Saturday, June 14, 2008

Under the rear: my GTV

Originally uploaded by gtveloce
My all-time 3rd most popular photo on Flickr! And it's just the rear end of a production coupe... not a supercar or something rare at all.

Anyway it's a look underneath my 1982 Alfetta GTV showing the rear mounted transaxle, de Dion tube, Watts linkage and inboard disc brakes. Most cars of course don't have de Dion tubes, so that's a bit special. The Watts linkage is more common. The rear mounted transmission is much more rare and gives the car better weight distribution (ie 50:50) and a polar moment of inertia that lends the car stability rather than twitchiness.

The inboard brakes are also unusual on a road car, but were an Alfa specialty in the late 70s and throughout the 80s, both with their rear and front drive cars. On this car it meant that even the rears could overheat a tad on mountain descents... but OTOH the rear wheels didn't have to carry the extra unsprung weight so an Alfetta could menace much more powerful cars around corners. (The Alfasud from this era had inboard front brakes, which probably worked better than the Alfetta's rear brake arrangement and helped to make the 'Sud a great handler - but suffered from the occasional accidental ill-placed drop of engine oil... ooops.)

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