Hello everyone. Time has come that I must decide on a cowl shape for my speedster. Three designs have me very intrigued and I want to hear what everyone else has to say before I go forth. While I understand many of you will say "It's your speedster, do what you wish" I want the speedster to be both pleasing to the eye for myself and others that look at it.
First, a little bit about my car. It will be painted British racing green with brooklands windshields. The car will also have a side exit exhaust system similar to Bill Harris's speedster. The rear of the car will be similar to that of 20's Mercedes-Benz SSKLs with a polished aluminum V radiator shell (a styling cue also borrowed from the SSKL). The seats are set apart from the cowl so cowl shapes similar to mercury bodied speedsters are out of the question for this car (and my metal working abilities). A picture of a SSKL can be found in the link directly below.
For your viewing pleasure, I present the contestants
Giving credit where it is due...
Bill Harris's 22
Humble Howard's 7
and a chevy speedster that I cant find the owner of...
Notice that this body is asymmetrical.
I appreciate everyone's input! If you like other shape cowls, please provide a pic or link!
I'm a bit partial to my "one of a kind" !
I'm not crazy about any of those.
I like this one, pictured in Deer River Minnesota:
Here's one you don't see every day.
Chevy looks ok.
How is this?
If you start with your choice of radiator / shell and work back from there with string your project will come together without abrupt lines and much grief. If you begin with the cowl and try to work forward it might not work too well.
I like the Mercedes drawing in your first link, but I think you need a fairly deep (tall) hood line to pull is off successfully.
I have a similar straight line extending the hood line for the cowl on my '24 Speedster. This works not too badly because the windshield is low (more of a wind deflector really) and the body skirts help carry the lines back. If the windshield was tall enough to see through the proportions would suffer.
I wouldn't kick any of your three examples out of my garage, but my first choice would be the Chevy without the cut-outs beside the legs.
A string as Tim mentioned for a straight line or fairing stick for laying out curves are handy. In any case start at the radiator and work back.
I established my seating position (height, width, angles and fore/aft position) and mounted my radiator shell before laying out the body of my # 33 car. http://www.nwvs.org/CarPhotos/033/118NewBody.shtml Mocking it up with scrap materials and cardboard worked out the shape before any solid commitments were made. The same considerations apply regardless of the materials you use to build the body.
Somebody posted this pic last year, i think its gorgeous, fenders and all.
I like this one:
Many speedsters look like backyard hack jobs. I am sure they are fun
to drive, but leave a lot to be desired in the styling dept. That black
swoopy beast Kep posted is a stunning example of well designed styling.
No disconnected elements, no cheesy latter-day themes or ideas. Just
total visual cohesion from front to back. The USAF says "Aim High".
The USMC says "One shot, one kill".
Bottom line, do it right.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Just to say it again, the seats are going to be separate from the cowl... so bodies like the last two that were posted are not really up for consideration. I do like the others that have been posted however. Keep em coming!
Nathan: if you look closely at the one I posted, you'll see that the seats are separate. It's Tim Graber's 15 speedster built by his dad... May have heard of Graber & Sons?
Also, #22 still belongs to my dad Fast Frank Harris
ahh! an optical illusion. Thank you for correcting me on both counts!
Does anyone want to go together and make a couple of radiators like the one on Ed's posting. I know where to get the radiator core. NO it will not be really cheap, but it would be really nice!!! I have built radiators before from "scratch". Sorry I will only be involved if I want one too. And Ed's gets my attention!!!
but a two seater
Why does that road-going doorstop in front of the Firestone office need so many valve stems for each tire?
I would like to see a side view of Ed,s Speedster. Cool car. Scott
Heres a working model of the above "Laurel" speedster, wish it was mine.
I built my first two with the cowl in-line with the top of the hood,
Didn't like it.
Built the next one with the hood almost level, but the cowl sloped up from the back of the hood back.
It is a straight, non curved cowl top, sort of like the one Bill Harris likes.
I like it.
The first picture with the Mercedes is a nice looking car, but it is a couple of years late for a T. Not T era.
No.22 is Frank Harris's car, not Bill's.
Be sure to leave plenty of room around the steering wheel for your hands, specially on the left side in the 7 to 9 O'clock position.
Aaron, Im also a big fan of this one. It is a 1924 model and from the seats forward is very similar. In all likelihood, the front half of my car will end up looking more like this one than the one pictured previously.
That "laurel" design would be perfect for my 16 valve Roof!!!
Heres a link to the construction of the restored Laurel Speedster restored by Fred Houston.
Nathan - Mine's not too complicated; it was formed from a flat sheet and simply cut-out. Not sure but my grandfather may have used a pattern. Not everyone's taste, but fairly simple and it works for me.
Dave, I have always admired yours as it looks very period correct but doesn't look like any others I have ever seen. Sometimes I get bored looking at speedsters due to how often body designs are duplicated.
Several pictures from Lee Thevenet's web site.
I think you should copy the one from Kep's photo. Both the shape and the way that the seats sit on that same line.
Seth - I agree,.....plus,.....how often do you see such a good looking speedster that seats four, but really doesn't look like it, right? That is a really great design to my way of thinking. I'd really like to see a few more photos of that car! I'm thinking that if those two rear seats were fairly easily removable, you could replace them with a well proportioned trunk, and just use the seats in place of the trunk when you need them,....altho' it does sound strange that one would need two extra seats for a speedster. Guess you could call it a "Touring Speedster", huh?
Hey, yeah,.......a "speedstour"........ ; o )
The more I think about it, the better I like the idea. You could install the new modern Warford, and instead of shortening the driveshaft, you could just extend the frame 12" to allow for the extra foot that the Warford would require.
Sorry Nathan,.....guess this has little to do with "cowl shape", huh?
Haha I love it! Its outside of my metalworking abilities for sure though!
A stretched speedster. Okay!
Kep's picture looks like something Professor Fate would drive...
A late friend built this speedster which I now own it has a cowl based on a Gypsy Moth airplane which works great and is just that bit different.
A few more speedster pictures
A bunch more, the red one w/ number 7 on it is nice, green 36 and yellow number 6 are local cars with cowls easy to duplicate and look nice.
There are several nice speedsters in the site that would be easy to build and look great when finished.
Meant yellow number 4 (Ed Archer's)