Sunday, October 15, 2017

D-Type: Chassis, so to speak

Jaguar made life very confusing for car collectors when they put a "chassis" serial number on what we would call the front subframe, and a separate "body" serial number on the monocoque tub that we might call the chassis. The front subframe carries the front suspension and the engine mounts, but can't really be built into a rolling chassis without the tub, which carries the rear suspension. (This method of construction carried over to the E-Type). Conversely, the monocoque tub can't be built up into a rolling chassis either. You need the two halves, which are bolted together at the forward bulkheads and inside the transmission tunnel, to build a rolling chassis.

Fortunately the Profil 24 model has portions of the front subframe molded into the monocoque tub, so it is possible to build up a rolling chassis.

The solid rear axle is well located, with four trailing arms and a linkage involving an A-arm for lateral location. Springing was torsion bars front and rear; in the front they are built into one of the A-arm mounting bushings while they are mounted transversely in a tube under the driveshaft in the rear. The cramped passenger footwell is visible here, where the exhaust manifolds are threaded through the floorpan; the extra wheelbase on the E-Type was partly to allow two full footwells.

Unfortunately the rear axle, which hangs on some very nice photo-etched trailing links, appears to be crooked, and the car won't sit flat on its four wheels if this isn't sorted out. The source of the problem, which is obvious in the photo above, is not clear at this point.

It is all looking like a car, though, and while all the usual issues with resin are apparent here, this is a particularly well-done kit. Stay tuned!

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