A BODY “MADE TO MEASURE.”
A few interesting facts about the
THE chassis of Major Segrave’s famous Golden Arrow was by no means alone in assuring the car’s success—the body and the streamlining arrangements played parts which, in their own way, were as important as sheer engine power and stability; in fact this stability was largely obtained by the design of the body itself.
It is not generally known that this body was actually ‘. made to measure and that Major Segrave ‘s stature and proportions were the governing factors in its general outline.
The first operation carried out by Thrupp and Maberly, Ltd., the coachbuilders, was the construction of a model to the full size of the cockpit from which Major Segrave would control his car. This was made up to conform approximately to the outline of the driver when seated in the chassis. The model having been roughed out, Major Segrave sat inside and every possible fraction of reduction which could be made in the ftontal area
of this cock-pit was pared down. Another model was then made up to these smaller dimensions— `dummy steering wheel, gear and brake levers, pedals and controls all being fitted in position so that a final settlement as to the outline of the body could be reached. From this basis Capt. Irving evolved the whole scheme of bodywork and streamlining. The making up of the beautifully shaped sections was one of the most difficult problems that could con
body of the “Golden Arrow.
front a body builder. The work also had to be dealt with in an entirely novel way, for there was no possibility of building to the chassis, in that this was still in process of construction. To get over this difficulty, wooden frames, or skeletons, had to be built, and the various sections were made to fit these. In addition the time available was extremely limited.
When all the parts were prepared, a little army of boclymakers and panel beaters began operations. It was fortunate that all those working on the car were imbued with enthusiasm, for had not everyone accommodated himself to the difficult conditions, it would have undoubtedly delayed matters very considerably. As it was, engineers, bodymakers and panel beaters all pulled together, completing the work efficiently and to time.
This meant that many of Thrupp and Maberly’s men had to work for ten days straight off, with only brief intervals for sleep and food; but in spite of the fact that some of the men worked themselves to a point of exhaustion, they must be happy in the knowledge that the results of their efforts have been so successful.
It is interesting to note that 500 square feet of aluminium were used in the construction of the body and streamlining arrangements, and that practically every square foot had to be hand beaten or planished to shape before being fitted.