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60 Plymouth 05-20-2011 09:56 AM

Hello from the UK and my project
 
Hi Guys,

I'm a noobie on here from the UK, so Hello!

My current (first, last and only car) ride is a 1960 Plymouth Belvedere, right hand drive for the UK. This car is my pride and joy, I love it to bits. She gets about 25mpg with her Slant 6 engine, which isn't great but isn't bad for a big ol Yank Tank. She's a rolling restoration and to be honest I don't rely on a car, so the poor mileage doesn't effect me too much. I am interested in the odd little tips and tricks to improve fuel economy with her though.

I do have another project though, where economy is a much greater objective - my economy hot rod.

In the UK, building your own vehicle means getting through a whole bunch of rules and regulations and you get slapped with the yearly road tax at the end of it. One of the ways around this is to build a motorcycle, which is allowed to have three wheels. Road tax is about a third and the build regs cost about a quarter as much.

To comply with this, the vehicle has to weigh in at under 450kg unladen and have no more than three wheels. My concept is for a long, low, open-wheel reverse trike with the looks of a cut-down 32 ford up front, and the single driving rear wheel hidden under the boat-tail rear end. The whole lot would be propelled by a 1.0l-1.3l Suzuki engine driven through a Samurai five-speed. I think some subtle aeromods combined with the naturally tiny frontal area and low weight should give me the feel of a hot rod with the economic performance of a modern hatch back. In five posts time I'll hopfully be able to show you a sketch.

Look forward to spending some time here!

All the best,
Conor

Frank Lee 05-20-2011 05:50 PM

Sounds like a neat project with good potential! :thumbup:

focus1.6uk 05-20-2011 05:56 PM

welcome to EM!

have you got any pictures of your plymouth?

Regards

60 Plymouth 05-21-2011 07:08 AM

Hi guys,

It'll be a few more posts before I can post a link.

euromodder 05-21-2011 07:20 AM

If you leave out the http:// part and post the rest of the link, we can copy-paste ;)

60 Plymouth 05-21-2011 12:30 PM

Now I'm sure I tried that earlier and had no success . . .

60 Plymouth 05-21-2011 12:30 PM

. . . so I'll have to fins another way around it . . .

60 Plymouth 05-21-2011 12:31 PM

By getting my post count to the minimum level.

60 Plymouth 05-21-2011 12:34 PM

Just like that.

Here she is:

Slant Six Forum, :: View topic - Lucille the 60 Plymouth


I've got a few upgrades to put on: electronic ignition (with a recurved distributor) and a new carb that I can hopfully tune a little better for economy.

Maybe a few aeromods as well that shouldn't take away from the styling - if I can get hold of some rear wheel fender skirts (OEM Stainless ones would be nice) and maybe fabricate an aluminium belly pan that should aid things a little. Not exactly a 'clean' machine to start with though!

cleanspeed1 05-21-2011 12:53 PM

Beautiful car! I started off on Mopars and had a /6.

Here's a link to what Hot Rod Magazine did back in the '50s at Bonneville with a Savoy.

1957 Plymouth Savoy Side View Photo 6

60 Plymouth 05-22-2011 05:21 AM

Thanks, glad you like it!

I'm familiar with the "Suddenly!" story - I often thought those moon disks and headlight pants might go someway to me improving my fuel economy.

I'd some day like to have a turn in a sonoramic commando powered 60 - there's somthing very raw about American horsepower.

cleanspeed1 05-22-2011 06:52 AM

A big ship like that with all that frontal area, well, what can I say, it'll be challenging, but not impossible. My thoughts would be belly pan, moon discs and lower the ride height.

What do you want to do engine and driveline wise? Are you keeping it original or are you open to making some changes?

60 Plymouth 05-22-2011 08:08 AM

It's not my big economy project to be honest. Want to keep it essentially stock with a few modifications here and there. If I can get it to average 30mpg(Imp) I'd be happy. The biggest differences to make are in driving style. If I was inclined, a four speed manual would be the next thing, but that push-button auto is too cool. Other options would be an lpg conversion - for when I get a second motor to play with. High compression and a feedback carb should certainley improve £pg, though maybe not mpg.

My economy rod project is the real mpg machine though, and the real reason I am here, still runing calculations and stuff at the moment, here's one of my initial sketches:

http://i370.photobucket.com/albums/o...pendrawing.jpg

Fully enclosed wheel spats and maybe faired in headlamps are other considerations. Power will probably come from a Suzuki G10 1.0l motor hooked up to a Samurai transmission, driving a Honda/BMW shaft drive rear end.

Steel perimeter frame rails and roll cage coupled to a 0.8mm rivetted aluminium body and no doors should keep weight to under 450kgs. Soft top hood faired into the boat tail should also help.

Have a look at a Pembleton three wheeler. 2cv powered lightweight built in Britain that regularly attains 60-70mpg with very little done to the motor. My concept is very similar, but hopfully has better aero and avoids it being yet another Morgan replica.

Frank Lee 05-22-2011 08:47 AM

I'd consider fwding that thing; the cockpit will be cozy enough the way it is and besides, it's probably best to put the power down on the heavy end.

cleanspeed1 05-23-2011 10:15 AM

You know, one of the things I thought about when you put the sketch up ( really cool looking by the way! ) was what about a small turbodiesel? I mean, since you guys on the other side of the pond have access to all those cool engines, you could use one and go over 100 mpg easily, and then pop down to the fish and chips for a snack and a fill up for the car ( use the old cooking grease to run the ol' girl! ).

60 Plymouth 05-23-2011 05:50 PM

I haven't ruled out the small diesel option, mostly for the possibility of using bio diesel. The thing that's nice about the Suzuki motors though is that the 1.0l three cylinder engines bolt straight up to the samurai 4x4 gearbox. Since these have divorced transfer cases you get a simple, easy, light weight (under 200lbs for the motor and gearbox) five speed. I could also turbo charge it and fit it with an LPG conversion.

Also, front wheel drive is the best engineering solution. 2/3 weight up front, 1/3 weight at back is the idea distribution for a reverse trike, and the front wheel drive offers better traction. I am however quite hung up on the idea of RWD - the idea behind this machine is to provide me with a small exciting machine when I want to throw it around (hanging the back end out like a Morgan going up a VSCC Shelsley Walsh hillclimb), and returning very good fuel economy when I want to commute to work.

There are difficulties with a front wheel drive in this configuration however.I'm kind of limited to sticking the engine in front of the axle (Lomax, Pembleton etc), which limits powerplants. The other option of 'reversing' the set up and having a transaxle at the front with an inline engine pointing backwards makes shifter linkages difficult. I'm sure it's nothing insurmountable though. Also, transverse FWD does not lend itself to the open wheel arrangement I'm keen on having.

Those wheels will probably end up in spats for improved aerodynamics, and steer with the wheels. The other option is for spats that remain fixed, which allows the headlights to be mounted in them, but the spats would not be able to fully enclose the wheels in this case, so the aerodynamic benefit of 'removing' the headlights is kind of negated.

Still, it's only an excercise on paper first. I'd rather have a pretty good idea of what goes into its construction before I spend any money on it!

wyatta4 05-23-2011 06:28 PM

Awesome car! Ha. My dad is actually almost half way done restoring a 1974 plymouth satelite! :) (replica of the Dirty Harry car)

blade 05-23-2011 08:17 PM

welcome to em and love the car and the sketch cant wait for the build


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