Welcome to my latest project, the Spartan V8 prototype roadster.

Take a look around, and feel free to leave a comment!

What is it?
The Spartan V8 is a type of high performance car called an "exoskeleton" car, exoskeleton referring to the framework of the car which is both visible and aesthetic by design. It is being designed entirely from scratch, by me alone (constructed and tested entirely in SolidWorks). I'm about a year into the design; from initial idea, to working concept, to full 3d virtual model. Once I have the remainder of the crucial components (engine, transmission, suspension, etc) modeled accurately in 3D, I'll be able to finalize the design and begin construction.

What would it be like to drive?
Something like this.
The metallic click of a switch engages the ignition and fuel pump with a hum. You engage the clutch and push the starter button.. the V8 engine thrashes and bursts to life with a snarl, sending shivers through the frame, and straight up your spine. The shifter in your right hand snicks into gear, and you ease out the clutch and apply the throttle.. by the time you fully release the clutch, its already time to shift into second. As you shift to 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th, the sheer acceleration nails you to your seat, the exhaust roars to either side of you, the intake growls in front of you, the big 305 series tires shriek in protest as they claw at the pavement, the wind whips past your head and body, and you are catapulted to speed more rapidly than you thought possible.
A stab at the brakes invites the race compound pads to bite into four oversized vented rotors, rapidly bringing you to a screeching halt.. brutally throwing you forward against the belts of your 5 point harness, threatening to eject you from the cockpit as you slow back to a stop. Your pulse is racing, your breathing is quickened, and the back of your neck is tingling. Savage and raw, the Spartan V8 isn't just quick. It is downright terrifying.

More akin to riding something wild, overpowered, and foaming at the mouth than just driving a car. It roars, it screams, it snarls. It thrums with power lurking just under its thin skin, daring you to mash that accelerator to the floor, and chase down something exotic..

Why design and build your own car?
Why not? It will be fun to design, build, and drive. It will be a learning experience like no other. Also, because of it's tremendous power to weight ratio, the Spartan will be a veritable supercar - more than able to hold its own on the road or racetrack against other street cars costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Check back whenever you like, as I'll be adding updates frequently.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Brake and Clutch Pedals

The original plan was to use the pedal setup from one of the donor cars, a 98-02 Camaro, but it became clear that this was not going to be the best option.  The factory pedals are a flimsy stamped steel affair, with a goofy bracket designed to mount to the Camaro's oddly shaped floor/firewall.  The pedals are also cramped together quite tightly, with the gas pedal hinging on an axis that is not in line with the brake and clutch hinges - it is actually made to swing in closer to the brake pedal as it is depressed, presumably to clear the transmission tunnel.

In place of the factory pedals, I will be using Wilwood style pedals.  To keep things clean and tight, and considering the low seat hight, I've opted to use floor mounted pedal assemblies.  I say "Wilwood style" because there are quite a few pedal manufacturers out there that are all making a similar product - Wilwood, Tilton, CNC/Neal, etc.  I chose to use another manufacturer, Southwest Speed, and I'm pleased thus far with my choice.  The brackets and pedals are cast aluminum and the pivots are hollow steel pins, so they are extremely lightweight.  The separate pedals allow me to space them however I like, and because of the aluminum construction there are a minimum of things to oxidize out in the weather.

Still working on that gas pedal, but leaning towards the flat aluminum kind that hinge from the bottom, popular in street rods and dune buggies.  The three pedal assemblies will then bolt to a common plate, which will bolt to a slide assembly.  This slide will allow for compensating between drivers of differing height, without having to have a movable seat.

No comments:

Post a Comment