RG Shattock, well-known a couple of seasons ago for his ambitious Atalanta Special, has no illusions that he has “started something” by offering kits of parts for front and rear suspension units suitable for high-performance cars. His advertisement in last month’s Motor Sport had resulted in more than 250 inquiries when we called on him and these were still flooding in.
Kits of parts is not entirely accurate, for what Shattock offers are components, purchasable complete or separately, finished or unmachined, which assemble into independent suspension units suitable for the fastest cars. His front suspension is of Porsche trailing-arm, torsion-bar type based on a single tubular cross-member and his back suspension is of single trailing arm coil-spring-in-compression type, with final-drive on the chassis. Finished units incorporate Rudge wheels and hubs 11-in Lockheed 2LS brakes with Al-fin drums and at the rear ENV final drive units, with ratios of 3.6, 4.0, 4.25 or 4.5 to 1. So complete are these units that only the chassis side tubes, engine, gearbox, tyres, shock-absorbers and a few minor parts are required to form a complete car, the road-holding of which will soon be demonstrable on a multi-tube Lea-Francis-engined 11 cwt, sports two-seater prototype, with inboard rear brakes. The units incorporate high-grade materials—RR53C light alloy trailing arms, EN30 85-ton drive shafts, T45 tubing, Salters springs, Bishop cam steering, etc.—and are suitable for anything up to a Formula II racing car. The customer, by providing the chassis frame, decides the wheelbase and the units are suitable for any car weighing (with normal wheels) 11-12 cwt upwards, the only limitation being a recomended minimum rear track of 4 ft 4 in and minimum front tyre diameter of 27 in.
The beauty of the Shattock scheme is that buying can he suited to individual requirements, from ordering all rough castings, when assembly drawings are supplied, to machining only the smaller parts yourself, or, for the affluent, having all the parts ready made. Each part is listed and priced individually, finished and unfinished, and purchasers have only to project two curves, one representing facilities, ability, time and guts, the other money available, to see what their chassis is going to cost on a time/money basis. Shattock regards six months as the minimum assembly time for his average customer, but this might run into years if almost all parts are ordered unfinished by someone of very restricted-facilities but great enthusiasm. A front end only or a rear end only may be required to complete an existing chassis, when cost is lowered. Advice is given in such cases ; indeed, Shattock encourages self-help and isn’t anxious to supply many complete suspensions, less so to build complete cars. However, those who do order both ends complete pay around £450 and should be able, therefore, to build a formidable Formula II car for something under £1,000. The units are intended for such work, but design as well as assembly can enter into the game, for certain parts may be deliberately altered by the constructor or ordered to different specification to suit requirements–lighter drive shafts for a medium-power sports car, for example. This is the scheme and it is an interesting one. If you are something of a engineer, go along to Winkfield in the delightful Berkshire countryside near Windsor and see for yourself, but if all you possess is £50 and a bent file you will be wasting precious petrol. If, however, you are a special builder with some workshop equipment to whom time matters little, or in a hurry and firm friends with your bank manager, here is a scheme of considerable interest and scope. Details front Brookside Garage, Hatchet Lane, Winkfield, Berks. (Winkfield Row 91) on mentioning Motor Sport.