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Convertible Raw Body Structure


The model from which this car body comes, can probably only be definitely recognized in the overall view. This is also due to the fact that such a raw structure shows hardly anything of the end-product. It is made recognizable by the many plastic attachments, e.g., the bumper extensions. What can be recognized, are only the rear bonnet and the doors, where the sheet metal plating has been drawn down to way below the midriff. It also shows just how important the headlights are for the identification of a particular car model.


In the first picture the mountings for the final drive and the rear axle are noticeable.The coil springs and the shock absorbers are probably separately placed. On the left hand side, the additional hollow for the coil spring can be easily identified. This way, the wheel arches, despite the wide wheels, can be kept relatively narrow. The additional diagonal brace behind the axle mountings is also noticeable. It is mounted only afterwards and is absolutely necessary for the stability of the car body.
If one compares the rear-end in the figure 2 with the front-end in figure 3, one can see that the precautions against rear-end collisions differ quite a lot. At the rear, the bumper alone must absorb the impact force, up front however, support is given by two collision absorbers (not yet mounted here). These are bolted to solid frame beams which are supported against themselves above the tunnel and by other frame beams. In the event of lower speed collisions (mostly under 15km/h) they can be replaced and prevent the actual car body from being damaged.
At the latest, in the last picture, the enormous effort involved in the construction of a convertible car body becomes clear. The front frame beams are supported to the rear and also by beams to the right and left of the tunnel. After branching off to the side, they become thicker and later meet up with the outer skirtings, which are probably made of multi-layer sheet metal. Thus, on each side, at the bottom of the A-pillar, an important junction is formed. At least through the visible beading, the front arch around the tunnel may also be somewhat strengthened. For the further cross-bracing, a dome-strut is apparently, absolutely necessary.

Have a look at the Z4-body-plating. Because of its edges and slight inward buckling, the car body gives the impression of being particularly light-weight. Nothing can be seen of the solid impression that the raw body made. Also with other convertibles, the enormous efforts taken for the stability can mostly not be seen under the relatively small amount of metal plating. They appear to be even lighter than their saloon- or coupé counterparts.
Finally, shown in figure 4, the big tunnel, which must house various gearboxes and, in the rear section, also the drive shaft. Although this takes up a great deal of space, it also contributes to the stiffening of the car body. 09/06