Aston martin agenda Stimson scorcher

Britain’s licensing authorities weren’t too sure what to make of the Stimson Scorcher in 1976, hesitatingly classifying it as a motorcycle-sidecar combination. By law, that meant “rider” and “pillion” had to wear crash helmets but the third occupant—the Scorcher seated three in a row—was legally the sidecar occupant and, thus, could ride bareheaded.

However, designer Barry Stimson advised Scorcher occupants to all wear helmets because his outrageous trike, with a British Leyland Mini subframe, engine, and gearbox at the front, could touch a daredevil at 100mph (161kph). The plastic body was made of fiberglass, and the engine was completely exposed, hot-rod style—unless you splurged on the optional plastic hood.

Mr. Stimson was a seminal figure in the burgeoning British kit car scene of the 1970s. His company Noovoh Developments sold the Scorcher as a self-assembly package, for £385, that could be carried home on a roof rack. Capable, enthusiastic mechanics could then build their own Scorcher using salvaged mechanical parts from a decrepit or crash-damaged Mini.

Stimson’s initial kit car design was the Mini Bug of 1970 which became one of Britain’s best-selling kit cars. New Stimson designs, however, soon followed, including the six-wheeled Safari Six, also relying on Mini parts, and then the Scorcher, of which a mere 30 were made in four years. Barry Stimson is in the kit car business to this day, and surviving Scorchers rarely change hands.

Lotus 79

Italian-American racing driver Mario Andretti declared the Lotus 78 drove “like it was painted to the road,” and proved this Formula One car’s uncanny winning streak by driving it to four victories in 1977. But after trying its successor, the 79 with 30 percent extra downforce, he declared the old car felt “like a London bus” by comparison.

In 1978, the 79 helped him to the drivers’ World Championship. The Lotus 78 pioneered “ground effect” aerodynamics in Formula One after Lotus founder Colin Chapman and his design team discovered that sidepods shaped like inverted aircraft wings could form venturi tunnels on either side of the narrow chassis. This created a vacuum that literally sucked the car onto the tarmac.

Wind tunnel experiments using a rolling road produced amazing results, which were replicated on the test track using a stiff suspension to maintain a ground-hugging stance. Flexible, sliding rubber skirts stopped destabilizing air being drawn in from the sides.

The 79 brought a radical rethink. The whole car was now one giant “ground effect” venturi. The bodywork was extended back between the rear wheels, and the suspension was redesigned, so that low pressure was evenly spread along the car’s underside.

This improved grip, and meant a relatively small rear aerofoil was required, causing less drag. The 79 was one of the most elegant Formula One designs ever; together with its John Player Special livery, this brought about its nickname of “Black Beauty”.

Copper electric runabout

With every dramatic surge in oil prices comes renewed interest in alternative fuels for cars; the intense focus on electric power by carmakers at the end of the first decade of the 21st century is nothing new. There was wide interest in bringing small electric cars to the market in the late 1970s, as the recent fuel crisis receded but the world dipped into an economic recession and concerns mounted about urban air pollution.

Many prototypes were demonstrated but this particular example hailed from an unusual source: America’s Copper Development Association, an industry body devoted to promoting metals in industry. Its Runabout, the sixth in a series of electric car prototypes started in 1970, was a rolling advert for copper, featuring it in the motor, cables, switches, winding mechanisms, wiring, and also in brake drums, brake tubing, and airlines.

The Runabout was reasonably normal-looking. A glass sunroof helped to ventilate the cramped interior, while the smooth fronted nose had pedestrian-friendly concealed windshield wipers, and the plastic body featured a useful hatchback. The car was claimed to have a range of 79 miles (127km), and running costs of no more than two cents a kilometer.

Last word

Its 18 six-volt batteries could recharge overnight. The copper industry was in the doldrums, and the lack of uptake in electric cars didn’t help. But no one could foresee the explosion in telecommunications and IT—consuming enormous amounts of copper.

About David

Check Also

Why You Need a 3 Wheel Electric Trike for Your Small Business Attention all small business owners! Do you want to save precious time and money on deliveries that could be completed more efficiently? Look no further than the 3 wheel electric trike. This innovative mode of transportation is quickly becoming a game-changer for small businesses everywhere, offering unparalleled convenience and cost-effectiveness. Keep reading to discover why a 3 wheel electric trike should be your next investment for your growing business. Benefits of a JINPENG 3 Wheel Electric Trike for Small Businesses There are many benefits that a 3 wheel electric trike can offer small businesses. The most obvious benefit is that it can help save on fuel costs. With gas prices constantly on the rise, this can be significant savings for any business. In addition, electric trikes produce zero emissions, so they are much better for the environment than gas-powered vehicles. They also require very little maintenance, so your business can save even more money in the long run. Another great benefit of electric trikes is that they are incredibly versatile. They can be used for various purposes, including deliveries, errands, and light construction work. This means that you can get more use out of them than you would from a traditional vehicle. And since they are so easy to operate, anyone in your business can use them – no special training is required! Finally, electric trikes are fun to ride! Your employees will enjoy using them, and your customers will appreciate your green efforts. It's a win-win situation all around! Cost Considerations for 3 Wheel Electric Trike There are a few cost considerations when purchasing a 3 wheel electric trike for your small business. The first is the initial cost of the trike itself. The second consideration is the ongoing costs of charging and maintaining the trike. Electric trikes must be set up regularly, costing around $120 annually. Maintenance costs will also vary depending on the make and model of your trike but are generally relatively low. Electric trikes are a cost-effective way to move around your small business.

Why You Need a 3 Wheel Electric Trike for Your Small Business

Attention all small business owners! Do you want to save precious time and money on …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *