Trevithick day in the U.K.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, November 06, 2017 10:18 PM

Actually the TA was replaced by the DS19, which was introduced in 1955 and is still one of the most advanced designs of the 20th Century, far more advanced than a Light 15 in a great many ways and less advanced, to my knowledge, in none.  The SM was in my opinion still more advanced, albeit I still need to redress its chief ‘shortcoming’ by putting a 4.9 in as originally intended... 

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 9:12 AM

Friends of mine own D models. I was in the back seat of one and all the windows were down. On a highway, there was no wind buffeting at all. It was almost eerie. The D did have it's shortcomings as there wasn't enough time or money to develop a new engine so they used the engine that they had, which was the TA block with a hemi-head and a slightly different crankshaft. The engine block architecture is almost identical to the TA and as a result, the D was noisier than it should have been. Still, when the D was introduced in 1955, there were over 2,000 orders on the first day of the Paris auto show. The engine intended for the D was a 6-cylinder opposed-piston air cooled item. they couldn't figure out the cooling. They should have asked Porsche or General Motors. Andre Citroen wasn't afraid to talk to Henry Ford back in 1931 which explains the Tractions resemblence to the 1933 Ford. 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 11:11 AM

Apparently the real problem with the flat six (iirc it was a ‘boxer’ like the 911 or Corvair engine, what used to be called ‘horizontally-opposed’ not opposed-piston) was that it was derived from the 2CV engine, was underpowered, and was slung out entirely in front of the axle, just the reverse of where the Sainturat engine went in the D chassis.  It was originally not air-cooled but proved so have so little power for the fuel it burned that air-cooling became desirable ... I personally don’t see much practical way of cooling a flat air-cooled six in the as-built D chassis.

The REAL answer was the two-stroke V4 with separately-engined supercharger, with the V8 done by the flat-six designer closely behind ... but lack of money and the French tax system did them in.  Quelle dommage!

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 2:05 PM

Yes, a boxer- that is what I meant. Boxer=opposed. The term boxer wasn't much in use back in my air-cooled Volkswagen days. It was an opposed engine, that's what everyone called it. There could have been a way to cool the Citroen 6 cylinder engine, Corvair seemed to manage it but it's all a moot point now. I've seen photos of the V4 engine for the D- scary! 

Yes, the French tax system. It killed Bugatti, Delahaye and Delage amongst others.  The French government had a point,  to get the economy going again after the late unpleasantness you really shouldn't be building luxury cars that no one could afford anyway. So, tax horsepower. Or in the charming French phrase, Steam Horse. 

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 11:21 AM

I have long known of Richard Trevithick, but I had no idea that he is so well remembered as to have his own day.

By the way, how is the engine kept in line without a track? I saw no such marks on the roadway as the new Chinese train has.

Johnny

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Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 3:58 PM

You could see in the first video the guy struggling to steer that monster. No wonder the law was until 1904 in Britain that a man on foot had to carry a red flag in front of any road vehicle. 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 4:48 PM

Something of importance here, which I’m not sure how to resolve properly, is the enormous distinction between the design from 1801, with its grime-smudged people getting knocked up and down, and the sophistication inherent in the 1802 design (even if its unsuspended chassis suffers bangs and knocks, the carriage-type slinging and 18th-Century equivalent of Bostrom seat make the ride like day after night!).  Steering easily facilitated, too.

Seems to me Oliver Evans addressed some of the vertical shock issues by using or proposing sprung or resilient wheels; those would help the 1801 design... almost anything would.  (might have helped later when permanent-way compliance and damping turned out to matter so much,too!)

But in my recollection the Red Flag Law was passed for a much different reason: the great advances in speed and juggernaut mayhem resulting from road development of the Goldsworthy Gurney sort.  Too much speed and advanced design, not too little, and with canal and stagecoach interests fully represented at Parliament...

We might recall the early tribulations when the law was applied to motorcars... and how the modern automobile might be a very different thing had restrictive vehicle laws not been enforced.  I have several ‘tachymeter’ watches from the turn of last century period that are calibrated right down past 3mph ... to be used by constables in town or country lanes to arrest scorchers when that fast was too fast...

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 8:47 PM

54light15

You could see in the first video the guy struggling to steer that monster. No wonder the law was until 1904 in Britain that a man on foot had to carry a red flag in front of any road vehicle. 

 

Yes, looking at the video again, carefully, I see the man syruggling to manage the steering. He certainly could use a power assist.

Johnny

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