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Here is another vote for more illustrated history from PdL!
This stuff is absolutely fascinating and, as well as thoroughly entertaining, there is much to be learned from it. Some of our latter day, whiz-kid 'Johnnies' would do well to observe and absorb the lessons - some hope!
 

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More old pics. This first one is dated June 1968 at a time when the Bell Star helmet was unknown in Europe. My inspiration was... astronaut helmets! The bike is aerodynamically all wrong and would have caused massive lift, but the seat is virtually identical to the ones first used by Don Vesco at Daytona in 1972. It is inspired by Ray Amm's 1952 Norton record bike for the position (kneeling rather than seating) but uses a center-hub steering with a front swing arm, a solution picked by Andre De Cortanze (also the designer for the aero on the Courage-C60 of Team Pescarolo, of the 1998-1999 Toyota GP-C and 1990's Peugeot 905 LM) for the Elf-X motorcycle in 1978. It also features an aluminum monocoque chassis/fairing/fuel tank. The exhaust is routed under a fake tank under the driver's chest. Also note the cast wheels at a time when no one had made any for motorcycles. This exact wheel design was later used by Yamaha from 1975.



Here is something I found that is of about the same period as the Cox slot racing bikes. Originally produced for the program of the US Grand Prix (Motocross) in Carlsbad, CA in 1974, later re-printed in the Yamaha International Magazine also in 1974, it precedes the actual re-introduction of the monoshock rear suspension by Yamaha (1975) and shows many features that were quite advanced at the time, such as advanced aero and inboard disk brakes, not counting the bellcrank rear suspension that was later adopted by Kawasaki, then all the others.



Note the fixed idea with the kneeler position, much better aero that would actually provide down force instead of lift, but generally the same thinking, just more detailed.



Fun stuff with a virtual Kawasaki 250cc similar to what was later used for Kork Ballington to win the 1978 World Championship. Only they used an inline twin configuration.



This is a very interesting sketch, showing down force-generating aero on the driver's helmet for the first time. The date is 1977 and this was done while working as a consultant for Morbidelli, then the dominant 125 and 250cc force in the world. It shows a very evolved aero system including a downward exhaust for the air going through the nose-mounted water radiator. It took until 1992 for a helmet manufacturer (Bell) to at last address the problem of lift on a helmet. Now, every manufacturer has some kind of device for reducing lift.



Also dated 1977 is this sketch with annotation made on a restaurant napkin in Pesaro, Italy, during an intense conversation with Ingeniere Giancarlo Morbidelli. The general ideas are retained, but check this out: the front suspension is now a double A-arm system with a profiled cast-magnesium rigid fork with cast-in brake calipers, adjustable for camber as well as trail, using a sophisticated inboard Koni shock and adjustable hydraulic steering. Power is distributed to the rear swing arm axle by a constant-tension chain, a second constant-tension chain driving the wheel over a single-side arm. There is virtually no frame as the composite fuel tank (carbon fiber had not found its way on a racing car yet but I remembered the Chaparral 2 tub) acted as a stressed member, and the steering "bridge" was just held by a few small pieces of tubing bolted to the tank.

Having fun yet?

Mr. Pea
 

· Russell Sheldon
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Thanks, Philippe! Fascinating!

The sketches show yet another of Philippe's many talents. Guess who designed and painted the livery of Bobby Unser's 1975 Indianapolis 500 winning AAR Jorgensen Eagle?



Coincidentally, Dan Gurney is also designing motorcycles these days! This is Gurney's Alligator motorcycle, of which he planned to build 36 limited edition 'Grand Prix' Alligators. The number 36 is significant as it was the number that donned the Formula 1 Eagle which won the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, a first for an American built car and driver/constructor and an achievement that has not yet been repeated.



Kind regards,

Russell
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Unfortunately, and because they have no clue, Carrousel transformed the "Eagle" graphics into a pigeon... It takes a delicate touch to do this right. Even the Cox little 1/40th slot car had accurate decals, and Carrousel was not even able to do this right on a 1/18-scale supposedly hi-detail model? Also they later used the 1975 version to model the 1972-1973 cars, and they are two very different cars. A very disappointing model of one of the greatest Indy cars of all times.

The blue Jorgensen Eagle is the 1975-1976 version. The "pretty" one is the Olsonite-Eagle from 1972-1974, in white. There are two distinct sets of graphics and the design is much more dynamic.



This is the first one I did for Gurney in 1972. The last one was the Castrol-sponsored Eagle-Toyota of 2000. In between, there are a dozen different cars, two of which won the "best paint" award at the Indy 500 (1974 and 1978).

Mr. Pea
 
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The one sad fact about researching "Built With Passion" was so much valuable materiel had been destroyed. We save one collection only days before it was due to be thrown in the bin.

RR
 
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