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A guide to acquiring, restoring and maintaining UK or European Classic Cars of the Fifties and Sixties- as well as a recollection of the iconic cars of the era and the visionaries that produced them.
AERODYNAMICS: Describes the study in vehicle design of the flow of air monitored in a wind tunnel as it passes over and around a moving object and the forces that air makes on the object.
ALL-ALUMINIUM BODY: Describes a body shell produced almost entirely from aluminium.
ALL-STEEL BODY: Describes a type of vehicle body shell in most common use made entirely of steel rather than one with a steel frame fitted with aluminium panels.
ASH FRAME: Describes a type of car frame produced entirely from ash wood covered with aluminium panels.
BACKBONE FRAME: Describes the cross-section of a rectangular box that runs along the centre of the vehicle and occupies the space between the seats, divided at the front, running along each side of the gearbox and engine up to a cross member where the front suspension is attached, while at the rear a similar triangular frame completes the final-drive.
CHASSIS: Describes the frame, engine, front and rear axles, springs, steering system and fuel tank of a vehicle. Because most modern automobiles no longer have a separate chassis, the body is sometimes called the chassis.
CHASSIS NUMBER: Describes the unique serial number of an older vehicle originally stamped on a chassis member.
ENGINE SUBFRAME: Describes a stand-alone frame on which the engine is mounted.
FLOATING FRAME: Describes a frame that holds the cylinder assembly and is supported by the mounting frame, usually made of heavy-gauge sheet steel.
FRAME: Describes the bridge-like structural load-carrying members of a vehicle that support the engine and body and are supported by the vehicle's wheels.
FRAMELESS: Describes a vehicle without a frame such as a unibody construction
FRAMELESS WINDOW: Describes a door window that does not have a frame around its left, right, and top sides.
FRAME MEMBER: Describes any one of the sections of the structural components of the vehicle chassis
FRAME STRUCTURE: Describes all parts of the vehicle contributing to the body's rigidity, both and for vehicles with a separate chassis.
KIT CAR: Describes a car that is often home assembled using its constituent parts, usually with a GRP body shell.
LADDER FRAME: Describes a type of frame design with two long parallel sections running from the front to the rear of the vehicle earning its name due to its ladder-like appearance. Rarely found in modern vehicles because of their excess weight and lack of rigidity.
MAIN MEMBER: Describes the primary rail in a vehicle chassis.
MEMBER: Defines a term referring mainly to the side rails and cross members and any structural hollow-section part on a vehicle.
SKID PLATE: Describes an aluminium shield attached to the underside of a vehicle's chassis to protect vulnerable components such as the differentials, oil pan, transmission and transfer cases from off-road obstacles.
STRUT: Describes a structural member used to stiffen, provide strength or carry weight, particularly as part of a vehicle framework.
SUBASSEMBLY: Describes an assembled body frame unit designed to be fitted to a larger unit.
SUBFRAME: Describes a partial frame sometimes bolted to the chassis of unit-body cars to support the engine, transmission and suspension.
TORSION BAR: Describes a long spring steel rod attached to the vehicle frame to anchor one end while the other is free to twist. The main advantage of connecting a torsion bar over the coil spring is its ease when adjusting front suspension height.
TUBE FRAME: Describes a type of vehicle frame comprising solely of rigid tubing that lends itself particularly to short production runs.
UNDERSLUNG FRAME: Describes a type of frame design in wide use during the pre-war era that was characterised by having frame members run below the axles
UNIBODY CONSTRUCTION: Describes a manufacturing process that became widespread during the fifties where sheet metal body parts were combined with stress-bearing elements to form the body and chassis as a single unit. Also known as monocoque.
UNITARY CONSTRUCTION: Describes a modern chassis layout that does not have a separate frame, instead utilising the sheet metal parts of the vehicle body or floorpan as structural members, which also carry all suspension parts.
X-TYPE FRAME: Describes a vehicle frame design with an elongated shape similar to the letter X narrowing to a strong junction at the centre, fitted with at least three cross-members to provide torsional stability.
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