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1980s Chassis Questions

 
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Radar43



Joined: 30 Jan 2018
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:00 am    Post subject: 1980s Chassis Questions Reply with quote

Over the years I have seen people here talk about front steer and rear steer chassis. In 1984 were there any other chassis used other than Banjo and Laughlin? How can these two chassis be identified? Does any one know what chassis was used by Doug Heveron`s team. The #01 Syracuse Classic Racers Monte Carlo SS?
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George Andrews



Joined: 30 Jan 2018
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out here on the West Coast, Speedway Engineering in Sylmar, CA. had a NASCAR Cup / WW-legal chassis available that was basically a 4 - coil Banjo rear - steer knock - off. It was even available in kit form to save the racers a few bucks. You can find their multi - page ad in old 1970's & '80's issues of Stock Car Racing & Circle Track magazines.
Front Steer / Rear Steer refers to the steering linkage running in front of the spindles, or behind them. Rear Steer was the standard until NASCAR mandated the down - sized 110 " wheelbase chassis beginning in 1981. Although rear steer was still legal, room in the engine bay was now at a premium. Also, the GM teams found the engine could be lowered a bit in the chassis if the steering linkage ran in front of the oil pan and therefore the front spindles. The Ford teams, with the engine having a front sump, were forced to use rear steer a while longer. A good side effect to front steer was that now the right front tire was being pulled into the turns from the front, instead of pushed from behind the spindle. This increased handling and decreased front tire wear, something Bobby Allison had discovered with his little Chevy Chevelle back in the 1960's.
From a modeling perspective, the Monogram 1980's GM kits ( 1981 Buick Regal, 1983 MCSS ) are front steer, while the early 1980's Ford kits are Banjo rear - steer.
I'm not sure what chassis was being used for the Doug Heveron car, as I have not seen any pictures of the car upside - down !!! Laughing
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john843



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 116
Location: S.C. Lowcountry

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had an old chassis guy told me one time that to understand the difference in front steer and rear steer, think of steering a kid's wagon with the handle folded back over the wagon (rear steer) as opposed to pulling the wagon by the handle (front steer).

John
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Ed Billing



Joined: 02 Feb 2018
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were some Hutcherson-Pagen, Ronnie Hopkins, and BSR-Hess chassis around also. As far as telling all the builders chassis apart, I don't know how to tell them apart myself.
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George Andrews



Joined: 30 Jan 2018
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well DUH !!! Rolling Eyes I totally brain - farted regarding H - P & Hopkins. Dick Hutcherson and Eddie Pagen had the Go - To shop for Cup chassis and even complete cars in the 1980's. Banjo Matthews sadly was late to the Front - Steer party, sticking with his tried & true Ford Galaxie rear - steer chassis a bit too long. I recall that Ronnie Hopkins built Richard Petty's winning ride in the 1981 Daytona 500; also a short rear trailing arm chassis ( possibly a four - link ??? ) to Junior Johnson's specs that NASCAR took a dim view of.
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john843



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 116
Location: S.C. Lowcountry

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's surprised me over the years how many people have said that their favorite or most successful chassis was a Ronnie Hopkin's piece. Even though I know how wrong I was now, I thought for the longest time that Ronnie was pretty much a late model sportsman car builder and repairer with no real presence in GN (cup) or elsewhere. My Father-in law had a Hopkins '65 Chevelle that he won several track championships in Ga. and S.C. and the Ga. Late Model championship a couple of times with. He said the only car he ever drove for any length of time that was as good was a Laughlin '72 Nova (with a Ben Barnes motor:) but added that the Laughlin was " more finicky" set-up wise from track to track, where the Chevelle ran decent off the trailer most places.

John
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Ed Billing



Joined: 02 Feb 2018
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I worked with Mark Gibson, we had a BSR-Hess that Billy built the front clip to Mark's specs. Mark really liked the way it drove.
The best overall car was a Laughlin, that Mark cut the right front mounting points off and reworked the bump steer. Mark didn't like a Laughlin as built, and cut on every one he drove. He liked their work, he just preferred a different feel as to how it steered.
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Tom M.
Board Moderator


Joined: 01 Feb 2018
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those Hess chassis were pretty popular for a couple of years there.

Didn't Petty get most of their chassis from Hedgcock in the mid-late '80s? Did he build many chassis for other teams? I know the Petty chassis were fairly unique.
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BrianP



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Petty Daytona 500 Pontiac that rolled down the front stretch in 1988 was a short, straight truck arm rear suspension chassis. Iím not sure who it originated with, though.
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BrianP



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Petty Daytona 500 Pontiac that rolled down the front stretch in 1988 was a short, straight truck arm rear suspension chassis. Iím not sure who it originated with, though.
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