Update on RP16 from Lowell D

10/30/14
Thought I would let you know how things are going with the RP16. I have not made as much progress as I had hoped. I did find quite a bit of frame damage once I got it down to the bare chassis. In addition to the damaged steering mount tubes at the front, there was a lot of damage to two of the lower tubes, not so much from rust, but just on track incidents. A few other damaged places also. The chassis does look to be pretty straight, however. This car has a hard racing life. I found a local guy, Mike Henry (races a Lotus Twin-cam Formula B) who believes he can repair the chassis for a reasonable amount of money (~$1000). I have seen his work and he is quite an artist on tube frame chassis, both with Tig welding and the silver bronze brazing used back in the day. I hope to get it to him in the next week or so.

I also pulled apart the rear uprights and found one bastardized stub axle that has to be replaced. The other is not in the best shape either. I am looking into converting the rear stub axles and drive shafts to CV joints for both the inboard and outboard since I have to have new drive shafts anyway. There is a guy in the club that has done the same mod to an 1972 Elden MK10 Prototype as he kept breaking driveshafts and RMVR still lets him run vintage. Since Carroll Smith voices serious technical and safety concerns about running CVs and u-joints on the same axle (when articulated, they move at different rotational velocities), the conversion would be a safety improvement.

Everything else is ongoing, just a bit slow. I’m currently working on the foam molds for the radiator shrouds and tearing down the Hewland to see what kind of shape it is in. There was a lot of wear on the bushing, where the shift lever comes out of the gearbox, so lots of gear oil likely leaked there, although the previous owner tried to fix it with boatloads of silicone sealant. Hope internals aren’t overheated and damaged.

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