper back into the body at a sharper angle than what Rex and I have shown and won't go all the way to the back of the car.
Ok, this is what I hope to have. Life is full of compromises and the body might have to evolve over time also and what I have at first might not be what I end up with. I think it was the Hudson Boy's lakester that I watched go through this progress. It started with a nose and you pretty much saw all the rest of the car down to the last detail. Then the body was finished. Then tweaked. Then made into a streamliner (if I remember right) and now with a new rear half it is a rear engined modified roadster. Pretty neat, but I don't ever expect my lakester to go that far.