It isn't often that a new...
It isn't often that a new design turns heads. But this back to the future big spring car caught our attention. Jeff Choquette reaps the rewards with a big win leading from the pole at New Smyrna speedway in the Dick Anderson-designed car.
I had already heard talk about some racers going back to big spring super Late Model cars from coilovers when I heard about the car Dick Anderson designed. I admit to being curious as to why anyone would revert back to the big springs. So, I made a visit to Dick's Wildwood, Fla., race shop to take a look at the car. What I discovered surprised me.
Most of the older, more experienced and wiser racers like Dick don't usually adapt too well to some of the modern techniques and trends in racing. I was amazed at the level of knowledge he had when it came to some of the more technical details we have discussed in Circle Track and that have come along over the past five years. He was right on top of it all.
Once I had a chance to inspect the car, I found that I had a lot of questions and that led me to the fact that this car was very innovative in a lot of areas. A lot of thought and development went into this design and it has performed extremely well right out of the box. It is called the Anderson Elite chassis by Port City Racing. Here are some of the areas where this car is a little different.
Front Spring Design
The springs used up front are the standard five-inch diameter. The spring pockets are of a tubular design by Harley Boeve at Port City Racing. Because some teams opt for the newer softer spring setups that will compress the springs so much, these were designed to accommodate any setup.
The use of stock lower dimensioning for the lower control arms helps with softer spring setups. The big spring moves much less than would a coilover spring. This reduces spring binding that can be a problem.
Winning is becoming a habit...
Winning is becoming a habit for Jeff Choquette in the Dick Anderson-designed #92 super Late Model. Here, he takes another checker for a super 2007 season.
One very innovative and helpful redesign was the mounting of the adjuster bolt. We all know how difficult it is to adjust our corner weights and ride heights with big spring cars. Dick designed the front adjuster bolt so that it is extended up through the upper-hoop bar and easily accessed with a half-inch ratchet or breaker bar. Small changes to the crossweight can be accomplished with no more busted knuckles.
The shocks can be removed and serviced and/or changed easily, without the need to remove the spring as you would with the coilover design. And, the spring can be removed and changed easily too, if need be.
Dick is aware of the importance of moment center location and design and on this new car, the upper control arms are slugged so that adjustments can be made. It took a lot of racers a long time to buy into the fact that MC design was critical to how the front end would work. Some never have. But in my conversations with Dick, it became apparent that he knows this subject well and incorporated MC location into the overall design parameters he knew he needed. The car builder, Port City Racing, is also on top of the MC revolution.
The ball joints he uses are of the design where you can order different length shafts to alter the heights of the ball joints, again to affect the arm angles and move the MC if needed.
Sway Bar Mount
Dick uses a one-piece sway bar, but designed improved mounts. He did this to reduce friction and to make adjustments easier. This design has the advantages of the three-piece NASCAR-style bar with the simplicity of the one-piece design.
Note the five-inch springs...
Note the five-inch springs and the tubular lower control arm. The buckets are set lower than stock which allows a longer spring that can be removed much easier.
Dick modified the #92 car...
Dick modified the #92 car by building longer adjuster bolts that run up through the upper-hoop bar to make adjustments much easier. This also makes the spring mount stronger by reinforcing the upper-spring mount through the bolt.
We see the upper control arm...
We see the upper control arm mounts are adjustable on this standard Elite version. It is identical to Dick's version, without the longer adjuster bolts.