Monday, September 18, 2006

Palatov's Dream Comes Alive

After four and a half years since his project began, Dennis Palatov drove his own creation today. Starting from mere sketches and a clear concept in his head, Dennis laid out plans to design his dream car then build it from the ground up. A small, lightweight street/track car, powered by a motorcycle engine driving all four wheels.

At the start of the project Palatov said, "I've always wanted to do my own car, but it was just a vague idea without much focus. Recently I completed a Westfield Megabusa kit and drove it on the track for the first time. I absolutely love the engine and gearbox, which came from a Suzuki Hayabusa bike. The Westfield weighs in at almost exactly 1,000 lbs and is an absolute blast to drive. It's almost as much fun as my recently acquired shifter kart. These two vehicles have made my [Lotus] Elise S190 seem luxurious and large...

But of course too much is never enough, and I got the desire to take it further. To combine the best attributes of all my fun machines, and take it up a notch. Or two. It quickly became clear that I had to do my own car. It would be powered by a Hayabusa engine, of course, and use its 6-speed sequential gearbox. And it had to be smaller and lighter than the Westfield, while retaining the ability to be driven on the street on occasion. I've looked around and done some comparisons, and realized that a target weight of 700 lbs should be within reach if I make it a single-seater."

Dennis related that, "As such things often go, at some point I suddenly and clearly visualized what the layout would look like: a scaled-up version of a shifter kart with engine beside the driver and a driveshaft running forward and back in a central backbone chassis."

Dennis chronicled the development of his Solid Works CAD design from the beginning, and shared it with the world via his Log of the Initial Design Phase. Many viewers and readers asked questions and offered ideas and advise along the way. Dennis later created a second Log for the Build Phase of the project, after the bodywork was completed.

For more information and larger images, see:
the dpcars Chassis page, here on the Sports Racer Network,

or visit the dpcars website.