Racing Car Design and Development


Len Terry  Alan Baker


Dialogue between one of the worlds most experienced racing car designers and a technical author-graduate engineer on the theory and technique of racing car design and development.

Contents include:
  • The anatomy of a racing car designer
  • Len Terry – A Biographical Sketch
  • Description of nearly 30 Terry designs from clubmans sports car to Indianapolis winner
  • A blank sheet of paper – Len Terry explains his procedure for advancing a new design from the sketch pad to the race track
  • Handling characteristics – The theoretical aspects; oversteer and understeer; practical implications
  • Structural considerations – Space-frames and monocoques; the cockpit area; the structural engine; progress and legislation
  • Suspension – Changing needs and layouts; the torsion bar; self-levelling systems; anti-dive and anti-squat; progressive-rate springing; stiffness/weight ratio
  • Brakes, wheels and tires – Influence of smaller wheels; twin-disc brake systems; attention to details; low-profile tire phenomena
  • Aerodynamics – Basic considerations; wings and things; intake ram effect; ‘ground effect’ vehicles
  • The cooling system – Radiator location; cooling the oil
  • Safety and comfort; primary and secondary safety; driver comfort
  • Materials
  • Components – Ball joints, batteries, brakes, clutches, dampers, driveshafts, electrics, flexible bearings, flexible fuel cells, gearshift linkages, instruments, non-return valves, nonspill fuel fillers, oil and fuel pipes, Perspex mouldings, radiators, springs and steering gear; design versus development
  • The competition – nine other racing car designers discussed
  • Future developments