Sunday, 11 September 2016

Classic roadster design

Let's start with the first identifiably modern roadster, the Jaguar E-type, which is a front engined 'cigar' shape.


From the other side of the pond came the slightly more 'geometric' Corvette.


Put those together and scale them down to affordable, flatten the boot, revert to round headlights and you end up with a Triumph Spitfire.


A Mazda MX5 Mk2 is a Triumph Spitfire but more 'cigar' shaped and with a hint of 'wedge' (the boot is higher than the bonnet). The Mk1 was even wedgier.


Starting from the other end, the first affordable rear engined 'wedge' shaped roadster was the Fiat X19.


The Porsche Boxster is a rear engined 'cigar' shape.


Scale down a Boxster to Fiat X19 dimensions (basically by chopping off the front and rear boots), pitch it somewhere between 'cigar' and 'wedge' and you get a Toyota MR2 roadster.


By overlapping the outlines of all of the above in Excel as far as possible; drawing the line of best fit; scaling it down to affordable; and improvising a bit, I ended up with this. I know the quarter-glass is old fashioned, but it leaves you more room for a 9" door speaker. The front end is a bit blunt, this is to give you space for a number plate above the air intake rather than having a more elegant line which is then ruined when you add the number plate

10 comments:

Frank said...

One minor point: when the Mazda MX5 was introduced it was lauded (or decried) for being a modern take on (or a pastiche of) a Lotus Elan. I think that's what Mazda were aiming for anyway, their sights were set a little higher than the Spitfire.

Mark Wadsworth said...

F, yes, the designer said so explicitly, but elan and mk1 had drop headlights, which are an aberration.

Lola said...

You've ended up with an MGF.
OTH this is another take...https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=lotus+7&rlz=1C1CHFX_enGB511GB511&espv=2&biw=1455&bih=705&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiWvpD-54fPAhXML8AKHcLoD8wQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=_

Lola said...

Interesting vignette on quarter-lights (or maybe not). Racing a 1959 Lotus Elite at Snetterton many years ago on a very hot day, I cracked open the quarter-light on the Revett Straight to get some air and instantly lost at least 300 revs. Immediately closed it and didn't do it again.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L,the MGF is hideously ugly, the caterham 7 is beautiful but not modern.

As to quarter lights, it won't have opening ones, they are there to make space for the 9" speakers.

Lola said...

Or, even better, one of these:-
http://www.lotuscars.com/elise-sport-220

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, Elises look quite cool but are not classic open top convertible roadsters, they are a scaled down version of a super car.

Lola said...

MW Hmm. I would say that an Elise is Lotus 7 for the present day. But I concede that like the Caterham/Lotus 7 they are a bit 'purist' and uncompromising.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, agreed, in a twisted sort of way, they are the same i.e. totally impractical and something not suited for whizzing round the country lanes with the Mrs on a weekend.

I am relieved to report that Mrs W occasionally uses the MX5 (instead of her boring Ford family blah blah) when she wants to do minor shopping trips; the MR2 is a bit rich for her and she doesn't really like it.

Lola said...

Nw. Oh I don't know. Mrs L and went on our honeymoon in a lotus 7 look-alike...