The paint shop.
Another primed chassis awaits another layer.
Cycle wing stays hanging up after coming out of the drying oven.
Once painted the chassis returns to the workshop for where the aluminum panels will be assembled.
Our visit was on a Saturday, so there were not many people in there. I think this made for some great pictures though, with downed tools, a workshop jacket, empty mug of coffee.....
Note the completed chassis stacked in the back ground.
Folded pedal boxes ready to go in.
Selection of dashboards. You can see the 'standard' cut-out version, and the version used when Stack dash is fitted.
Selection of side skins. The blue is a protective film that all the aluminum panels had on their outer surface. The craftman here must have to be so careful not to mark any of these panels, bearing in mind that many Caterhams remain unpainted.
Bonnets. There are definitely some future Low Flying cover shots in this place!
A buck used for the hand production of the scuttle panel. The aluminum sheet is shaped and formed around this. The edges and lips are formed on this tool.
Scuttle buck. Mainly wood, the edges that will be used to shape the aluminum are metal to ensure commonality and repeatability.
A stack of aluminum windscreen glass surrounds.
Some with spare wheel rack, some without. Note the fuel filler hole drawn on the back of the nearest chassis!
Left hand drive dashboard gives this chassis away as being for foreign shores.
Bin in the corner of the 'repair' part of the workshop. It is full of 'used' panels that have been taken off crash damaged cars - not surprisingly most of these are race cars, and apparently this bin is only the first half of the season!
Car in mid-repair. Looks like it has had a frontal repair to the chassis and then new side panels.
While we were there we were shown how the chassis is repaired after frontal damage. You can have a short or a long repair, which obviously relates to how far back from the front the chassis is damaged and needs replacing. The rear section behind the seats can also be repaired. In fact just about any part of the chassis can be repaired or replaced it seems, and the chassis will then be as good as new, with repairs often stronger then the original, due to the nature of the repair.
Just got to put it all back together now.
I think this is a Radical chassis being repaired.
As their ad says, Arch are the 'sole manufacturers of Lotus & caterham Seven chassis for over forty-five years'. Having looked around their premises I find that very reassuring!
|Arch Motor & Manufacturing Co Ltd.|
tel: 01480 459661/2/3