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Re: [EVDL] Using a Unibody, Comments

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Roden" <[email protected]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2007 7:46 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Using a Unibody

> On 17 Oct 2007 at 12:32, Bill Dennis wrote:
>> Gee, Paul, thanks for the helpful response.
> After Paul Compton wrote :
>> > Why bother?
>> >
>> > The Tropica chassis is a heavy pile of crap.
>> >
> Actually, while it's probably not what you want to hear - you have a
> chassis
> you'd like to use - Paul's is probably more helpful advice than you
> realize.
> He might have phrased it more kindly, and it might be a slight
> exaggeration, but I don't think he's far off the mark. The Tropica was a
> sexy looking EV but it had some flaws. It really >was< on the heavy side.
> Basically, the Tropica was an updated Citicar. The same person was
> responsible for both. He certainly learned from his experiences with the
> Citicar - but I'm not sure he always learned the RIGHT lesson! Both cars
> were in some ways behind the times. From what I recall, the Citicar used
> 20
> year old suspension concepts when it was conceived in the early 1970s, and
> so did the Tropica when it was developed in the early 1990s.
> Hi David;

20 years? Hah.Yur being too polite! We used good old 18th cenrtury
WAGON technology, Solid axles, lief springs, long perfected when Lincoln was
Prez! We HAD shitloads of Golf Cart springs we had to use up. Also it wasn't
gunna be a "Performance" car. We were never gunna scare Porsche, or EVen
Ford, with ride and handling!Having never met a Tropica I can't comment on

> Some of the Tropica's design was a result of Beaumont's emotional (over-)
> reaction to NHTSA's fines for the Citicar's non-compliance. Those fines
> were a large part of what wrecked his first company, so who can blame him?

> That and Consumer Reports writeup. CR had a few good points, though.An
> "Unacceptable" rating, sure didn't help? I think the guy said" I was never
> so glad to slam the door and walk away" in concluding the Test?But , lets
> face it, WAS supposed to be a CHEAP car.

> That's the reason for the Tropica's bizarre cable-operated steering
> system,
> for example. The Citicar was popped for having a non-collapsable steering
> column. IIRC, in NHTSA's crash tests, it impaled the dummy. This sad
> sequence of events is documented in the book "The Lost Cord." I have a
> copy
> somewhere around here, but I'll admit I didn't dig it up to check my
> memory
> on this.

"Lost Cord" SHOULD be required reading for ANYBODY thinking of going
into the Auto Biz! It is out of publication, but I think Bob Beaumont ran
more Publication runs?

> I guess the NHTSA got Citicar up to 30mph for tests!? It BARELY would
> go 30,on it's own,'cept downhill! I know we TOWED it up to 60 mph with a
> Chevy Wagon, on the runways at Seabring , we were at an old WW2 airport,
> just to see IF it would stay upright.Scary! It DID have a roll cage, so
> this wasn't instant suicide! A simple Mc Phearson strut type front end
> woulda been nice! Never had the time! Get SOMETHING we can sell, was the
> Co. Policy! We just didn't have the time and knowledge, Hell! I'm not an
> automotive engineer. I used the same front end I homemade on my Taiwan
> Electro Liners(2) I had built years earlier, worked there, although on my
> second edition I went to coil springs and swing axles, sorta like modern
> rear ends of, say Nissan Sentras. MUCH smoother ride! Was thinking of
> copying Ford's Twin I beam setup. Ford NEVER got the front steering
> geometry right. My Ford van scrubs the tires BADLY in sharp turns!EVen I
> could see that!But you usually go streight ahead, most of the time? So
> never copied that! I think Ford did, too??


Jim Rice, actually Bob, Jim I was called in Some of the" Lost Cord"

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