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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/5/21 11:36 a.m.

Call this a combination of bench racing and editorial research: What's your interest in tube-frame race cars? Where do they land in your automotive world. 

(And paging JG....)

Pic for attention. (And check out that front bumper.)

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
10/5/21 11:41 a.m.

Switched from Spec Miata to Spec Racer Ford this summer, best automotive decision I've ever made. So that's two thumbs up from me on tube frame race cars. 

tuna55 MegaDork
10/5/21 11:45 a.m.

Love it. There are lots of ways to skin a cat.

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/5/21 11:49 a.m.

My bias is towards purpose-built tube framed race cars.  That's what I've been playing with for a long time.   I realize and appreciate the complexity of making a production street car a racer, and the interest many have in following a certain marque.  Just not my interest as much.   Seems that the best production cars converted into serious race cars become almost tube-framed race cars after all the connecting rollcage bars run from all the suspension pickup points etc.     

Actually, if it were in the budget I'd prefer a carbon tub car.  wink

And yes, I own a tube frame street car.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
10/5/21 11:50 a.m.

Thanks in advance for all the amazing confirmation bias I hope this thread provides.

gumby GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/5/21 11:53 a.m.

Wait. What about tube-frame street cars?

drock25too Reader
10/5/21 11:53 a.m.

I have been around dirt track racing long enough to see them evolve from stock frame monsters to tube frame works of art. That Buick in the picture, there is no way to get it to do what it did in stock form. The same thing with my Avenger, I Love the body, but it just doesn't work like I think it should as a race car in FWD configuration. 

frenchyd UltimaDork
10/5/21 11:57 a.m.

When Group 44 switched from car based Jaguar XJS to the tube frame they lost over 400 pounds of weight and the engine was legally allowed an 8 inch rearward move, switching from a front heavy car to a rear weight bias.  They also switched from the production based differential  to a quick Change  saving hours of work  to adjust for various tracks. 
  In addition build time went from 2800 hours to a little over 1500 hours.  That included the time required to make fiberglass molds of all the body parts. 

tuna55 MegaDork
10/5/21 12:00 p.m.

What about when you take a tube frame open wheel car and drop a production body on top? Because yes, please.



j_tso GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/5/21 12:04 p.m.

They should be called prototypes, but if it looks like a GT car then I guess it is.

AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/5/21 12:11 p.m.

Yes. Buy the frame and parts from jh36. We will all be tuned in. 

nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/5/21 12:12 p.m.

Did someone say tube frame race cars?


I'm here for it.  

Pepe New Reader
10/5/21 12:12 p.m.

I wish I had one.

Tom1200 UltraDork
10/5/21 12:18 p.m.

Saying how do we feel about tube frame race cars implies we should be discussing tube frame cars versus all other chassis types. all of my comments are going to be pro tube frame.

Versus production cars: (body on frame & unibody)  Simpler to work on. More rigid especially in the engine bay area. Easier to repair. Easier to modify.

Versus  Aluminum Monocoque: Cheaper to build and maintain. Much easier to repair.

Versus Carbon Monocoque: Not as rigid. Far Far cheaper to build. Longer service life and much more repairable post crash. (not as crash worthy as carbon tub car)

Count me in the love of tube frame cars; easier and cheaper to maintain and modify.

Driven5 UltraDork
10/5/21 12:19 p.m.

It's THE quintessential grassroots method for building a true racecar... What's not to like?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/5/21 12:24 p.m.

I think a few articles on the grassroots stuff built for the UK hillclimb scene would be interesting. Lots of very sophisticated home-builts.

Cactus HalfDork
10/5/21 12:25 p.m.

Own one. 10/10 would recommend. I'm sure I'll buy another some day. Carbon tub would be preferable, but that's not in the budget right now.


Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/5/21 12:26 p.m.

Tube frame cars are awesome. This was running at the autocross on Sunday. 2.3 L turbo some sort of straight cut gear transmission, tube frame.

slowbird UltraDork
10/5/21 12:31 p.m.

My favorite race cars are the 80s tubeframe GT cars. V8 or turbo engines for lots of power, barely constrained by the tires and aero of the time. More relatable than GTP cars, but still totally bespoke racing machines.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/5/21 12:43 p.m.
AxeHealey said:

Yes. Buy the frame and parts from jh36. We will all be tuned in. 

It's inevitable, isn't it? 

Apexcarver UltimaDork
10/5/21 12:49 p.m.

I feel like purpose built for motorsport cars are the future rather than modifying street cars. As street cars get more and more safety technologies installed from the factory that have to be worked around, the lift becomes higher. 


I went to a formula car that is a tube chassis, and I love it. It is far far easier to work on than any street car. Hell, the class for it (F500) is targeted at producing the cheapest purpose built car you can that goes like stink. I have about the same money in it that I had in my STS miata and 100% more FTD's.




Another facet is that you have the cars that are purpose built to a racing class, but you also have some kit cars that are on the market that are well engineered enough to be the same thing.  Factory Five's cars and the Exocet come to mind. The FFR's under the fiberglass skin are very similar to what gets built for a number of the race class cars, but call it detuned in design a bit. The Exocet does a good job by just extracting the major desireable parts and applying them as well. 



AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/5/21 12:56 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

That's how I see it. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/5/21 12:56 p.m.

Once you've made the decision to move to an unregistered, trailered track car a tube frame makes so much more sense. But it often means starting over.

gumby GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/5/21 12:59 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Two questions:

Did anyone protest this car? wink

And, if you spoke with him, will we see him at the Challenge this year?

wearymicrobe PowerDork
10/5/21 1:04 p.m.
gumby said:

Wait. What about tube-frame street cars?

Why not both in the same car 


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