Racing Car

In 1958, at the age of 9, I bought two rod connectors, 3-way with boss, part 213b. They looked interesting, even though I wasn’t quite sure what I would use them for. In the event, they never did get used; they were quite expensive and looked too easily bent. Just as well because I don’t think I have any other part untouched. (Yes, I have used my cone pulley.) Hence the Formula Libre Racing Car. There is Part 213b, forming the centre of the steering wheel. Is this the most elaborate model I have ever built for a single-part challenge?

Motorised, with a working differential, universal-jointed drive to the rear wheels; independent suspension, McPherson Strut at the rear, double wishbone at the front; working steering; uncomfortable driver’s seat!

The tyres came from a toy lorry. Dave Taylor had eight of them in a box and I couldn’t resist them. There was no easy way of making rims to fit with standard Meccano so I resorted to the 3D printer. The wheels are in two parts, inner and outer, and bolt to a bush wheel. They are heavily dished, like a real car, so some of the suspension fits inside. The steering axis of each front wheel can therefore be close to the centre of the tyre’s contact patch, as it should be*, something that can’t be achieved with Meccano wheels.

* Reference: Car Suspension at Work; Daniels, Jeffrey; Motor Racing Publications Ltd, revised edition 1998, pp74–78.

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