Chassis - Tubular Backbone
Gardner Douglas is known all over the world for its outstanding chassis characteristics and driveability. This attention to detail and ambition for outstanding quality and performance has always been at the forefront of the company’s philosophy.
Developed for road and track use, the backbone chassis design cloaks the power train and accurately locates the suspension for excellent power delivery with positive and precise control. Designed for huge V8 power the chassis always feel taught and responsive when pushed to the limit.
The chassis features independent double wishbone suspension with aircraft grade alloy uprights. Compared to conventional designs the suspension offers lighter un-sprung weight and provides better camber control with adjustment for static camber, caster and toe-in settings. The suspension design gives unrivalled levels of road holding and ride quality.
The development of the T70 required a new chassis design and layout, being a mid-engined rear wheel drive set-up. Designed to accommodate all percentiles and modern V8 power-trains, the resulting chassis is a work of art and again renowned for its abilities and exceptional performance.
As Gardner Douglas develops and looks to the future, new design techniques are implemented, materials and manufacturing methods explored and concept vehicles envisioned. An example of this is using Computer Aided Design (CAD) to analyse structures, simulate component placement and render new body concepts.
LSV8 Performance - Generation IV GM LS V8
Gardner Douglas has over 25 years experience of American V8 engines.
More power, greater drivability, less weight and better fuel economy has always been our goal. In short, we want the best power for the least outlay and running costs. So in 2002 GD became the first specialist car manufacturer to successfully introduce the GM LS Series all alloy EFI engines into the UK specialist car arena. All GD production now focuses on this range of engines.
Under our brand name of LSPower, besides providing Gardner Douglas customers, we can provide a range of proven “plug and play” LS engine packages to other low volume manufacturers and individuals. Our specialist knowledge and experience installing and running these engines means buying from Gardner Douglas and LSPower not only ensures customers of the best solution to meet their needs but also the peace of mind knowing these packages are proven year on year with Gardner Douglas production.
Engine packages are available for both front and mid engine configurations with solutions for engine mountings, transmissions adapters, flywheels and clutches, fuel systems, air induction, exhaust, catalysts, and “ready to go” ECM engine management with purpose designed wiring harnesses for easy installation and integration in to your vehicle.
Our range of engines today is typically based on the Gen IV GM LS3 and LS7. All engines supplied will meet current UK IVA emissions requirements.
GM Gen IV LS7:
• 90-degree pushrod V8, OHV, aluminum heads, hydraulic lifters
• Block – all-new 319-T5 aluminum
• 2 valves per cylinder, 2.20” Intake, 1.61” Exhaust
• Bore and stroke – 4.12 x 4.00 in.
• Displacement – 427.6 cu. in. (7.008 liters)
• Compression – 11.0:1
• Induction system – sequential fuel injection
• Recommended fuel – premium unleaded
• Dry sump oil system
• Horsepower (SAE net) – 505bhp @ 6300 rpm
• Torque (SAE net) – 475 lb.-ft. @ 4800 rpm
• Redline – 7,000 rpm
For racing and hard track day uses, LS Series engines give massive power with proven reliability, cheaper running costs and fewer rebuilds. We can supply engines built to specific application requirements with full dry sump oil control, air induction, exhaust manifolds solutions, competition clutches etc. etc.
Styling - Bold and Beautiful
One of the most iconic, classic shapes in motoring history; the GD427 range is an uncompromisingly modern sports car suited perfectly to a European landscape of narrow, winding roads and tracks where handling is pre-eminent over straight line speed, the latter comes easy!
Our Mk3 body is styled on the original AC 289 sports of which there were only 27 made and sold in Europe. The last of the original AC Cars production in 1969, those rare cars were fitted with coil-spring suspension and had a slightly sleeker body and wheel fenders to the bodies exported for the Shelby Cobra, they were also fitted with the smaller Ford 289 cu.in. The result was an agile sports car that better suited Europe’s roads. The GD Mk3 was developed in 1988 to emulate where AC left off but updated with an advanced construction having a super tough composite body tub mounted to a stiff lightweight chassis frame.
By the mid 2000 Gardner Douglas decided to expand the GD427 range by adding the Mk4, a faithfully accurate silhouette of the AC Mk4.
Again, our expert masters of GRP worked their magic and brought to life the GD427 Mk4, a wider more aggressive model that allows greater levels of cabin space.
In 2004, development was completed for the introduction of the GDT70, a modern interpretation of the legendary 1965 Can-Am Lola T70. Not intended to be an exact replica because of the constraints necessary to meet SVA and now IVA, however, the GDT70 is no less formidable.
Slight alterations were made by the Gardner Douglas wizards to enhance the overall appearance and suit the new chassis better, without diluting the exotic charm created by Lola.
As Gardner Douglas develops, new styling techniques have been adopted; the inclusion of Computer-Aided-Design (CAD), aerodynamic analysis and CNC milling.
CAD software allows incredibly accurate and detailed models to be built in the virtual world; conceived, analysed, altered, tested and perfected…all before any tools are picked up!
The future looks bright and diverse here at Gardner Douglas, with exciting new projects underway and strong design directions thought out. An example of this is a hard top for the T70; sectional, convertible, practical but stylish, a must for any T70 owner. Thanks to the use of CAD, the roof was designed and tested in 3D and modelled using milling machines.
Safety - Protection systems
At Gardner Douglas, all our vehicles are equipped with a series of safety and protection systems designed to ensure you and your car safely enjoy many years of motoring.
Semi-Monocoque Body Shell
The GD 427 body is a one-piece rigid semi-monocoque “tub” design with double skin panels.
The composite construction is made with specific woven glass fibre materials and bound by high temperature resins for minimal distortion. Areas of high load bearing are stiffened with a sandwich type construction similar to that used in aerospace and boat building. The floors in particular are an 18mm thick rigid sandwich construction of great strength. The tub is made rigid by front and rear bulkheads, engine bay, foot-wells, transmission tunnel, boot floor and wheel arches all made integral within the inner mouldings and bonded directly into the outer shell before being released from the moulds.
Side impact protection is important, period. It is no good thinking a low line chassis rail at the sill level will protect you from a colliding car, since modern day bumper heights are well above the sill height of such low cars.
The GD body tub includes a double skinned cockpit side that covers the entire scuttle side and sill area along and under the door. The outer skin of the body is made up with high tensile multi-axial stitched glass cloth forming a protective “net”. The cavity is then injected with expanding polyurethane foam which provides immense rigidity but also decelerates any side impact. The doors offer similar protection by housing sliding anti-intrusion beams between the hinges and two-stage burst-proof latches.
The body nose combines with the chassis forward leaning radiator and support frame to act as a crumple zone in the event of a high-speed head-on collision. The fuel tank is an upright design mounted behind the differential but within the body to prevent corrosion. The tank shape reduces weight transfer while positioned within the rear wheels means it is well protected from side or rear impact.
Of equal importance to note is the GD roll over bars which are fully functional and not just for show as with most “replicas”. The GD roll over bars are positioned centrally to the seat, feature braced ‘stays’ and fix through to the chassis frame. This three-point system provides a very strong mount, so it’s where we attach the seatbelts too. You can be confident in GD.
Testing - Real-world results
At Gardner Douglas, all our vehicles undergo a rigorous testing and inspection phase, ensuring all systems and components function accurately and if being used on the road; the car is fully IVA compliant.
When travelling at massive speeds and pushing the car to its limits, one expects the car to respond and react as precisely and confidently as possible. When developing the T70, the high speed wind tunnel at MIRA was commissioned to gather data on the cars abilities and to determine where improvements could be made.
“As delivered the vehicle had a good balance and reasonable drag. Adding the front chin spoiler compensated the front lift at speed when using the road windscreen. This addition made a better balance and stable car.”
(MIRA consultant summary)
Additionally, gathering data on the car’s performance in real-world scenarios provides invaluable feedback for research and development, as well as ensuring the vehicle is set-up correctly and reliable. This is achieved through data-logging, personal feedback, video analysis and component inspection.