1. introduction

2. suspension lessons

3. stressing

4. chassis 101

5. Autodynamics

6. jet set

7. sun set

8. Raceware

9. enter the Seven

10. skin deep

11. the DSK concept

12. the list list

13. DSK hits the road

14. postscript

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5. Autodynamics

Autodynamics built its reputation and business on the Formula Vee design that carried Ray Caldwell to an SCCA National Championship in 1964. The company manufactured and sold Formula V kits, then added the D-9 Formula Ford, D-10 Super Vee and later the revolutionary D-13 Formula Vee with Zero-roll-stiffness rear suspension.

Autodynamics FV Series V tech/spec sheet and parts pricing

Autodynamics race cars

Autodynamics took pride in applying the latest in professional European formula racing technology to its Ford and Super Vee designs for amateur racers. These space-framed single seaters were strong, reliable, light and fast as any design available from any racing manufacturer in the world. The D-9 and D-13 won SCCA National Championships right out of the box first year out. We all scrutinized every other competing make and upgraded our cars to include every new idea we believed could make them quicker, stronger or faster.

The Autodynamics Hustler - sports car styling inspired by Lotus Elan perhaps?

We all grew increasingly familiar with the techniques that Bruno Milani used to assemble the mild steel chassis using low temperature brazing rod and marveled at the textbook perfection of every weld he made every day on every job. Whether he was joining familiar fish-mouthed tubes on a production formula car chassis or heli-arcing a one-of-a-kind "basket-of-snakes" exhaust for a Can-Am, Trans-Am, or Formula A car for the professional team, Bruno executed each and every weld perfectly. Though the shop employed as many a several dozen experienced and talented craftsmen from all corners of the racing universe at various times, everyone to a man was always impressed with Bruno's welding. Caldwell used to say that "Bruno could weld bananas to glass."

attention to detail: welds on the DSK Seven prototype frame
original DSK Photos

That confidence in each other's skills permeated the atmosphere at Autodynamics. Skip Barber ran the metal shop with an eye for fit and finish. Bill Woodhead designed and fabricated elegantly simple mechanical solutions so quickly that you barely had time to comprehend what he was doing before he finished a prototype. Bob Fletcher knew every gadget on every race car from Formula One cars to NASCAR sedans. He quickly figured out where to buy the latest "trick" pieces and sold them with authority to our customers while they still commanded a premium. Ray Stonkus had a famous toolbox nearly filled with hammers. He could straighten out the body of our Dodge Trans-Am Team car after a wreck and paint it overnight such that "You could not tell from the stands." Chief Engineer Del Trott seemed to know a mathematical formula that would help to answer any virtually racing question you could pose. Carroll Smith quite literally wrote the book on track tuning racing cars, Tune to Win, and another on screwing them together so that they stayed together, Prepare to Win. He was world class and a fine teacher to all of us younger crew members.

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