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Race Car Chassis: Design and Construction [Paperback]

Forbes Aird
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In the early days of the automobile, many luxury car makers offered their customers a choice of body-work, according to taste and budget, built by any of a number of independent coach-builders. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
If I had known nothing about chassis design and this was the first book I had read, then I would say that this rates rather well and would be more than adequate for a starting point. Having read several books pertaining to suspension geometries, chassis design and construction, composite application and driveline integration in modern race cars, I find it lacking in detail sufficient to actually build a car.
In reality, the detail needed to actually design and build a chassis for a specific car would require much more detail than this book provides. Stress analysis by suspension components and downforce, tubing diameter and wall thickness considerations, material types and their correct application, heat treating requirements after welding, welding methods for specific materials, jig construction, body attachment to frame, safety cage construction considerations, component mounting, mockup materials and proper "scaling" of strength and torsional rigidity ratings and many other aspects of chassis construction are not adequately discussed in this book for the designer / builder to make educated decisions prior to putting "rubber on the road".
The author hints at many of these and actually briefly discusses some of them, BUT I would not feel safe designing a chassis based on that information alone. Again, great for the beginner as "an overview". Should also recommend other follow-on readings at the end with a synopsis of the strengths of the recommendations.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Chassis design Jan. 31 2001
Where am I coming from: I am an engineer in the automotive tooling industry and I am building a Cobra Replica from scratch. I purchased this book (and others) to help me define what I need to design and build an updated chassis from the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C. Prints on this chassis are available so I am converting them via AutoCAD.
I rated this book lower than it may have deserved because it did not inform me of the "Nuts and Bolts" of suspension design. The author did a fine job relating the different types of chassis and why they came about.
After reading other books that covered the placement of suspension and how it effects the chassis, or vice-versa, I found the detailed information to be filler material, dry, and cumbersome.
The filler material made good conversational detail of each subject, but did not fill my basic design needs. I would say this book makes a good complementary reference to a suspension book with definitions. The details can then have meaning to the reader. As a first book for the consumer, it will not be satisfying if you are interested in building a chassis.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for the serious amatuer car builder. April 25 2000
This was the third book I bought after I'd decided to build three Lotus Seven type sports cars. While he discusses many types of chassis designs, materials and construction methods, the author addresses the subject in a logical, easy to understand manner. From the historical context, through the principles influencing chassis development, to the contemporary high performance product. There are also examples of bad engineering faults, to be avoided by advance planning. This approach gives the reader insight that is applicable to all chassis types. This book gave me a level of understanding that has enabled me to research and plan my project; selecting and importantly, comprehending more specialised books as needed. It is still constantly referred to.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Race Car Chassis Design and Construction Dec 11 1999
Engineering for the Non Engineer. Don't be scared. No math is involved. Just a clear overview of the history and current state of the art of race car chassis design. This book is simple enough for the interested fan but envolved enough to provide a starting place for the aspiring race car engineer. Want to know why tube frame chassis are steel, but stressed skin chassis are aluminum or carbon graphite? Forbes Aird tells you. He even tells you what tube frame and stressed skin chassis are. Probably not for the most casual fan, but they won't be attracted by the title anyway. A good book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but... April 30 2001
As other reviwers have mentioned, it gives a good overall description of chassis design, but like the first reviewer, I found myself wanting a little more detail. Even some more example graphics of each type of chassis would make it easier to relate the information to the real world. I ended up wanting more information on how to actually go about designing my own chassis (in my case a spaceframe) rather than the broad spectrum of information provided. Maybe I simply chose the wrong book.
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