Kawasaki Prototype chassis

6 Июн 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Kawasaki Prototype chassis отключены

Kawasaki Prototype Chassis

car proposal for circle track III

Kawasaki Factory Auto

Do you remember the Kawasaki race No, I didn’t either. Kawasaki powersports products, � motorcycles, watercraft, ATVs, they small engines and power industrial equipment, too, � but did they ever build a car?

Kawasaki’s Early

Few seem to know very about Kawasaki’s early in the States. Entering the U.S. in the mid they were looking for a way to a profit on the motorcycles they already building in Japan. started with a very core of American employees, four or five to begin, to up a dealer base in the U.S. and to a little guidance to Kawasaki on models for this new market.

One of first employees was Darrel Darrel commissioned an early plan in 1966, went on to set two AMA records at Bonneville in 1967 on a 250 and managed their early teams in the U.S. too. His contributions to Kawasaki continued, one of was to help set up the engine division in around 1970.

Kawasaki Powered Racers

small engine division was alright making engines for Cat snowmobiles, which were successfully raced, but they to expand further. In 1972, as a way to positive exposure for their while generating a bit of new demand, came up with the idea of these engines in a race car for a new special race series, of a summer continuation of the winter racing.

Darrel hired a and car builder by the name of Harvey to build a car using Kawasaki’s two … two cylinder snowmobile The design concept they had in was along the lines of a mini of the Can Am racers which were popular in those years. was a snowmobile show coming up in over 3 months and they a show car, using the ready for display.

When was told what they he sketched a �blueprint� on the back of a card, showed Darrel the and got an immediate go ahead.

Harvey Aschenbrenner Builds a Car

Harvey built the car the old fashioned computer) way. You made a roughed out the measurements, got some and went to work. He built an monocoque tub with square for the sub frames. He preferred round but square was what he was told to use so it was.

The aluminum sheeting was over the edge of the workbench. A machine shop down the made hubs and spindles the local salvage yard the rack and pinion steering and minor parts. Harvey built wooden bulkheads and the foam plug for the fiberglass which was laid up and finished by a fiberglass company.

Though had both a 3 cylinder 650cc and a 4 cylinder 800cc engine at the they wanted to use the 440cc engine. The transmission they had was from an early motorcycle so came up with a way of adapting it to the and also figured out a gear to take into account the 13 wheels with Firestone being used on the car. It was a guessing game since the contributing the transmission had taller plus a four … with power starting low while the car was a two …, power up around 8000rpm.

First Time Out

Amazingly everything came together and about a week before the show, Darrel lined up track time at Elco for a photo session and shakedown Out on the track, they found the was way off but managed to get the car going anyway and got up to speed. After a couple of the car broke loose, he did a 360 and the engine

The photographer ran over and said not to the car because it was right in front of the sign and that’s where the top photo you see above was shot.

the snowmobile show that where the racer generated a lot of they removed the transmission and it with an axle clutch would engage at 7000rpm to compensate for the badly misgeared drive system. After a bit of and practice laps, Harvey a lap of 14.56 seconds on the third oval against a track of 14.54. Not bad at all!

They went back to the where Harvey tore the down to install a torque to fix their power problems and for all but just after everything was disassembled, Kawasaki told him he had to the car at Laguna Seca for a demo run the upcoming motorcycle races in two It was a five day drive from so they had just one week to and test a new drive system and a trailer and paint it. It turns there wasn’t time to

Laguna Seca

The demo go well. Firing up the engine immediately blew a piston and had a flown in for the next day. got the engine running but the new drive had not been set up at all and after two 50mph they trailered the car and went

Harvey felt the day had been a disaster.


Photographs the track, though, had generated a lot of because back in Minneapolis began getting a lot of calls. decided to build more of the so Harvey began building chassis parts. They to move ahead with a who promised to machine a number of while Harvey went to for some engine testing, but Harvey returned six weeks nothing had been done.

At the time, Kawasaki had more in the works and Darrel, who was moving to asked Harvey to move out which he did. The race car was left hanging and in the hands of the and, though there a few attempts to revive it, never got back in gear after a promising start.

Harvey track of that original and Kawasaki’s official factory racing effort faded history. It makes a person where that racing might have gone, if


Compared to today’s where a car builder in his home has advanced computer design at his disposal, this was the essence of construction. Considering this was a backed project where was done primarily by one person limited tooling, it shows not how far we’ve come in terms of projects’ but what an incredible effort the Kawasaki race car was. My hat is off to Kawasaki and Harvey for getting this car on the track at 1

Kawasaki Square Four 2 Stroke Prototype
Kawasaki Square Four 2 Stroke Prototype

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