GT40 side impact protection

I would recommend that you read what Frank has to say about full cage use for everyday street driving. The GTD has a built in roll bar. I would add bracing angled toward the back and add some triangulation to the space over the gas Tanks.
 
This is the third part of a series of articles to make you think, published I the GT40 Enthusiasts Club magazine a little while ago.
 

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Mike

Lifetime Supporter
Great article. Throughout my years racing MX I impacted my helmeted head hard enough to be knocked unconscious several times. Maybe that is what is wrong :) The only thing I am saying is that sitting in a car that has your head at bumper level of most other cars on the road is inherently not safe. If I was racing my car I would have a cage. Since I don't, I only have a roll bar and its in the engine compartment and not the cockpit. If I was as enamored about safety as the thread author, I would look at any number of modern sports cars. They are designed to meet very strict safety requirements and offers levels of protection you will never have in a GT40 race car no matter how much bracing is added.
 

Rick Muck- Mark IV

GT40s Sponsor
Supporter
This is the third part of a series of articles to make you think, published I the GT40 Enthusiasts Club magazine a little while ago.

Frank,

A sobering look at a situation many do not want to address, as you say "It won't/can't happen to me!"

We do not recommend any bars inside a GT40 UNLESS it is a dedicated track car and you will be wearing a helmet. Mike's behind the bulkhead bar is the only safe solution for a bar in a road going GT40.

And you are right about the "poser" factor............................
 

Ian Anderson

Lifetime Supporter
Frank
All three articles were very sobering
I believe they should be a must read for all people in these cars

Ian
 
I decided to remove my cage after reading Franks article and hearing about the death of his friend, I will also be cutting out the remaining attachment tubes which are remaining in the cockpit, I was going to cover them over with foam but I think I will remove them too.

I sadly lost my beloved mother last September, she was killed driving home in her Porsche Boxster, air bags and side impact protection sadly didn't help her :(.

These thing can happen to you :(.
 

Tim Kay

Lifetime Supporter
I agree full heartedly with all your comments and backed up research supporting the decision not to install a cage in a car wherein the driver will not be wearing a helmet. For the moment let me play the devil's advocate here:

Superformance R cars for example (any of our cars can duplicate), the cage in the cabin is welded to the A-piller and the top tubes are up against the inside of the spider down the centerline of the cabin, rollover bar is in the engine bay against the bulkhead.

1) Tubing only reduces the impact distance 1 1/2". If your unprotected skull is to hit any of the inside cage tubes then lilkely it will hit the same location of a non-cage spider, A-piller or inside roof panel, all metal in a SPF. The distance of travel between ones skull to the centerline of inside roof panel, upper edge across windshield, A-piller, is a distance exceeding 5", 10", 12" respectively (how close is your steering wheel?)

My point being, if you wear a properly secured 5 pt harness the movement is restricted to a minimum even, as properly noted, considering the contortion\flexibility the body goes through during an impact. The closest and most concerning contact point is the cage tubes along the spider roofline, the tube across the top of the windshield and A-pillar are at a further distance and are less likely contact points when properly harnessed. Now, lets say an impact is enough to make contact with cage tubing but not the extra 1 1/2" were the tubing not there, then not wearing a HANS type device or having airbags will likely result in serious neck injuries. Where do draw the line on risk?

2) As someone commented earlier, these cars are sooo low that most large cars and SUV's will likely end up on top of our cars. Imagine a head-on or fontal side swipe whereby the oncoming car will drive right up the front, practically unimpeded. Have you looked at the shape of your front end? Car ramp comes to mind!

My point being, most our cars are fiberglass spiders that will collapse with the least amount of impact coming over the top, whether from the side or the front. Steel spiders similar to SPF may fare better but not by much.

3) "Rollover", IMO, is not really a concern. If a rollover occurs in a street GT40, wow, cage or no cage you have some serious issues. Probability of contact to your skull against something will be the unfortunate and likely outcome due to a crushed spider. Odds of a bad outcome might be reduced with a cage, again not by much.

I could go on but the bottom line is these cars are flat out dangerous as street cars. If they were as popular as motorcycles they would lead the weekly obituaries on Monday morning. The reason I have two GT40's, I can't sell one one and have a clear conscious that the buyer won't get hurt in it. Seriously, I talk with Jesus each and every time I buckle my belts and I drive defensively ALL the time.

I welcome more discussion with interest.

Tim
 

Rick Muck- Mark IV

GT40s Sponsor
Supporter
I agree full heartedly with all your comments and backed up research supporting the decision not to install a cage in a car wherein the driver will not be wearing a helmet. For the moment let me play the devil's advocate here:

Superformance R cars for example (any of our cars can duplicate), the cage in the cabin is welded to the A-piller and the top tubes are up against the inside of the spider down the centerline of the cabin, rollover bar is in the engine bay against the bulkhead.

1) Tubing only reduces the impact distance 1 1/2". If your unprotected skull is to hit any of the inside cage tubes then lilkely it will hit the same location of a non-cage spider, A-piller or inside roof panel, all metal in a SPF. The distance of travel between ones skull to the centerline of inside roof panel, upper edge across windshield, A-piller, is a distance exceeding 5", 10", 12" respectively (how close is your steering wheel?)

My point being, if you wear a properly secured 5 pt harness the movement is restricted to a minimum even, as properly noted, considering the contortion\flexibility the body goes through during an impact. The closest and most concerning contact point is the cage tubes along the spider roofline, the tube across the top of the windshield and A-pillar are at a further distance and are less likely contact points when properly harnessed. Now, lets say an impact is enough to make contact with cage tubing but not the extra 1 1/2" were the tubing not there, then not wearing a HANS type device or having airbags will likely result in serious neck injuries. Where do draw the line on risk?

2) As someone commented earlier, these cars are sooo low that most large cars and SUV's will likely end up on top of our cars. Imagine a head-on or fontal side swipe whereby the oncoming car will drive right up the front, practically unimpeded. Have you looked at the shape of your front end? Car ramp comes to mind!

My point being, most our cars are fiberglass spiders that will collapse with the least amount of impact coming over the top, whether from the side or the front. Steel spiders similar to SPF may fare better but not by much.

3) "Rollover", IMO, is not really a concern. If a rollover occurs in a street GT40, wow, cage or no cage you have some serious issues. Probability of contact to your skull against something will be the unfortunate and likely outcome due to a crushed spider. Odds of a bad outcome might be reduced with a cage, again not by much.

I could go on but the bottom line is these cars are flat out dangerous as street cars. If they were as popular as motorcycles they would lead the weekly obituaries on Monday morning. The reason I have two GT40's, I can't sell one one and have a clear conscious that the buyer won't get hurt in it. Seriously, I talk with Jesus each and every time I buckle my belts and I drive defensively ALL the time.

I welcome more discussion with interest.

Tim

You points on the proximity of the steel roof, etc. is taken HOWEVER if my unprotected head is to strike something I much prefer the roof sheet metal which will actually deform, absorbing energy and decelerating my skull vs. the roll bar tube which may deflect all of say, 1/32" of an inch! Just as wide based tires allow a heavy vehicle to traverse soft ground, the sheet steel will spread the impact load and allow a lower "point load" on my noggin!
 

Tim Kay

Lifetime Supporter
You points on the proximity of the steel roof, etc. is taken HOWEVER if my unprotected head is to strike something I much prefer the roof sheet metal which will actually deform, absorbing energy and decelerating my skull vs. the roll bar tube which may deflect all of say, 1/32" of an inch! Just as wide based tires allow a heavy vehicle to traverse soft ground, the sheet steel will spread the impact load and allow a lower "point load" on my noggin!

Very much agree Rick, no argument. But how's that neck doing in such a case? No halo seat or neck restraint? You've all seen those vids depicting the way a neck stretches without restraint? Makes you think twice about abandoning your soft sofa to step foot out the front door into a GT40!

Or, how about that downward compression of something impacting the spider? I've seen damage from flying truck tire tread you'd think a deer was hit......oh, and how about that deer (wild donkeys where I live)?.....coming over the front and crushing the spider? Just say'n.....impact accidents aren't all necessarily trying to rip your body away from your seat and into the windshield.

Don't get me wrong guys, I agree a cage can be quite debilitating in some cases, I'll even give you "most cases", but I'm not yet ready to throw the baby out with the bath water given other situations a cage could possibly reduce injury. All us here hope and pray we never have to test these theories and l'll repeat again what I can't over emphasize, these cars are ridiculously dangerous used as a street car.

Tim
 
Thanks to everyone for this great discussion. I can clearly see the reasons why, in some instances, you would not want to have a roll cage in the car, but I still think that the arguments speaking for one dominate.

This is an interesting discussion about wearing a helmet while driving a car, including comments of police officers:

Wearing a full face helmet in a road vehicle - Traffic / Roads Policing - Police Oracle Forum

A helmet spreads impact loads using a liner made from foam. The article below suggests that bicycle helmets typically result in less than 300g of deceleration.

http://www.helmets.org/liners.htm

The human spine/neck can only be loaded to a maximum of about 10g in the vertical direction, but much more in the horizontal direction (often more than 100g, given the situation). A force from the top, i.e. another vehicle driving on top of a GT40, is certainly very dangerous. Such a situation, would speak for a roll cage in my point of view. There is not much head room in a GT40 (I don't like the fact that the GT40 is so small at all. After having seen in a few in real life, I would only purchase one if there was a scaled-up replica version available).

Now, in my point of view, the question becomes: can you transfer the task of the foam in a helmet to foam installed on the roll cage? What products are available?
 
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Crash-testing has shown that besides the design of the chassis, the size of the interior room (as well as vehicle weight in cases where other vehicles are involved) is most important for safety and survivability. I have recently read an article that suggested that cars will continue to grow in size due to safety considerations, and apparently, the 2015 Ford Mustang (in its day designed as a pony car!) is one of the largest sports cars with most head and passenger room available today.

Exterior height: 54.4 inches (35% higher than GT40)
Exterior Width: 75.4 inches (8% wider than GT40)
Front Legroom: 44.5 inches (any numbers for GT40?)
Front Headroom: 37.6 inches (any numbers for GT40?)
Front Hiproom: 54.9 inches (any numbers for GT40?)
Front Shoulder Room: 56.3 inches (any numbers for GT40?)
Passenger volume is up from 81 cubic feet to 84.5 from previous Mustang model.

A scaled up GT40 replica would look so much stronger on the road as well...
 

Doug S.

The protoplasm may be 72, but the spirit is 32!
Lifetime Supporter
If I were thinking along those lines, I'd go for the RCR GT-R my own darned self.

'Just my own personal preference... :thumbsup:

I read the GTM stuff...hard to believe it can be built for around $40K. That alone brings it into the "take another look" territory. That's $20K for the kit and a 'Vette donor and associated costs like transaxle/paint/tires, etc.

I did hear that the first gen body was a mess...perhaps the next generation body will be less difficult to get right.

Would I rather have an SLC or a GT-R? Of course...but with the cost of playing with the GT-R being so high, the GTM might be the only way us "po-boys" can get into the mid-engine GT game.

Cheers!

Doug
 

Mike

Lifetime Supporter
There is not much head room in a GT40 (I don't like the fact that the GT40 is so small at all. After having seen in a few in real life, I would only purchase one if there was a scaled-up replica version available)

Then why are you on gt40s.com?
 

Doug S.

The protoplasm may be 72, but the spirit is 32!
Lifetime Supporter
(I don't like the fact that the GT40 is so small at all. After having seen in a few in real life, I would only purchase one if there was a scaled-up replica version available).

There is one...have you looked at the Ford GT?

It looks to be about 10%-15% larger than a GT40.

They are pricey, though...but if you have to have a larger GT40 there is that option.

Cheers!

Doug
 
I read the GTM stuff...hard to believe it can be built for around $40K. That alone brings it into the "take another look" territory. That's $20K for the kit and a 'Vette donor and associated costs like transaxle/paint/tires, etc.

I did hear that the first gen body was a mess...perhaps the next generation body will be less difficult to get right.

Would I rather have an SLC or a GT-R? Of course...but with the cost of playing with the GT-R being so high, the GTM might be the only way us "po-boys" can get into the mid-engine GT game.

Cheers!

Doug

I also find it hard to believe - but I have read few posts on the factory five forum (FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum) and it does seem as if that was indeed possible.

Do we have a website for the GT-R component car? I cannot find anything!

I have been thinking about scaling up the GT40 myself, but that build would take me a decade! It would however, be my preferred option!
 
There is one...have you looked at the Ford GT?

It looks to be about 10%-15% larger than a GT40.

They are pricey, though...but if you have to have a larger GT40 there is that option.

Cheers!

Doug

They look good, but are no component cars. If somebody gave me one I would probably sell it and build a true component car. When I see a well-known sports car on the street, I always feel embarrassed for the driver - it's hard for me to explain here why that is the case. I somewhat subconsciously connect the character of the driver with an inability to think logically and economically and a lack of passion for racing and engineering. Now that is totally unfair on my part but I cannot help it. Unfortunately, most real-life experiences have reinforced that bad (and totally wrong) attitude. In any circumstance, I would spend my money in the component car industry.

An exciting statement from one of the previously quoted sites:

“We designed the ...(component car)... as a direct challenge to people like Ferrari dealers, who with manicured fingernails and straight faces charge people a premium to be on a waiting list, to join an exclusive club of unfriendly people who rarely drive their cars. We designed the ...(component car)... out of real pride, patriotism, and conceit. We wanted to show the world what we were truly capable of and we wanted to build a car that would kick everyone else’s arse”

Ok, now back to the original topic. What solutions are there to pad the roll cage and do we have any numbers regarding side impact safety between different component cars?
 
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