The Aluminum frame is now fully formed and we are agreed that this is what i was looking for. Every joint will now be fully welded and ‘finished’ so that the skin fits tightly and the various joints will receive strengthening fillets to make the whole structure even stronger.I am really pleased with the way all the top surface lines flow together and the little curve at the rear is simple but it adds a certain something.
What really surprised me is the weight of the frame – i.e. it hasn’t got much, you can easily lift the entire frame with just one hand and even though most of the joints are only tack welded into place – it is already pretty strong. Once all the fillets are in place, every joint is fully welded and the outer skin is fitted, this will be one strong car body but importantly still very light which can only improve the cars performance.
In the photos below I think you can now see the shape of the bodywork. You may not notice this but the arm cutout for the passenger is very slightly different to the drivers side. This is because the top of the dashboard on the near side is lower than the off side. More practically, the two sides of the car are actually different in needs – the driver badly needs elbow room so to accommodate this, the front passenger sits an inch or so lower and slightly behind the driver. The arm cutout has been mildly adjusted to suit but like the off-side is a lovely curve into the instrument panel area.
In the picture below you can see the finished shape of the back and note how the frame in front of the steering wheel curves up to match the steering wheel and then sweeps down into the drivers arm cutout. The chaps at Bespoke Bodywork reluctantly agreed to appear in the blog – I caught them whilst they demonstrated the fit of the petrol tank… A talented team, left to right we have Dan (engineering), Harry (learning the trade) and Chris (owner and chief artisan)The petrol tank sits in its original position but is no longer protected by any bodywork and you can see how close it is to the rear wheels. To prevent stones thrown up by the rear wheels penetrating the tank with the obvious consequences, we decided to follow the wisdom of Vintage Bentley’s and fit a stainless steel mesh for protection. It therefore makes sense to factor in some mounting points for me to create said protective mesh at a later date.
Next week – the bodywork ‘skin’ commences and the English wheel comes into play for the first time on this car… i will be onsite video in hand to watch this ancient art take place and see how the artisans take a flat piece of aluminum and turn it into a rounded shaped panel.