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Convair GT
Copyright © Angus Dudley
The initial Roadster body had been designed as a racing car shell. The design was very aerodynamic considering that no wind tunnel testing was carried out. The shell was originally available as a fully intact unit with no apertures cut for doors, bonnet, boot, headlights or wheel arches. This allowed serious racers to reduce drag to an absolute minimum by only having those features they desired. Some only had a driver's door and no boot, for example. Headlights were necessary if you wanted to race in a "Sports Car" category but were not demanded for other classes.
Even with this attention to detail, numerous customers were enquiring about a hard top - Coupé - version of the shell. By 1959, Convair had decided to develop the idea into an actual mould. This was made by fixing a specially designed hard top to a completed Roadster body. The curved windscreens were made to order for the new model, now termed the GT. Again, no wind tunnel testing was carried out and the body was designed by eye only. The roofline was quite high in comparison to the small body, but was required as racers might want to wear a helmet - not obligatory in those days.
Sadly, the development of this car occurred around the time that Terry inherited a garage business in Newark and the company was split up. Only 6 bodies were ever built. Considering the body was designed in response to amateur racers' demands it is surprising that virtually all the bodies ended up on standard Ford chassis and never saw the track.

The photographs included here are of the GT which is currently on display in the Haynes Motor Museum near Yeovil.

The bodies were built to the same standard as the Roadster model, which was of very high quality according to pundits at the time. It even included a rear number plate molding - unusual for a 50's Special. The "eyebrows" above the front wheel arches were provided to strengthen the area, which had been found to be a weak spot on the Roadster model.

Also visible in these pictures are: the beech Steering Wheel made by Convair; the very basic remote gear change linkage; the optional Convair header tank which feeds the Convair radiator (out of view).

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This site was last updated 02/24/06