new books and new/old books

The Midlana book, and links to other books and cool sites.
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new books and new/old books

Post by stankoprowski » 25 Dec 2008, 06:51

Hi all,

I recently read a couple of new books and a new/old book. The new
books are "How to Build Your Own Supercar" by Brian Thompson and "GDT
Speedster from dream to reality" by Gene D. Dickirson.

"How to Build Your Own Supercar" is kind of a misnomer. What the guy
does is buy a show car built on a decent kit car chassis an modifies
and rebuilds the body so it's not a chassis book. It is, however, a
good read for someone who want more than a stripped down vehicle.
Thompson describes a lot of fiberglass work such as reshaping body
panels and redoing the doors with driprails and gaskets to keep the
wind and weather out. He also vacuum forms headlight covers and makes
working windows in a complex shaped door. All in all a good reference
for someone looking to finish a vehicle for road use.

I downloaded a pdf file of "GDT Speedster from dream to reality" from for $10.00. Not outlandish for information in this day and
age. This books describes how a retired guy from Ford and several of
his retired and still working friends build, over a 5+ year period,
the car of the authors dreams. They started with Corvette C4 running
gear and built a simple steel frame. The rest was done in what I would
call a Detroit mode. One of the team had a styling background so they
started with a 1/8th scale clay model. From there a lot of the work
was farmed out to shops with various specialist skills. The team then
fitted and finished the project. Like "How to Build Your Own Supercar"
its not a project that you would want to duplicate but it presents
several interesting design and build solutions.

The new/old book is "Design Your Own Light Car" by Walter H. Korff.
I've been looking for this book (a pamphlet really, 59 pages) for
several years after reading "Designing Tomorrows Cars" by Korff. This
is a must read for anyone who dreams of becoming a manufacturer, large
or small. One of my top five. Anyhow "Design Your Own Light Car" was
written in 1951 when I was 11. A much simpler time before fiberglass
and home welders in every garage. Apparently even before tubing was
readily available. He uses channel sections and recommends that you
buy not make most of the components (not a bad idea today). Korff
addresses 3 wheelers both 1F2R and 2F1R. I was surprised that in an
old book he talks about sandwich construction and uses plywood box
sections for stiffness. He also makes one proposal that I found
interesting. If you are building a 3-wheeler by grafting on a scooter
drivetrain with a CVT and wheel and want better performance, simply
add another scooter assembly and make it a 4-wheeler. The CVT"s take
care of the differential action. Simple but it never occurred to me.

Posts: 55
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Re: new books and new/old books

Post by stankoprowski » 09 Mar 2015, 08:56

I just finished reading "Build Your Own Kit Car" by Stephen Hole ISBN 9781847975461 and "Race Car Design" by Derek Seward ISBN 9781137030146.

Save your money on the Kit Car book unless your interested in tools and other trivia. It does have a chapter on the UK IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) testing which I believed should be used by everyone. If you don't have to pass it that's good but using it as a guide will help you build a better, safer car. The IVA information can be obtained online.

"Race Car Design" however is a different kettle. I put it in my personal top 5 or 6. It's a FSAE/Formula Student book. It's the first book that I've seen since "Racing and Sports Car Chassis Design" by Michael Costin and David Philips (this book is available online as a free pdf document) that looks at all aspects of design and testing a race car. Like the Costin and Philips book it looks at stress analysis in what I call high school math (at least back in the day). It looks at frames and other things like uprights. What loads are you looking and how to determine them. It might help you quantify something that you were eyeballing.

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