-->
Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

CLASSIC

Try with us

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The maestro's interpretation of the successor to the legendary Ford GT40 racing cars

~Maestro Works~ Many say the figure of maestro Luigi Colani is eccentric and unique, maybe that's true. How not, this is possible because he is an engineer in the field of aerodynamics and an artist and sculptor, and it is an invaluable combination for an automotive designer today where the element of aerodynamics is very important.
The Ford Colani GT80 concept car was the development of the 'grand style' Ford GT40 for Le Mans in Colani's C-Form. (Picture from: Uniquecardsandparts)
Since 1950 this German gentleman has been redesigning car aerodynamics for major world manufacturers such as Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Volkswagen, Ferrari, Lada, BMW and has also worked for aviation manufacturers such as Boeing or Rockwell sculpting polymorphic airplane concepts equipped with propellers. experimental.
A bare, unpainted aluminum body of the Ford Colani GT80 concept car's is made by the Marsh Development in the UK. (Picture from: Pinterest)
As we could be seen on many of Colani's work, made extensive use of his signature style of sensual biomimicry in the guise of advanced aerodynamics. Colani always intended the lack of straight lines in his designs to reflect the human form which later became his typical style known as Biodesign, at the end made the result seems unusual and quirky.
With such a unique physical form, the Ford Colani GT80 concept car claimed has a drag coefficient of less than 0.2, which is very slippery. (Picture from: Uniquecardsandparts)
Not only the European brands, there are also automotive brands from America which had also felt the touch of the maestro's magical hand. For example, Ford, previously this American brand has gone down in history when it brilliantly succeeded in overthrowing the hegemony of the Prancing Horse in the 24 Hours of Le Mans racing event in 1966 through the three of its Ford GT40 racing cars as the championship winners. This brilliance even lasted three consecutive years until 1969.

The possibility of Ford's success then inspired Colani to design a racing car concept called the Ford GT80 as the successor to the legendary racing car, in his typical Biodesign touches that really spoils the aerodynamic elements. The GT80 racing car concept's story begins in the mid-1980s when Colani has become one of the most famous designers in Europe and among other things a design consultant for BMW and Volkswagen.
Luigi Colani (on the right) during the design of the Ford Colani GT80 mock up C-Form wing car model. (Picture from: Uniquecardsandparts)
As an aerodynamics specialist, Colani always puts a very sturdy bodywork on every car made by him, by using his experience in the aircraft industry. No wonder if the GT80, finally came up with a design that is very thick with aerodynamic elements and is very similar to racing's wing cars. At first glance, the aerodynamic shape of the Colani's GT80 concept car is similar to a shark with a fully enclosed rear-end. Although many similar shapes find later, such as the Lotus 80 Formula One and the Chaparral 2K Indy cars. It shows, actually that the shapes have previewed by Luigi Colani in the 1970s, long before Colin Chapman and other designers did.
Luigi Colani posed along with the mock up C-Form wing car model of the Ford Colani GT80. (Picture from: BubbleMania.fr)
To realize this concept car, Colani conceived prototypes with the whole body designed as as a converted wing called the C-Form (Colani Form) principle which was patented in Munich by Deutsches Patentamt in November 25, 1967 and has also been published as an article in Stern magazine in the following year.
The Ford Colani GT80 chassis and frame before being enclosed with aluminium-made bodywork done by the Marsh Development in the UK. (Picture from: Uniquecardsandparts)
During the 1970s, Colani built several full-scale models and mock-up C-Form wing cars. The first 1 : 1 scaled model mock-up construction work was carried out in the Collani's studio at his Harkotten water-castle near Munster, Germany in 1973. Next two years later the final design layout is complete and the final mock-up model with a rolling chassis is built.

In 1978 a two-seater monocoque aluminium chassis was built (according to the Formula One standards) for Colani by Tiga Race Cars in England. The dramatically GT80' aluminum body is shaped by hand in the Marsh Developments workshop. Then there's the black and flat glass with one large wiper on the windshield and one on each side window.
Hand forged aluminum body (took almost 5 years) for the Ford GT80, but sadly this body has never been used. (Picture from: BubbleMania.fr)
Actually in 1979 this new showcar ready to be exhibited at the Frankfurt Motor Show, just in the following year the Colani GT80 was completely exhibited. So could be said that the GT80 prototype appeared at the Frankfurt Motor Show 1980 was the result of the development and study of aerodynamics for years.

As for the GT80 prototype that appeared in Frankfurt was powered by a Ford Cosworth V6 engine, which was very successful in the Cologne Capris Racing which has also used in the Formula 5000 in the UK. It is a 24-valves engine of 3,400 cm3 which can spout power up to almost 400 hp at 10,500 rpm. And to deal with the noise level that arises from the roar of the engine inside the cabin, a thickness of 20 cm wall made of insulating material in between the engine and the seat is instaldas.
This such unique shaped of the Ford GT80 left one drawback, namely the absence of a rear window, but this can be overcome by placing a wide-angle video camera into the roof fairing. (Picture from: Uniquecardsandparts)
Uniquely the entire GT80 project was funded by Luigi Colani himself, with only the press material about the GT80 for the Frankfurt Motor Show provided by Ford of Europe. Besides equipped with the Formula One wheels and tires, the show car also has road brakes and suspensions meet the Formula One standards which are designed by Howden Ganley. In which the brakes were outboard, coupled with double wishbones at the front; lower wishbones and upper trailing link at the rear with twin radius rods. Reportedly, the such suspension section was originally designed for Howden Ganley' personal Formula One project.
The Ford Colani GT80 prototype under Castrol Formula RS racing livery was powered by a Ford Cosworth V6 24-valves engine capable to spout power up to almost 400 hp at 10,500 rpm. (Picture from: ReddIt)
After the first prototype, the improvement was carried out on the second GT80 prototype to further increase the air flow by pinning the inboard rocker type suspension. Then the gearbox is the ZF's five speed and of the same company also designed a very special steering rack for cars. Not only that ZF also helps design several electronic components for the GT80, such as automatic lower-style sensing devices to adjust the front wing section, which allows to reduce air barriers while driving at high speed and produces more downforce while cornering.
The Ford Colani GT80 prototype under Castrol Formula RS racing livery has a unique canopy doors style to access its cabin. (Picture from: iFunny)
Furthermore, the car's good aerodynamic shape is also said to reduce wind noise to a very low level. With such a unique physical form, Colani claims that the GT80 has a drag coefficient of less than 0.2, which is very slippery. This is because the car has a complete wing-shaped body with a sharp trailing edge like an airplane wing. Unfortunately, this such shape left one drawback to the GT80, namely the absence of a rear window, but this can be overcome by placing a wide-angle video camera into the roof fairing. Thus the entire rear view can be shown through a monitor attached to the spokeless steering wheel only by pressing a button. Not only that, there is also an airbag feature (that was not common in the 1980s) is also placed on the steering wheel. 
The Ford Colani GT80 under Castrol Formula RS racing livery also equiped with several advance features such as automatic lower-style sensing devices to adjust the front wing section, which allows to reduce air barriers while driving at high speed and produces more downforce while cornering. (Picture from: Uniquecardsandparts)
After seeing the final result of the GT80, Luigi Colani said, "It's been a long way, but seeing the results, I really feel that it's all worth it." Unfortunately, even though it has a uniqe shape with good aerodynamic numbers and is also featured with various advanced features before its times, still the GT80 never get into the production line. However, the presence of the GT80 concept car later provided inspiration for the design of Luigi Colani two years later named the BMW Colani M2.
Instead of the Colani GT80 is a Le Mans type car for the road like its famous predecessor Ford GT40, presumed the use of the best material in every aspects caused its price more expensive than the Rolls-Royce model at the time. Indeed it's so sad though if this unique Colani' GT80 only added to the story like another failing successors of the legendary Ford GT40 such the previous Ford GT70, and the Ford GT90 later in the 1990s.😭 What do you think? *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | LUIGI COLANI DESIGN MUSEUM | UNIQUECARSANDPARTS | BUBBLEMANIA.FR | FACEBOOK | PRESSREADER | LESHARDIS | AUTOGARAGEM ]
Note: This blog  can be accessed via your smart phone
Kindly Bookmark and Share it: