The Chassis and Drivetrain

It all starts with the foundations

Like anything you build, a solid, well engineered foundation is the starting point. The original C1 chassis in it’s it day was a pretty ordinary ride, driving the original car is like driving a 50’s truck. The front suspension geometry is interesting, with excessive bump steer, which is why the car changes lanes when you hit a pothole!

The rear solid axle and leaf spring arrangement is still used today, it works great on utility vehicles but for a day driver there are better solutions, so that is where it starts, how to make that 50’s design work in the 21st.

The first hurdle to overcome is what is within the rules. By rules I mean the laws concerning modifying a vehicle which is state based in Australia. These effect every part of modifying a vehicle from engine, chassis, body, steering, brakes etc and requires working with an RTA approved engineer to ensure the build is meeting these requirements as without the engineers sign off there will be no roadworthy certificate!

I could go into a rant at this point as to why these rules are flawed in many areas but at the end of the day they are what they are. They are also open to some interpretation (understatement) so best to find an engineer who takes a practical approach and will work with you is my advice.

Fresh look at an old chassis

There are a number of aftermarket chassis builders in the USA that have made a name building great handling C1 chassis, I love the Art Morrison and Streetshop chassis, but unfortunately no engineer in NSW I have spoken to will approve one. Ho hum, so it’s back to the original chassis, which structurally is pretty strong with that x frame design. All it really needs is some decent suspension with the correct geometry for the wheelbase and that is exactly what the C4 Corvette had! It’s fully independent, lightweight aluminium and readily available as are all the bearings, bushes and brake components.

Power train

Update Text

John Ward


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