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Here I am refining and adding more detail to the body lines..
After the foam goes on, an interesting transformation begins to take place,but only after hours of grinding and sanding foam to shape.The foam is then sealed with a coat of body filler to prepare it for the fiberglass cloth that will go on next. Ladies and gentlemen the next phase of bodywork is a very tedious and time consuming operation that at times does seem like it will never end. It is either patience, perseverance or insanity that drive one forward at this point.Six days later, just like on tv...just kidding ...this is not a reality show.... persistence pays off! It is starting to look like the image I had in my mind.
When I stood back for a better look I discovered the wing position and shape needed a change to be more pleasing to the eye.So I cut it off and redid it.
Finally in primer,shows the details .
The shape is now becoming more evident as the forming rod count goes up.
Ok, so about 500 ft of steel rod,some tin tape and spray foam,body filler,fiberglass,more body filler,primer and my vision is becoming part of reality! The Zoleco is born.
This shot shows the outline for the headlight lens arrangement and the flow through hood ducts for radiator air exit.
How in the world does an individual begin and orchestrate such a momentous project you might ask ? The answer to that question is very carefully and with a lot of fore thought.I first set some goals .It must be ergonomically friendly,seat four people and be very ,very efficient ,so that no matter which particular niche it happens to be in, it will consume minimum energy for maximum performance!
No matter the size of a project or endeavor, it is accomplished by focusing on one step at a time.No different than trying to move a mountain one rock at a time.
I started with drawings, just like the ones you hear about on the back of a napkin.These artistic renderings were fine- tuned to the point where the one dimensional plane of a sheet of paper no longer sufficed.
Then a scale model was carved to shape out of a piece of foam, sanded and painted.This gave me something I could see, manipulate and hold in my hand as a precursor to building the full size development model.
I find the hands-on approach to be much more satisfying compared to computer model renderings when it comes to getting a feel for the ergonomics of the car.For example you are sitting in the drivers seat and you want to know how the space around you interacts with your body position, your fore and aft views, blind spots, leg room ,steering wheel positioning,all important factors that should be realized before the build progresses.If you have ever sat in an awkward feeling car, you know what I mean. With the parameters set for the occupants, next is the outward shaping procedure where that perfect aerodynamic form of the tear drop is transformed into something conducive for personal transportation.As you can see by the photo on the right, the early forming stage is open to the interpretation of the designer.It is actually there in my minds eye, just not quite apparent to the casual observer.The lower photo shows more form detail as the rod count goes up.Then all the forming rod work is finished and foil tape is applied as a prerequisite for the foam application.
Designing From Scratch.
The scale model
Early forming stage using some donor vehicle parts for reference can you see the flowing symmetry unfolding......?
This view with the hood removed shows the tube substructure that supports the 3 cyl. turbo engine that could be used for a hyper mileage car. In this case it is only being used as a fitment arrangement during the body design stage. The actual chassis will be fabricated from a different material.
You can see here where the wing height and angle have been changed.
Preliminary design drawings
Head and tail light pods and lenses at this stage still need to be made.