Chassis replacement

Chassis replacement

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hal 1

Original Poster:

409 posts

218 months

Saturday 13th August 2016
quotequote all
Hi, just watched the Marcos on eBay go for £7100, it has a wooden chassis which needs some repair, if I was looking for a project then I might have bid for it myself but, just as a matter of interest what would a new chassis cost ?, can they be repaired successfully ? And is it marine ply that's used ?

Hal

Pistom

3,359 posts

128 months

Saturday 13th August 2016
quotequote all
I'm no expert on these things but have picked up stuff over the years.

The Marcos wooden chassis is bonded to the shell. You would need to cut the shell off in my opinion. I suspect lots of hard work. I've certainly heard of them getting localised repairs so there is a chance of not needing to replace.

I'm sure I read that it was an urban myth that they were marine ply but why would that be important?

I'm also sure I read new chassis were available but with the complexity of them, they ain't going to be cheap.

As for picking a project car up. I can't remember the last time I saw a wooden one for sale so picking up a project is not going to be easy.

Edited by Pistom on Saturday 13th August 22:30

hal 1

Original Poster:

409 posts

218 months

Saturday 13th August 2016
quotequote all
I don't know if marine ply is any better than other plywood, it's about twice the price of ordinary ply and presumably will last a bit longer, a wooden chassis car just sold on ebay today,1600 GT, restoration project £7100
I mentioned it to Mrs hal but was told to sell my other stuff first, looks like I won't be getting a new project for a while,
Thanks
Hal

Pistom

3,359 posts

128 months

Sunday 14th August 2016
quotequote all
I guess marine ply has greater density so is heavier but the Marcos chassis is a piece of such engineering brilliance that there is not much would in it so it isn't the cost of the wood you need to worry about but the time it would take to take apart and put together.

I also suspect you wouldn't be sticking it with PVA.

The chassis was decades ahead of its time more similar in concept to a current day Lotus Elise chassis than the ladder frames that were common at the time.

As I said before, I'm no expert in these but have seen a few at shows but think the earlier the car, the closer it would be to the original engineering concept. The steel chassis cars just don't have the same appeal and whoever has got that EBay car is lucky, wooden chassis Marcos projects are hard to come by. I've seen complete running cars going for about twice the price of that one but the appeal of a car like the project car would be to be involved in the restoration of such a technically brilliant car.

I think I saw a collection of bits to make up an original 1800 up for sale for about £13K and I suspect that would be a better proposition.

Kickstart

867 posts

206 months

Saturday 20th August 2016
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You can buy a new wooden chassis from a firm in Sweden but with the current exchange rate I would guess you are looking at £15k min including the body - my car is being slowly rebuild as the original chassis had really gone beyond the point it was worth rebuilding bearing in mind it's a race car and we had been putting 280bhp through it for years.
The trouble with a new chassis is you realise how shabby everything else is and end up doing a much bigger job than planned.

Fastpedeller

3,401 posts

115 months

Saturday 20th August 2016
quotequote all
I haven't any real knowledge of these, but my 2p worth anyway ---
Having good wood and the knowledge of how to do the job are surely critical, certainly the last time I bought ply it was a sad excuse and (although BWP ply and coated with lots of wood preserver as well) bent like a banana the first time it saw some rain! In contrast the old wood being replaced (on a trailer) had lasted many years as straight as a die, but had eventually rotted.
Knowing what glue to use is also critical. Not a job to be done without some in-depth research.

marcosal

396 posts

174 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
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Does it have to be a woody? Whilst the original cars were on a wooden chassis,. Later Marcos GTs and subsequent models used a metal chassis, of which this is a later example. I know of at least one fully restored chassis for a 3ltr V6 that is currently for sale.

Pistom

3,359 posts

128 months

Tuesday 23rd August 2016
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If you are going to invest the time and effort to restore a Marcos, the expenditure would be better spent on a wooden one. That is unless you are attached to a metal chassis car or can't find a wooden one to restore,

The steel chassis cars just lost the engineering concept of the original design.

It might as well of just been a TVR.



marcosal

396 posts

174 months

Wednesday 24th August 2016
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Whilst I would agree that a wooden chassis. Marcos is clearly more desirable, the metal chassis was designed to replicate the dimensions, stiffness and stress points of the original wooden design. Consequently the chassis design is very different from the TVR set up.

Having said that, wooden chassis cars do come up as projects (albeit rarely) and the Marcos Sportscar Enthusiasts Forum does have links that will help an enthusiastic woodworker and the owners clubs have members who have experience of restoring wooden chassis cars.

I mentioned metal chassis cars because if the ops objective is Marcos ownership, In reality metal chassis cars are a more readily available alternative.

Here is a photograph of a recently restored wooden chassis for those into woodworking porn.





hidetheelephants

17,578 posts

162 months

Thursday 25th August 2016
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Pistom said:
I guess marine ply has greater density so is heavier but the Marcos chassis is a piece of such engineering brilliance that there is not much would in it so it isn't the cost of the wood you need to worry about but the time it would take to take apart and put together.

I also suspect you wouldn't be sticking it with PVA.
Marine ply is just a colloquial term for BS1088; all-hardwood ply with zero voids and boilproof glue. All BS1088 is not created equal though, there's cheap stuff and then there's the likes of Bruynzeel which is rather spendy. Bonding it would be done with epoxy or perhaps resorcinol like Aerodux if you're feeling traditional.

Pistom

3,359 posts

128 months

Thursday 25th August 2016
quotequote all
hidetheelephants said:
Marine ply is just a colloquial term for BS1088; all-hardwood ply with zero voids and boilproof glue. All BS1088 is not created equal though, there's cheap stuff and then there's the likes of Bruynzeel which is rather spendy. Bonding it would be done with epoxy or perhaps resorcinol like Aerodux if you're feeling traditional.
I imagine labour costs would still exceed materials if you were employing someone to repair/rebuild a wooden chassis. I read somewhere (which means I might be making this up) that it took Marcos over 200 hours to build a chassis from wood. Even at £20/hr that's £4k in labour.

Whenever I see photos of naked wooden chassis I'm full of admiration of the designer. Just look at it! This was from a time when many cars chassis could double up as an aid for your window cleaner.

Then I look at the steel replacement and my heart sinks. I either don't understand the design or it really is just a great big lump of welded box section.

I would love to drive comparable wooden chassis and metal chassis cars or hear from someone who has. Even if they felt identical, I would go for the wood as it is just such a brilliant concept.

I can't remember the name of film where Hitler was in a meeting and he shouted "how can you all sit there and let the English pigs make fools out of us using planes made out of wood" in reference to the Mosquito.

Then you see how Marcos 1800 GTs run rings around their contemporaries in historic racing and I can't help but draw comparison.

hal 1

Original Poster:

409 posts

218 months

Thursday 25th August 2016
quotequote all
Certainly looks like a work of art, whoever designed it must have been proud of it, if it came to a choice of metal or nothing then I for one wouldn't hesitate, the rarity of wooden chassis alone would make that decision easy, so seeing one on eBay was perhaps a one off.

I remember the first time I saw one I must have been about 11/ 12 years old, ( 60 now ) the owner of the corner shops' son had one, we used to see it now and again parked outside the shop, pale blue metallic if I remember correctly,looked fantastic compared to what else was around, probably wooden chassis.

Maybe one day.
Hal

Pistom

3,359 posts

128 months

Thursday 25th August 2016
quotequote all
They do come up. There is one on ebay at the moment although looking at it closely it looks more like a pile of random parts with a chassis plate and a dodgy V5 but less has been built up into historic cars before. Reading the ad made me smile, the seller even has the audacity to say it was a burned out wreck! I suspect you'd need to carry around an urn in the boot to be able to say most of the original car is there smile .


hidetheelephants

17,578 posts

162 months

Thursday 25th August 2016
quotequote all
Pistom said:
I imagine labour costs would still exceed materials if you were employing someone to repair/rebuild a wooden chassis. I read somewhere (which means I might be making this up) that it took Marcos over 200 hours to build a chassis from wood. Even at £20/hr that's £4k in labour.
Easily; with a suitable jig making a new chassis from scratch would be quicker than repairing anything more than superficial damage to an existing chassis.

Pistom

3,359 posts

128 months

Thursday 25th August 2016
quotequote all
hidetheelephants said:
Easily; with a suitable jig making a new chassis from scratch would be quicker than repairing anything more than superficial damage to an existing chassis.
Really? When I saw the ebay car I thought it was a lost cause.

You did say with a suitable jig though.

Pistom

3,359 posts

128 months

Thursday 25th August 2016
quotequote all
hidetheelephants said:
Easily; with a suitable jig making a new chassis from scratch would be quicker than repairing anything more than superficial damage to an existing chassis.
Really? When I saw the ebay car I thought it was a lost cause.

You did say with a suitable jig though.

marcosal

396 posts

174 months

Thursday 25th August 2016
quotequote all
Pistom said:
I imagine labour costs would still exceed materials if you were employing someone to repair/rebuild a wooden chassis. I read somewhere (which means I might be making this up) that it took Marcos over 200 hours to build a chassis from wood. Even at £20/hr that's £4k in labour.

Whenever I see photos of naked wooden chassis I'm full of admiration of the designer. Just look at it! This was from a time when many cars chassis could double up as an aid for your window cleaner.

Then I look at the steel replacement and my heart sinks. I either don't understand the design or it really is just a great big lump of welded box section.

I would love to drive comparable wooden chassis and metal chassis cars or hear from someone who has. Even if they felt identical, I would go for the wood as it is just such a brilliant concept.

I can't remember the name of film where Hitler was in a meeting and he shouted "how can you all sit there and let the English pigs make fools out of us using planes made out of wood" in reference to the Mosquito.

Then you see how Marcos 1800 GTs run rings around their contemporaries in historic racing and I can't help but draw comparison.
If you see the original wooden chassis and the steel replacement side by side the steel makes perfect sense in terms of structure and stress points. Having said that, the wooden chassis is reputed to be marginally stiffer and more resilient and as you correctly state became prohibitively expensive to produce and very difficult to export. Hence the development of the steel version. Your reference to the Mosquito suggests you are aware that Frank Costin used his experience at De Havland during the war when he came up with the wooden tub on the early Marcos designs.


andy97

4,219 posts

191 months

Tuesday 13th September 2016
quotequote all
Kickstart said:
You can buy a new wooden chassis from a firm in Sweden but with the current exchange rate I would guess you are looking at £15k min including the body - my car is being slowly rebuild as the original chassis had really gone beyond the point it was worth rebuilding bearing in mind it's a race car and we had been putting 280bhp through it for years.
The trouble with a new chassis is you realise how shabby everything else is and end up doing a much bigger job than planned.
Glad to hear that you are rebuilding the car, Nigel. Hope to see it on track again, sometime. Can you rebuild it to 1800GT spec and get FIA HTP papers for it, rather than as a 3 litre?