Chris Elwell - Supercar

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Drawing by Keith Barber and reproduced from Stock Car Monthly

It was a long time corning. . . it had been rumoured for months, and as the World Final drew nearer there was speculation whether it even existed, but when the second generation space frame F.1 stock car finally emerged from the Elwell Transport Repair Workshop for Coventry's September 3rd meeting most were left speechless by a piece of remarkable race engineering artistry.

The original Kiwi Special built by Peter Kuriger and Russell Joblin was always impressive, but it's almost perpendicular stance gave it a "Shunting engine" look, emphasised by the upright roll cage.

The original car was really NZ ideas hurriedly adapted to UK rules. Second time around Chris and Graham Elwell decided to use NZ ideas to build their concept of a next generation UK F.1 stock car. Their end product is visually stunning, and to anyone who appreciated race engineering detail, it's a jewel.

Built around a space frame of very similar dimensions to its predesessor with a wheelbase adjustable between 90 and 96 inches, the car features an open tube rear axle suspended rear mounted torsion bars and leading radius arms via birdcages. Axle rotation is controlled by a substantial ladder arm bolted to the final drive casing, which is FG in origin, and leading forward to pivot under the gearbox. This arm incorporates the infamous "fifth coil" which is contemporary stateside rear suspension demand for bite out of the corners.

While the rear torsion bars are trasverse, the fronts are, as with the original car, longitudinal, operating via vertical pull limits on the Kuriger box style front axle. The front end features two radius arms on the outside, one on the inside, and one for transverse location.

The real interest starts under the shapely bonnet however, with a small block Chevrolet power unit. . . if Chevy will accept the blame! The block is in fact an Aluminium unit based on the "Chevrolet Small Block", fitted with alloy heads and a bag of internal tricks which make the power unit almost identical to those found in Sprint cars or "Late Models" in the USA.

The displacement is anyones guess, although the popular Sprint Car configuraton of 377 cubic inches is a minimum, and around 440 inches a likely maximum.

Drive to the rear axle is again via a Doug Nash ratio option gearbox. The components that go to make up the car are certainly all pedigree items. . . but it is the overall presentation that makes the impression, and the detail workmanship is only surpassed by one thing; the appearances.

The car looks every inch a racer, and as the bumpers develop suitable intentions, every inch a stock car racer. Maybe not, a seventies stock car, and perhaps to some not an eighties stock car, but in the year 1988, the latest visually stunning construction from team Elwell is certainly a stock car for the ninties!


All below photos from Martin Downs via Facebook THANK YOU MARTIN !!

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