body is carefully laid up
with the finest materials
and is skinned in black gelcoat. High
"iso" tooling resin is used wherever minimum
shrinkage is desirable.
The heat distortion temperature of our resin is 220 F -
resin: 180 F, vinylester: 210 F. When you realize that the
compartment temperature can reach 200 F plus, it becomes clear why we
the resin we did.
We use random strand mat for all our panels to prevent cloth
|This makes the body a bit heavier, but it will
excellent surface finish for years. Our main body is a mix of
layup and chop. The thickness varies between 3/16" and 1/4"
There is no advantage to hand-laying the many compound-curved
of the body. Because of the way mat is held together to form
trying to stretch it into valleys only thins it in places, bunches it
others. ||Because chopping
allows the operator to "spray" the laminate
in, it is possible to maintain more consistant thickness than hand
The hand-laid doors, hood and trunk lid are 1/8"-3/16" thick.
structural inner panels are about 3/16" thick, while the non-structural
are about 1/8".|
Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic
is a wonderful medium
for low volume production, but it does have a disadvantage:
a poor memory.
on it for an
extended period of time will distort it slightly. While you
be able to feel it, the distortion will be visible in a good paint job.
E.R.A. has taken
the stress off the outside
body. In fact, we've never seen a
stress crack in an ERA
body, even after 18 years!
The inner body panels are fastened to the chassis by
bonding and riveting.
This takes a bit
more time but results in a solid, rattle free, semi-unitized
Click here for details on
how we mount the body from
Even with the body in place,
of the engine and transmission is still very easy. The 289FIA is
to be serviced like a real car. If you think being
able to remove
the body would be an advantage, consider all the things that would
disconnection or removal: Wiring, steering column, bumpers,
is a 427SC
body in our assembly jig - with
fiberglass inner panels. The
panels attached to tubing
of the body.
Print-through is prevented, and the fit and shape of the body
consistantly good. We gasket
areas between the aluminum inner panels and the outside body to seal
This prevents any distortion of the visible body surfaces.
The light color that you see on the inside surface of the
This is a low density
material that allows us to add thickness without weight, preventing
thrown from the tires from "spidering" the outside body.
are attached to the chassis and use
weather-stripping to seal
against the outside body. The spare tire well is fiberglass,
the original cars.
ConstructionThe doors have a steel
the fiberglass inner and outer shells. The framework supports the heavy
hinge and latch mechanisms, with the fiberglass shells remaining stress
The doors are hinged and latched directly on the steel chassis,
at the hinge pivot - there is no steel-to-steel contact.
The hood and
trunk lid are two piece:
An outer skin and a finished inner panel carrying the hinges and
The original style hinges
of the hood
and trunk lids are attached to the inner panels only, with nut plates
attachments bonded in. And, everything
adjusted at the factory for proper alignment.
HingesOur door hinges are
capable of keeping our
steel-lined doors very secure! Alignment is accomplished by
of slotted holes and shims where they bolt to the chassis.
The door hinge also has a stop built in to prevent the door or
hitting the body when it's opened.
hinge, both door, hood and trunk, is powder-coated so you don't
at the hinge pivot - there is no steel-to-steel contact and , because
ream-fit the pin to the bushing, the door will will have minimum play.
|Our hinge boxes place the pivot
of the hinge very close to the outside skin, but
This gives maximum edge clearance when the trunk is opened or
We do the same thing with the doors.
The inner and outer panels of the hood, doors and trunk are
with a special low-distortion epoxy and finished smooth at the factory
that professional look.
|The hinge boxes are
bolted onto the fiberglass
Easy adjustment. No
stress on the outside body.
other words, our bodies will stay
straight for many, many years.
Return to the FIA Home