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Author Topic: Racing seats  (Read 8904 times)
OCTARD
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2011, 02:33:56 PM »

Hello Jon,

The story behind the Steve Sunshine seat actually stems back to a Shelby style racing part.  I was visiting a friends shop, and they had a Cobra in to do some general race prep.  The Cobra owner had bought a Ken Miles edition Steve Sunshine aluminum racing seat.  What really caught my eye was the metal shaping, and all the care and attention that went into copying the contours of the original fiberglass seats.  So many of the other aluminum seats out there that are made to look like an old race seat are made up of many pieces of flat stock cut and welded in smaller sub-sections to build a radius.  They don't end up looking right to me.

I had long thought it would be nice to have a replica of the GM Racing seat in aluminum because of the additional bit of safety it might offer.  The original fiberglass shell is only bonded to the steel frame by a few pieces of fiberglass and resin.  With an aluminum seat, I feel you can more securely fasten it to any of your additional mounts or braces. 

So, I contacted Steve Stunshine and asked him if he'd be into making a copy of one of these old GM racing seats.  Steve was up to it, and even had a go with only measurements the first time around.  That first unit missed the mark a bit, and so I sent him a replica shell of the original GM racing seat to copy.  That second unit (and Jon's third) turned out very nice.  And though Steve's upholstered cover is intended to copy the design and layout of my original, his fits better and tighter than the covers on the original GM racing seat. 

Here is the last e-mail I have for contacting Steve Sunshine: KenMiles@comcast.net

I've also attached a picture of the Steve Sunshine replica GM racing seat in my car.

-Chad
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oldtransamdriver
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« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2011, 08:13:26 PM »

So which year car and make is Donohue sitting in?  Interesting roll cage design - no factory dash, but still has the door panels and the window winder.

Robert Barg
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beighes
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« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2011, 08:49:25 PM »

So which year car and make is Donohue sitting in?  Interesting roll cage design - no factory dash, but still has the door panels and the window winder.

Robert Barg

Robert.........There is #6 on the dark hood, & the roof & aft the door opening are light ('sorry, it's a b&w photo).........Javelin ? 

Steve
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OCTARD
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« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2011, 08:59:50 PM »

Hello Robert,

The Racemark seat ad is showing Mark Donohue's 1970 AMC Javelin.

-Chad
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beighes
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« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2011, 10:22:58 PM »

The second miracle in 2000 years......I was right!

Steve
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2011, 12:28:03 PM »

Interior of the John Elliott '69 Camaro at Daytona, 1970. Lots of unusual stuff here. The seat is by Solar Plastics, a
Steve McQueen company, and these have mostly been seen in dune buggies and other off-road cars. To the best of my
knowledge, this is about when this seat first became available. Also note the very strange roll cage design and the stock
2-spoke factory steering wheel. I've seen some "unique" roll cages before but I'm thinking this one might take top prize.



Photos by Don Gwynne
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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2011, 12:48:18 PM »

Since we were talking about the Racemark seat in Donohue's '70 Javelin, I thought I would post this
one too. It is from the Mid-Ohio Trans-Am, June 1970. Apparently he did not use the Racemark seat
for all the races that year. This one looks to be custom made for him out of aluminum. Not the norm
for back then, I think.

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Jon Mello
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OCTARD
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« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2011, 12:21:00 AM »

Hello Jon,

Great new additions to this thread.  

I wonder if the cage in the John Elliott '69 Camaro was meant for another application originally.  The downward slope of the bar that goes from the main hoop to the a-pillar area is more than demanded by a Camaro shell.  I don't want to sell the constructors short though.  Perhaps they were ahead of their time, and trying to get the cage as low in the chassis as possible for better weight distribution (as in a modern DTM... or well built SCCA World Challenge car).

I've also never seen that shot of the aluminum seat in Donohue's '70 Javelin.

Excellent stuff.

-Chad
 
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Sixteen Grand Sedan #56
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« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2011, 01:17:52 AM »

I was thinking the same when I first looked at the roll bar; that it may be out of something else. Perhaps it was already "used", that would account for how low it is Grin. Then again, I know it is hard to believe, but perhaps alcohol was involved during that part of the construction Sad
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Robert Lodewyk
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« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2011, 11:19:41 AM »

I agree, more than likely that cage was out of something else prior to the Camaro.  Also the shot of the aluminum seat in the Javelin was later in the year as the original rollcage didn't have all the cross braces in it till mid season.
Mike Camicia
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beighes
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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2011, 03:14:45 PM »

Another to agree.  The angle of the pillar tubes reminds me of something used in open A & B production Corvettes.  The main hoop looks to be "leaning forward".  Overall, a bit spooky.

Steve
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JoeC
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2011, 11:00:26 AM »

here is a 1968 picture of the Motion 68 Camaro drag car when they built it in 1968 the article says they used the GM TA seats

I have an old fiberglass drag racing seat (has lower sides) that still has the decal on it and is the same PA company that yenko used for some of his fiberglass. Yenko used two PA companys for some fiberglass parts.
parts
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OCTARD
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« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2011, 08:11:10 PM »

The two attached scans are pages from Paul Van Valkenburgh's excellent book, Race Car Engineering & Mechanics.

Amongst Van Valkenburgh's suggestions on driver "Fitting and Comfort," these pages also contain a picture of the Racemark seat, and a note about it's designers (Van Valkenburgh and Donohue).

-Chad
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2011, 10:53:05 PM »

I don't know if the seat designed by Solar Plastics was called the "Total Environment Plus" seat
or not but comparing these two ads, it seems like it may have been. Anybody know for sure?



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Jon Mello
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« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2011, 03:44:39 PM »

B&B Motors also offered a fiberglass racing seat very similar to the Yenko and Bill Thomas seats but having a "tubular frame" around it.





Here is an original one of these B&B seats, with and without the cover.



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Jon Mello
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