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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Default Seam Welding PLUS a cage....

    Porsche GT3

    Race cars endure incredible forces during a crash... it used to be common practice to seam weld every lap and butt joint on the car... these days I see more and more that forgo that time consuming hundreds of hours on the rottis....

    Ugly..... but is a perfect illustration of why a race car should have
    every seam on the tub tig welded along its length in and out to insure
    integrity.... not relying on the spot welds alone.. to have it
    unfold like the buttons ripped from a cheap shirt... (a cage alone is not
    enough, and this lacked even that)

    Aside from being drunk.. the
    guy did not know how to drive that tail happy GT3.... traditional tail
    first death slide......

    Porsche builds one of the strongest well tied together chassis in the business but spot welds alone are not enough to hold a car together and dissipate the forces..
    these pictures are hard to look at... the car was reduced to shredded scrap..
    (pics from
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006


    Looking at those pics. I'd say he would be in trouble no matter how many seams were welded solid. That was a MASSIVE impact.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003


    Backing into a tree at 140mph or so would not be pretty in any case... immovable object meets incredible energy.... But, I have seen cars that were hit pretty hard and been survivable .... in particular there was a 934 that was hit from behind while stationary by another 934...(at speed). engine and trans were pulverized.... and we ended up rebuilding the car, upgrading it to 935 status and it later won Sebring... that car had been fully welded as well as caged..
    (Garretson/Barbour car was hit by Interscope car)

    No it will not perform miracles...or cure stupidity... but every bit of structural integrity helps... part of my point was/is that cars from the factory need to have every bit tied together for safety's sake if they are going to see track speeds (they also will handle better and last longer)
    I especially love the owners of the German stuff that tell me not to worry cause their Porsche/BMW/Audi/Mercedes is built like a panzer... and they are perfectly safe..... taint so magee.....
    The German stuff is probably the best out there but not good enough without some additional help to withstand the inevitable impact if things go wrong... this is true for a drag car as well as a road racer, nascar etc..

    Cars that were designed to crush and absorb the energy of a 70mph impact while protecting the occupants, become deathtraps at double that speed without some serious reinforcement.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006


    Drag cars might be the exception to the rule. Most drag cars "high HP types anyway" the body is just cosmetic, providing some aerodynamic benefits, the cage takes all the impact.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003


    probably misspoke on the drag stuff.. (blanket statements always seem to come back and bite ya) has been many years since I have been to a dragstrip...might have to remedy that....
    and yes the nascar stuff is largely tube framed but the panels are tied in and help enhance the structure (at least to the best of my observation) maybe Andy could help enlighten us on NASCAR stuff.... he has a lot of expertise in that area...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Las Vegas Nevada


    You're saying that all of the body seams need to be welded in addition to the frame, right?

    A **** of a lot of work there but it's a good thought.

    Sitting here looking at my old Brit vintage racer and thinking Ohmygawd.......
    Miller Diversion 165
    1966 Bridgeport Mill
    Leblond 15x 35 Regal Servoshift lathe
    Solberga SE 1425 Drill Press
    Bigass Bandsaw
    Hydraulic press
    small surface grinder
    Belt sander
    Tons of grinders and hand tools
    Knife edge Balancing rollers
    Heat and AC in the garage

    Jags and racing Triumphs

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