Overdrive

In March 2014 I had a mind to explore in a future model the idea of a type of suspension system. By way of only an experiment, I started by building a chassis kind of framework as a possible unusual prototype that I could incorporate into my next model.

Several versions were tried out, refined and discarded before I ended up with something I thought I could work with. Firstly I constructed one as a test piece and added some large Meccano wheels that I had never used before, but I was not happy with the result. For my second attempt I constructed another which proved unsatisfying to me as it seemed too impractical. My third attempt sadly fared no better but I was determined to crack the idea. So I started the fourth attempt to crack a system which finally seemed to show future promise and be better equipped to employ in a future model.

But I continued to tinker with the design and extended the chassis and added two more sets of wheels making it look like a large trailer, but it helped show the suspension was working well. I realised at that point that I had never built a car, lorry or bus since my boyhood years with Meccano from models of the manual of a set № 3 which I got when I was just 8 years of age.

So with this chassis and three pairs of wheels and a very satisfactory suspension system coming together in my hands, I decided I wanted to construct it a little bit more.

Thinking of developing it into a lorry or similar, I realised that with these wheels in tandem like in a train, that this trailer will not turn at all and will only move forward or backward in a straight line, so I decided to remove four of the wheels leaving only the rear ones to which I added two more so four wheels in an axle all free without any differential etc.

Then I set about adding the cabin of a lorry to add to the trailer to form a large truck and a separate vehicle so a truck and detachable trailer would be my end result.

I started building this new unit and soon it was looking like a big Jeep or heavy duty truck, but I kept adding details to make it look like a lorry in full. These included steering wheel movement, sun visors, side mirrors, wipers, gear change, reclining seats, opening doors with arm rest, fascia instruments, side, spots and main lights plus search lights over the cabin and many more and a front winch as well, another similar suspension as in the trailer was also fitted to the truck itself and in all it was working well.

I haven’t motorised it yet as this was mainly an experiment and not meant to be a full model vehicle at all. As I mentioned I am not an expert in building gearboxes, differentials, clutches, steering or suspension, but I am very happy with the final result and have enjoyed the break from making traditional fairground models for a change.

I have left the cabin open mainly to see be able to see into it and to be able to operate the steering.

I did not mean to construct a full model lorry, just explore a suspension idea, but something drove me to it!

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