Ponton or pontoon styling refers to a 1930s–1960s car design genre. The trend emerged as bodywork began to enclose the full width and uninterrupted length of a car, incorporating distinct running boards and articulated fenders; the fenders of an automobile with ponton styling may be called Pontoon fenders, the overall trend may be known as envelope styling. Now archaic, the term Ponton describes the markedly bulbous, slab-sided configuration of postwar European cars, including those of Mercedes-Benz, Auto Union, DKW, Lancia, Rover and Volvo—as well as similar designs from North America and Japan. Elements of the trend have been retained in modern automotive styling; the term derives from the French and German word ponton, meaning'pontoon'. The Langenscheidt German–English dictionary defines Pontonkarrosserie as "all-enveloping bodywork, straight-through side styling, slab-sided styling." The term ponton styling may have derived from the wartime practice in Germany of adding full-length tread armor along each side of a tank, attached on the top edge—which resembled pontoons.
As this coincided with automobile styling trend where bodywork running boards and fenders, became less articulated—with cars carrying integrated front fenders and full-width, full-length bodywork—the design took on the "pontoon" or "ponton" descriptor. In 1921, Hungarian aerodynamicist Paul Jaray requested a patent for a streamlined car with an evenly shaped lower body, that covers the wheels and runs parallel to the floor-space. A year he presented his first running prototype with such a body, the "Ley T6", in 1923 Auto Union presented a streamliner concept car, designed by Jaray. Another of the first known cars with a ponton body is the Bugatti Type 32 "Tank" which participated in the 1923 French Grand Prix at Tours. In 1922 the Romanian engineer Aurel Persu filed a patent application for an “aerodynamically-shaped automobile with the wheels mounted inside the aerodynamic body” having a drag coefficient of only 0.22 and received it in Germany in 1924. Named the Persu Streamliner the car was built in Germany by Persu, with the help of several local companies.
During his research Persu established that the most adequate aerodynamic shape was that of a water droplet falling to the ground. In 1924, Fidelis Böhler designed one of the first production cars with a ponton body, the Hanomag 2/10; the car's body resembled a loaf of bread earning it the sobriquet of "Kommissbrot"—a coarse whole grain bread as issued by the army. The economical car was produced from 1924 to 1928. Böhler built the core body around two side-by-side passenger seats, he dispensed with running boards and integrated the fenders in the body to save on weight." The inexpensive car became popular with consumers in Germany. In 1935, Vittorio Jano, working with the brothers Gino and Oscar Jankovitz, created a one-off mid-engine prototype on an Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 chassis, which Jano had shipped to Fiume in 1934; the brothers Jankovitz had been close friends with designer Paul Jaray, the prototype, called the Alfa Romeo Aerodinamica Spider, featured ponton styling—an early and clear example of the bulbous, uninterrupted forms that would come to characterize the genre.
In 1937, Pinin Farina designed a flowing ponton-style body for the Lancia Aprilia berlinetta aerodynamica coupé, the open body on the 1940 Lancia Aprilia Cabriolet. The 1946 Cisitalia 202 coupé, which Farina designed from sketches by Cisitalia’s Giovanni Savonuzzi, was the car that "transformed postwar automobile design" according to New York’s Museum of Modern Art. MoMA acquired an example for its permanent collection in 1951, noting that the car’s "hood, body and headlights are integral to the continuously flowing surface, rather than added on. Rounded, flowing forms, with unbroken horizontal lines between the fenders—the style had identified as "the so-called Ponton Side Design" became "the new fashion in Europe". Two of the first American cars with fresh post-war styling, that adopted the new envelope body style, were the 1946 Frazer / Kaiser, the 1946 Crosley CC series; the Howard "Dutch" Darrin-designed Frazer won the Fashion Academy of New York Gold Medal for design achievement, was said to have been the inspiration for the 1949 Borgward Hansa 1500, Germany's first sedan in the ponton style.
The 1947 Studebaker Champion, designed by Virgil Exner and Roy Cole followed suit, but the design is sometimes erroneously attributed to Raymond Loewy. In the Soviet Union the GAZ-M20 Pobeda came into production in 1946, about one month after the first 1946 Kaiser rolled off the production line, in Britain the Standard Vanguard went on sale the following year. In 1948 Czechoslovakian Tatra 600 began production. Ford and General Motors followed the trend with their own designs in 1949. One of the earliest new styled cars that were introduced after World War II in the United States were the 1949 Nash models. Popular Science magazine described the new "pontoon" Nashes as "the most obvious departure from previous designs." They "carried the fenderless pontoon-body, fast-back shape further than the competition." This Nash design became a "family appearance" for their automobiles that included the Nash-Healey. The 1952 redesign of the two-seat sports car took on an "even closer family appearance" to the redesigned Nash models by featuring "pontoon-type fenders fore and aft."
The new styling moved the headlights "from the pontoon fenders to the grille."The term is used in reference to Mercedes-Benz models from 1953–1962. For example, a book about the marque refers to "the Ponton", the "Ponton saloon", "Ponton 220", "Ponton 220S and SE coupes and cabriolets", "the Ponton models". A General Motors document refers to the 195
Welding is a fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials metals or thermoplastics, by using high heat to melt the parts together and allowing them to cool causing fusion. Welding is distinct from lower temperature metal-joining techniques such as brazing and soldering, which do not melt the base metal. In addition to melting the base metal, a filler material is added to the joint to form a pool of molten material that cools to form a joint that, based on weld configuration, can be stronger than the base material. Pressure may be used in conjunction with heat, or by itself, to produce a weld. Welding requires a form of shield to protect the filler metals or melted metals from being contaminated or oxidized. Many different energy sources can be used for welding, including a gas flame, an electric arc, a laser, an electron beam and ultrasound. While an industrial process, welding may be performed in many different environments, including in open air, under water, in outer space. Welding is a hazardous undertaking and precautions are required to avoid burns, electric shock, vision damage, inhalation of poisonous gases and fumes, exposure to intense ultraviolet radiation.
Until the end of the 19th century, the only welding process was forge welding, which blacksmiths had used for millennia to join iron and steel by heating and hammering. Arc welding and oxy-fuel welding were among the first processes to develop late in the century, electric resistance welding followed soon after. Welding technology advanced during the early 20th century as the world wars drove the demand for reliable and inexpensive joining methods. Following the wars, several modern welding techniques were developed, including manual methods like shielded metal arc welding, now one of the most popular welding methods, as well as semi-automatic and automatic processes such as gas metal arc welding, submerged arc welding, flux-cored arc welding and electroslag welding. Developments continued with the invention of laser beam welding, electron beam welding, magnetic pulse welding, friction stir welding in the latter half of the century. Today, the science continues to advance. Robot welding is commonplace in industrial settings, researchers continue to develop new welding methods and gain greater understanding of weld quality.
The term "weld" is with roots from Scandinavia. It is confused with the Old English word, meaning "a forested area", but this word morphed into the modern version, "wild"; the Old English word for welding iron was samodwellung. The term "weld" is derived from the Middle English verb "well" or "welling", meaning: "to heat"; the modern word was derived from the past-tense participle, "welled", with the addition of "d" for this purpose being common in the Germanic languages of the Angles and Saxons. It was first recorded in English in 1590, from a version of the Christian Bible, translated into English by John Wycliffe in the fourteenth century; the original version, from Isaiah 2:4, reads, "...thei shul bete togidere their swerdes into shares...", while the 1590 version was changed to, "...thei shullen welle togidere her swerdes in-to scharris...", suggesting this particular use of the word became popular in English sometime between these periods. The word is derived from the Old Swedish word valla, meaning "to boil".
Sweden was a large exporter of iron during the Middle Ages, many other European languages used different words but with the same meaning to refer to welding iron, such as the Illyrian variti, Turkish kaynamak, Grison bulgir, or the Lettish sawdrit. In Swedish, the word only referred to joining metals when combined with the word for iron, as in valla jarn; the word entered English from the Swedish iron trade, or was imported with the thousands of Viking settlements that arrived in England before and during the Viking Age, as more than half of the most common English words in everyday use are Scandinavian in origin. The history of joining metals goes back several millennia; the earliest examples of this come from Iron Ages in Europe and the Middle East. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus states in The Histories of the 5th century BC that Glaucus of Chios "was the man who single-handedly invented iron welding". Welding was used in the construction of the Iron pillar of Delhi, erected in Delhi, India about 310 AD and weighing 5.4 metric tons.
The Middle Ages brought advances in forge welding, in which blacksmiths pounded heated metal until bonding occurred. In 1540, Vannoccio Biringuccio published De la pirotechnia, which includes descriptions of the forging operation. Renaissance craftsmen were skilled in the process, the industry continued to grow during the following centuries. In 1800, Sir Humphry Davy discovered the "short-pulse" electrical arc and presented his results in 1801. In 1802, Russian scientist Vasily Petrov created the continuous electric arc, subsequently published "News of Galvanic-Voltaic Experiments" in 1803, in which he described experiments carried out in 1802. Of great importance in this work was the description of a stable ar
The Mini is a small economy car produced by the English-based British Motor Corporation and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original is considered an icon of 1960s British popular culture, its space-saving transverse engine, front-wheel drive layout – allowing 80% of the area of the car's floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage – influenced a generation of car makers. In 1999, the Mini was voted the second-most influential car of the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T, ahead of the Citroën DS and Volkswagen Beetle; this distinctive two-door car was designed for BMC by Sir Alec Issigonis. It was manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowley plants in England, the Victoria Park/Zetland British Motor Corporation factory in Sydney and also in Spain, Chile, Malta, South Africa, Uruguay and Yugoslavia; the Mini Mark I had three major UK updates – the Mark II, the Clubman, the Mark III. Within these was a series of variations, including an estate car, a pick-up truck, a van, the Mini Moke, a jeep-like buggy.
The performance versions, the Mini Cooper and Cooper "S", were successful as both race and rally cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965, 1967. In 1966, the first-placed Mini was disqualified after the finish, under a controversial decision that the car's headlights were against the rules. On its introduction in August 1959, the Mini was marketed under the Austin and Morris names, as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor; the Austin Seven was renamed Austin Mini in January 1962 and Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969. In 1980, it once again became the Austin Mini, in 1988, just "Mini". BMW acquired the Rover Group in 1994, sold the greater part of it in 2000, but retained the rights to build cars using the MINI name; the Mini came about because of a fuel shortage caused by the 1956 Suez Crisis. Petrol was once again rationed in the UK, sales of large cars slumped, the market for German bubble cars boomed in countries such as Britain, where imported cars were still a rarity.
The Fiat 500, launched in 1957, was hugely successful in its native Italy. Leonard Lord, the somewhat autocratic head of BMC detested these cars so much that he vowed to rid the streets of them and design a'proper miniature car', he laid down some basic design requirements - the car should be contained within a box that measured 10×4×4 feet. Alec Issigonis, working for Alvis, had been recruited back to BMC in 1955 with a brief from Lord to design a range of technically advanced family cars in the same innovative spirit as his earlier Morris Minor to complement BMC's existing conventional models. Issigonis had set out design projects for three cars – large and small family cars and a small economy car, his initial work was on the largest car, designated XC9001, with the smallest car, XC9003, having the lowest priority despite it being Issigonis' greatest personal interest. With Lord's dictum to produce a bubble car competitor and his revised design requirements being laid down in October 1956, work on XC9001 stopped and XC9003 became the priority.
The team that designed the Mini was remarkably small. Together, by July 1957, they had designed and built the original XC9003 prototype, affectionately named the "Orange Box" because of its colour. Leonard Lord approved the car for production on 19 July and XC9003 became project ADO15; the ADO15 used a conventional BMC A-Series four-cylinder, water-cooled engine, but departed from tradition by mounting it transversely, with the engine oil-lubricated, four-speed transmission in the sump, by employing front-wheel drive. All small front-wheel drive cars developed since have used a similar configuration, except with the transmission separately enclosed rather than using the engine oil; the radiator was mounted at the left side of the car so that the engine-mounted fan could be retained, but with reversed pitch so that it blew air into the natural low pressure area under the front wing. This location saved vehicle length, but had the disadvantage of feeding the radiator with air, heated by passing over the engine.
It exposed the entire ignition system to the direct ingress of rainwater through the grille. Early prototypes used the existing 948-cc A-Series unit, but this provided the ADO15 with performance far greater than its price and purpose required – a top speed over 90 mph; the engine was reduced to a new 848-cc capacity with a shorter stroke. This reduced power from 37 to 33 bhp and caused a significant drop in torque, so provided more realistic performance when the ADO15 body was widened by 2 inches over the XC9003 prototype, which blunted the car's top speed while improving its stability and roadholding. So, the ADO15 had a top speed of 75 mph, better than many other economy cars of the time; the suspension system, designed by Issigonis's friend Dr. Alex Moulton at Moulton Developments Limited, used compact rubber cones instead of conventional springs; this space-saving design featured rising progressive-rate springing of the cones, provided some natural damping, in addition to the normal dampers.
Built into the subframes, the rubber cone system gave a raw and bumpy ride accen
The crumple zone,is an area of biles to absorb the energy from the impact during a collision by controlled deformation, also incorporated into railcars. Crumple zones are designed to absorb the energy from the impact during a traffic collision by controlled deformation by crumpling; this energy is much greater than is realized. A 2,000 kg car travelling at 60 km/h, before crashing into a thick concrete wall, is subject to the same impact force as a front-down drop from a height of 14.2 m crashing on to a solid concrete surface. Increasing that speed by 50% to 90 km/h compares to a fall from 32 m —an increase of 125%; this is because the stored kinetic energy increases by the square of the impact velocity and not in proportion with the increase in speed. Is given by E = mass × speed squared. Crumple zones are located in the front part of the vehicle, in order to absorb the impact of a head-on collision, though they may be found on other parts of the vehicle as well. According to a British Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre study of where on the vehicle impact damage occurs: 65% were front impacts, 25% rear impacts, 5% left side, 5% right side.
Some racing cars use aluminium, composite/carbon fibre honeycomb, or energy absorbing foam to form an impact attenuator that dissipates crash energy using a much smaller volume and lower weight than road car crumple zones. Impact attenuators have been introduced on highway maintenance vehicles in some countries. On September 10, 2009, the ABC News programs Good Morning America and World News showed a U. S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash test of a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu in an offset head-on collision with a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan, it demonstrated the effectiveness of modern car safety design over 1950s design of rigid passenger safety cells and crumple zones. The crumple zone concept was invented and patented by the Austrian Mercedes-Benz engineer Béla Barényi in 1937 before he worked for Mercedes-Benz and in a more developed form in 1952; the 1953 Mercedes-Benz "Ponton" was a partial implementation of his ideas by having a strong deep platform to form a partial safety cell, patented in 1941.
The Mercedes-Benz patent number 854157, granted in 1952, describes the decisive feature of passive safety. Barényi questioned the opinion prevailing until that a safe car had to be rigid, he divided the car body into three sections: the rigid non-deforming passenger compartment and the crumple zones in the front and the rear. They are designed to absorb the energy of an impact by deformation during collision; the first Mercedes-Benz carbody developed using this patent was the 1959 Mercedes W111 “Tail Fin” Saloon. The safety cell and crumple zones were achieved by the design of the longitudinal members: these were straight in the centre of the vehicle and formed a rigid safety cage with the body panels, the front and rear supports were curved so they deformed in the event of an accident, absorbing part of the collision energy and preventing the full force of the impact from reaching the occupants. A more recent development was for these curved longitudinal members is to be weakened by vertical and lateral ribs to form telescoping "crash can" or "crush tube" deformation structures.
Crumple zones work by managing crash energy, absorbing it within the outer parts of the vehicle, rather than being directly transferred to the occupants, while preventing intrusion into or deformation of the passenger cabin. This better protects car occupants against injury; this is achieved by controlled weakening of sacrificial outer parts of the car, while strengthening and increasing the rigidity of the inner part of the body of the car, making the passenger cabin into a "safety cell", by using more reinforcing beams and higher strength steels. Impact energy that does reach the "safety cell" is spread over as wide an area as possible to reduce its deformation. Volvo introduced the side crumple zone with the introduction of the SIPS in the early 1990s; when a vehicle and all its contents, including passengers and luggage are travelling at speed, they have inertia / momentum, which means that they will continue forward with that direction and speed. In the event of a sudden deceleration of a rigid framed vehicle due to impact, unrestrained vehicle contents will continue forwards at their previous speed due to inertia, impact the vehicle interior, with a force equivalent to many times their normal weight due to gravity.
The purpose of crumple zones is to slow down the collision and to absorb energy to reduce the difference in speeds between the vehicle and its occupants. Seatbelts restrain the passengers so they don't fly through the windshield, are in the correct position for the airbag and spread the loading of impact on the body. Seat belts absorb passenger inertial energy by being designed to stretch during an impact, again to reduce the speed differential between the passenger's body and their vehicle interior. In short: a passenger whose body is decelerated more due to the crumple zone over a longer time survives much more than a passenger whose body indirectly impacts a hard, undamaged metal car body which has come to a halt nearly instantaneously, it is like the difference between slamming someone into a wall headfirst and shoulder-first is that the arm, being softer, has tens of times longer to slow its speed, yielding a little at a time, than the hard skull, which isn't in contact with the wall until it has to deal with high pressures.
The stretching of seatbelts while restraining occupan
Body-on-frame is an automobile construction method where a separate body is mounted on a rigid frame or chassis carrying the engine and drivetrain. The original method of building automobiles, body-on-frame construction is now used for pickup trucks and SUVs. In the late 19th century the frames, like those of the carriages they replaced, might be made of wood, reinforced by steel flitch plates - but in the early 20th century steel ladder frames or chassis became standard. Mass production of all-metal bodies began with the Dodge Brothers. Mass production of all-metal bodies became general in the 1920s but Europe, with exceptions, followed a decade later. Europe's custom-made or "coachbuilt" cars contained some wood framing or used aluminium alloy castings. Unibody or monocoque designs, where panels within the body supported the car on its suspension, were developed by European manufacturers in the late 1920s with Budd USA and its technical knowhow; because of the high cost of designing and developing these structures and the high cost of specialised machinery to make the large pressings required by this style of construction it is not used by low-volume manufacturers, who might construct an equivalent by welding steel tube to form a suitable space frame.
The Ford Model T carried the tradition of body-on-frame over from horse-drawn buggies, helping to facilitate high volume manufacturing on a moving assembly line. In the USA the frequent changes in automotive design made it necessary to use a ladder frame rather than unibody construction to make it possible to change the design without having to change the chassis, allowing frequent changes and improvements to the car's bodywork and interior while leaving the chassis and driveline unchanged, thus keeping costs down and design times short, it was easy to use the same chassis and driveline for several different cars. In the days before computer-aided design, this was a big advantage. Most small passenger vehicles switched to unibody construction by the end of the 1930s; the trend had started with cars like the Citroen Traction Avant and Opel Olympia introduced in 1935. Trucks, bus manufacturers and large low volume cars or those made in USA continued to use separate bodies on "conventional" frames.
Body-on-frame remains the preferred construction method for heavy-duty commercial vehicles but as production volumes rise increasing numbers of SUVs and crossover SUVs are switching to unibody frames. Mass-market manufacturers Ford, General Motors and Chrysler are abandoning true body-on-frame SUVs, when sales volume permits, for more efficient unibody construction. Toyota manufactures the most body-on-frame SUVs with the 4Runner, Land Cruiser, Lexus GX and LX followed by Nissan with the Patrol and Infiniti QX56/80; the Ford Panther platform, discontinued in 2011, was the last series of traditional passenger cars to be built in this manner. One variant used by Chevrolet for its Corvette incorporates the inner skeleton to the frame. An intermediate to full monocoque construction was the'semi-monocoque' used by the Volkswagen Beetle and Renault 4; these used a lightweight separate chassis made from pressed sheet steel panels forming a'platform chassis', to give the benefits of a traditional chassis, but with lower weight and greater stiffness.
Both of these chassis were used for several different models. The mid-1930s designed Volkswagen made use of the bodyshell for structural strength as well as the chassis — hence'semi-monocoque'. Traditionally chassis had "compliance", they were designed to allow some twisting; as suspensions improved they could not perform unless supporting a rigid structure like that intended to be provided by unibody or monocoque construction. The Lincoln Town Car once dominated the American limousine market because it was the last American luxury car made on the body-on-frame system and it was lengthened for livery work. With the Town Car discontinued since 2011, the de facto replacement is the Lincoln Navigator SUV. Easier to design and modify. Less noise while travelling, because the groans squeaks and rattles associated with bodywork movement due to stresses and strains are not heard so much, road noise from tyres is more'distant', all due to the bodywork being isolated from the chassis by rubber pads around the attachment bolts, or by suspending the body on the chassis.
Easier to repair after accidents. This is crucial for anyone who needs their vehicle to earn a living. Damaged bolt-on wings, bumpers etc.: can be replaced and in the case of a'working vehicle' they can be returned to earning status immediately. A monocoque vehicle shell would need specialist repairs, which could mean long delays before the vehicle is usable again. Can allow more torsional flexing before yielding Vehicles mounted high on a separate chassis such as trucks and true off-road SUVs are less to suffer damage from rust caused by dampness, stones, road grit, water and other more serious damage like the transmission or engine oil sump damage caused by rocks; the complete vehicle will be heavier than a monocoque shell, resulting in diminished performance and higher fuel consumption. Body-on-frame vehicles with high ground clearance such as trucks a
GM F platform
The F platform, or F-body, was General Motors' small rear-wheel drive automobile platform from 1967 until 2002. It was based on the GM X platform, used for compact applications instead of the sporting intent of the F-Body; the only two vehicles to have been built using the F-Body platform are the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird. The fourth character in the Vehicle Identification Number for an F-body car is "F", on Fourth Generation vehicles. Earlier Camaros and Firebirds had differing VIN codes, but are now referred to as F-bodies; the first F-body cars were produced in 1966 for the 1967 model year, as GM's response to the Ford Mustang. Designed as the platform for the Camaro, Pontiac engineers were given a short amount of time prior to the Camaro's release to produce a version that matched their corporate styling as well; the F-Body was available as both a cloth-top convertible. As was GM policy at the time and Pontiac both installed their own engines. Both cars could be had with either division's base inline six-cylinder engine, a V8 engine of 5.3 liters, or a larger V8 engine of 6.6 liters.
Due to delays with the design of the second-generation car, the 1969 models were produced longer than usual. The second generation F-body cars were released as'1970½' cars, due to extensive delays in the design and production of the new body style. Both cars grew with drastic changes in styling to match each brand's updated styling across the lineup. Only Pontiac received engine options in the 7.4 L range in the earlier years of the second generation -, 455 cu in for Pontiac. However, this engine option would be discontinued as emissions and fuel-economy restrictions made their production costs prohibitive. Performance continued to decline through 1981, as power levels dropped and weight increased; the third generation of the F-Body was introduced for 1982, as a major redesign with a more modern look and a lighter, better-handling car. In a move that would happen across all GM models, the Firebird switched from Pontiac-designed engines to the same Chevrolet engines that powered the Camaro; this was the only generation of F-Body to be available with a four-cylinder, the Iron Duke.
The last Firebird to be built with an engine not available in the Camaro was the 1989 Turbo Trans Am, which had a turbocharged 3.8 L Buick V6, derived from the Buick Regal. The fourth generation of F-body was released in 1993, it was an extensive revision to the third generation car, instead of a clean-sheet design. It was produced. Unlike most of the years past, the engine choices were simplified considerably. For 1993 to 1995, the V6 was the 3.4 L 60°. 1993–1997 V8 cars shipped with the 5.7L LT1, while 1998–2002 cars received the 5.7L LS1. Both engines were available with the 4L60E four-speed automatic transmission. V6 engines with a manual transmission had a five-speed unit. An optional Hurst-supplied shifter was available on V8 models. General Motors has reintroduced the Chevrolet Camaro as a 2010 model, using the Zeta chassis, with a VIN code of "F". According to GM, contrary to rumors of a Firebird companion, no accompanying Pontiac model was planned before the discontinuation of the Pontiac brand in 2009.
Production of the new Camaro began on March 16, 2008 after several years on hiatus since the previous generation's production ended in 2002 and went on sale to the public in April 2009 for the 2010 model year. GM F Body Community at FBodyForum.net List of GM VIN codes
A coachbuilder or body-maker manufactures bodies for passenger-carrying vehicles. Coachwork is the body of an automobile, horse-drawn carriage, or railroad passenger car; the word "coach" was derived from the Hungarian town of Kocs. Custom or bespoke coachbuilt bodies were made and fitted to another manufacturer's rolling chassis by the craftsmen who had built bodies for horse-drawn carriages and coaches. Separate coachbuilt bodies became obsolete when vehicle manufacturers found they could no longer meet their customers' demands by relying on a simple separate chassis mounted on leaf springs on beam axles. Unibody or monocoque combined chassis and body structures became standardised during the middle years of the 20th century to provide the rigidity required by improved suspension systems without incurring the heavy weight, consequent fuel, penalty of a rigid separate chassis; the improved more supple suspension systems gave vehicles better roadholding and much improved the ride experienced by passengers.
As well as true bespoke bodies the same coachbuilders made short runs of more-or-less identical bodies to the order of dealers or the manufacturer of a chassis. The same body design might be adjusted to suit different brands of chassis. Examples include Salmons & Sons' Tickford bodies with a patent device to raise or lower a convertible's roof, first used on their 19th century carriages, or Wingham convertible bodies by Martin Walter. Coachbuilt body is the British English name for the coachbuilder's product. Custom body is the standard term in North American English. Coachbuilders are: carrossiers in French, carrozzeria in Italian, Karosseriebauer in German and carroceros in Spanish. Coachbuilt body is the British English name for mass produced vehicles built on assembly lines using the same but simplified techniques until more durable all-steel bodies replaced them in the early 1950s. Unless they were for mass produced vehicles justifying the cost of tooling up dies and presses coachbuilt bodies were made of hand-shaped sheet metal alluminium alloy.
Pressed or hand-shaped the metal panels were fastened to a wooden frame of light but strong timber. Many of the more important structural features of the bespoke or custom body such as A, B and C pillars were cast alloy components; some bodies such as those alloy bodies fitted to many Pierce-Arrow cars contained little or no timber though they were mounted on a conventional steel chassis. The coachbuilder craftsmen who might once have built bespoke or custom bodies continue to build bodies for short runs of specialised commercial vehicles such as luxury motor coaches or recreational vehicles or motorhome bodied upon a rolling chassis provided by an independent manufacturer. A conversion is built inside an existing vehicle body. A British trade association the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers, was incorporated in 1630; some British coachmaking firms operating in the 20th century were established earlier. Rippon was active in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, Barker founded in 1710 by an officer in Queen Anne's Guards.
Brewster, the oldest in the U. S. was formed in 1810. The maker would provide the coachworks with a chassis frame, brakes, steering system, lighting system, spare wheel and rear mudguards and bumpers and dashboard; the easily damaged honeycomb radiator enclosed and protected by a shell became the main visual element identifying the chassis' brand. To maintain some level of control over the final product, chassis manufacturers' warranties would be voided by mating them with unapproved bodies; when popular automobile manufacturers brought body building in-house, larger dealers or distributors of ultra-luxury cars would pre-order stock chassis and the bodies they thought most to sell, inventory them in suitable quantities for sale off their showroom floor. In time, the practice of commissioning bespoke coachwork dwindled to a prerogative of wealth. All ultra-luxury vehicles of automobiling's Golden Era before World War II sold as chassis only. For instance, when Duesenberg introduced their Model J, it was offered as chassis only, for $8,500.
Other examples include the Bugatti Type 57, Cadillac V-16, Ferrari 250, Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8, all Rolls-Royces produced before World War II. Delahaye had no in-house coachworks, so all its chassis were bodied by independents, who created some of their most attractive designs on the Type 135. Most of the Delahayes were bodied by Chapron, Franay, Figoni et Falaschi and many more carrossiers; the practice remained in limited force after World War II, with both luxury chassis and high-performance sports cars and gran turismos, waning by the late 1960s. Rolls-Royce acquiesced, debuting its first unibody model, the Silver Shadow, in 1965, before taking all R-R and Bentley bodying in-house. Independent coachbuilders survived for a time after the mid-20th century, making bodies for the chassis produced by low-production companies such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley. Producing body dies is expensive, only considered practical when large numbers are involved—though, the path taken by Rolls-Royce and Bentley after 1945 for their own in-house production.
Because dies for pressing metal panels are so costly, from the mid 20th century, many vehicles, most notably the Chevrolet Corvette, were clothed with large panels of fiberglass reinforced resin, which only require inexpensive molds. Glass has since been re