History of the Classic Cord
Why I built my own Cord
Engineering and Design
Body Construction 1
Body Construction 2
Chassis - Frame and Suspension 1
Chassis - Frame and Suspension 2
Designed and Fabricated Parts 1
Designed and Fabricated Parts 2
Engineering Changes
Final Modifications

Final Details
MN Registration
The World Debut
More Misadventures

Final Recommendations
Glam Shots

The HBC Store
To Sturgis & Back Game

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   Chassis - Frame and Suspension

   The design of the frame was based on a similar frame design I did for my brother's Cord.  Finite Element Analysis was performed to ensure it had sufficient strength and rigidity.  Of particular interest for a convertible is torsional rigidity.  A poorly designed convertible will have noticeable cowl shake when traveling over irregular surfaces - like rail road tracks crossing the street at a diagonal.  To obtain the desired stiffness, the frame uses high polar moments of inertia, thin walled rectangular tubing.  The largest members are below the door and are 3X6 inch tubes with 0.10 inch walls.

   Roll protection is provided by a forward cowl support (supports the windshied and dash) and rear cowl support (protects the gas tanks).  Accommodations for an optional roll bar have also been made.

   Most kit cars have fiberglass doors that provide minimal side intrusion protection.  The Otis Cord uses modified doors from a 1972 MGB.  These metal doors have the side protection required in modern automobiles.  To accommodate the lines of the Cord, the MGB exterior doors skins were removed and replaced with fiberglass.

   Front suspension is 1973 Pinto with Granada disks.  Location of the upper "A" frame member pivots was determined by computer modeling that minimized tire scrub and optimized wheel camber for optimal cornering traction.  Cornering is also improved with the addition of a 7/8 inch diameter anti-sway bar attached to the front suspension.  The rear suspension is 1972 Corvette.  This combination provides 4 wheel independent suspension and four wheel disk brakes - choice for maintaining control in high performance cars.

1972 Corvette rear suspension.  (Aug 1985)

   1973 Pinto front suspension with Granada disks.  (Sept 1985)

   Frame is extensively mocked up with wood to verify design.  (April 1986)

   Frame construction begins.  (May 1986)

   Reinforced side protection welded into 1972 MGB door.  (Oct 1986)

   Photo of me preparing to clean up frame welds.  (July 2005)

   Back to the grind.  (July 2005)

   Frame in paint booth after "professional sandblasting".  The professionals did a poor job. 
Spent 8 hours completing the job myself - in the paint boot of all places!  (July 2005)

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