type 65 with peter brock

Why didn’t your Type 65 design have a ring spoiler? There’s none shown on your clay model.

The Type 65 “Super Coupe” was designed to replace the Daytona Cobra Coupe in 1965.  It had a 427 engine, modern suspension and a shape that would theoretically have allowed speeds well over 200 mph.  What it didn’t have was a moveable driver-controlled wing at the rear called a “Ring Airfoil” that was initially planned for the Daytona Cobra Coupe. type 65 clay model

Had the wing been used on the Daytona it would have been faster, safer and far easier to drive.  Once it was “discovered” that the Daytona was unstable at speed without the Ring Airfoil a far less complicated “spoiler” was added to the rear which helped tremendously in improving the Daytona’s performance.  Even though the opportunity to fit a Ring Spoiler to the Daytona existed through the 1964 season there was simply no time or opportunity to replace the spoiler and the cars had already proven its superiority over the once invincible Ferrari GTOs. The attitude within the Shelby team was “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Fast enough to win was considered “good enough” without spending more time and money to improve what was already a proven winner.

The Type 65 didn't have a Ring Spoiler because the opportunity to use a “moveable aerodynamic device” on all racing cars had passed by then due to regulations banning them. Others who had adapted moveable “wings” during the interim, like Jim Hall’s Chaparrals and several Formula 1 racers in Europe, were banned when the FIA determined that failures of such devices at high speed would cause a loss of traction and result in crashes that would endanger spectators.

type 65 and daytona coupe

8 thoughts on “Why didn’t your Type 65 design have a ring spoiler? There’s none shown on your clay model.

  1. Greetings! A few weeks ago, I visited the Chaparral Museum in Midland, and enjoyed seeing the Chaparrals at last. Huge wings on some. The aerodynamic research, testing and implementation, by Jim Hall and his team there and at GM, was beautifully done, and the cars look amazing! Much better than current race cars with computer dictated aerodynamics. The art is gone. Your cars, as well as many 60’s cars are expressions of a human understanding of airflow (intuitive and tested) and car design passion, while advanced technology, amazing and effective as it is, has replaced the beauty we enjoy in your designs and others, with harsh, blunt and incomprehensible appendages and doo-dats. Just yesterday, I was looking at the Hino Samurai model I have of your racer design. Beautiful! And a fixed loop wing like we saw on your Daytona sketches. Would this have been considered a movable device? Would the 65 have needed it, as it looks like the shape, Kamm tail and all, is more tapered and longer to allow for better surface attachment of air, and less drag. Would it not have reduced rear lift also? Anyway, I really enjoy your work, your books, your newsletters and stories. And also my full set of the 1:43 Daytona collection (#7 for all of them)! Best wishes, and be well! PS: Finally / At Last / Why needed? – a mid- engine Corvette in July. Your thoughts, also upon reflection to your and Mitchell’s 1963 design? Thanks and Cheers!

    1. Hello Paul…Thanks for the kind words. I have a Samurai model in my office and still wonder…”what if?” The Type 65 model doesn’t show several details that could have negated the need for a rear spoiler. I had just learned about the down-force achieved by the diffuser effect under the car and was planning on using that flow of air against a lower mounted wing in the back (the wing below the tail lights). Not shown in the model are the vertical “fences” just inside the inner tire line that would have prevented turbulent air from entering and screwing up the diffuser’s low-pressure area. So many things that never got tried. The attitude to not change anything because it was already “good enough to win” was not ideal, but time sometimes dictates decisions. The middle of a racing season leaves little time for development which should be done in parallel so you always have something faster and proven when needed. That costs money and there’s never enough…..unless you have a government run program! :0) As for the new C8? It’ll be a remarkably fast and drivable car BUT…the Balance of Performance rules negate any necessity for such a car. Hell, we could still be racing ’63 Corvettes and anyone faster would have to be penalized for being “superior”. There’s no incentive in making anything better with BOP penalties. Racing is NOT about being “fair”! Peter

  2. Great story; 1960’s racecar research & development was really a “seat-of-the-pants” deal as compared with today’s computer simulation & wind-tunnel tools. Test driver’s really had to earn their money, and risk was far higher…

  3. Interesting

    In your opinion, would a Ring Airfoil that would be adjustable off the track but locked into a fixed position while on the track or a more traditional spoiler as on the Daytona been necessary for stability?

    1. John…The “ring airfoil” when first designed would have been driver adjustable, so low drag on the straights and higher downforce when there was a need for turns and braking. Soon after the opportunity (Daytona original design) to use the ‘airfoil passed and the FIA dictated non-moveable devices…so the opportunity was lost. It would have really been a major advantage in ’64….as proven when we first tested the Daytona at Spa with no spoiler. The quickly added spoiler made ALL the difference in the world. If you don’t have the power within the team to overcome resistance It’s very difficult to convince really experienced racing talent that radical change is possible IF you have good reason to know something will work. Once proven the concept becomes self-evident.

    2. The advantage of an off-track adjustable Ring Airfoil would have been superior to a fixed spoiler simply because the adjustable angle would have permitted and ideally set load for each circuit. PB

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