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Brooklands Screens

by

Mike Meakin

I know I’m a traditional, time-served, classical "specials" type of motorist. I’d love a vintage special and should have bought one 50 years ago, but can’t afford one now – "Bolide" has to fill that gap. I chose aero screens because the Vee screen available was not to my liking. In the 8 years since SVA, I have been constantly reminded that the large Brooklands style steering wheel, puts your right hand outside the bodywork (if you’re a 10 to 2 driver like me). It gets cold and wet and I’m uncomfortable with my right hand on the lower part of the steering wheel. There are "Wind Wings" for Morgans available in the UK (they are "HOW MUCH!!"?) but nothing I could find that would supplement the curved glass Brooklands aero screens.

It seemed to me that something "quarter-light shaped" (remember quarter lights?) physically attached to the outer mount of the aero screens and "somewhere at the back" to the body would deflect wind outwards, rather than allow air to be sucked in, behind the screens. I did some notional sketches, made some stiff card templates to get the overall shape right, then cut a template in 3 ply marine plywood. Aluminium "U" channel is easily obtained and cheap on Ebay and I had some 3mm aluminium plate in my bit box. I also had my 2CV donor screen gathering dust on a shelf and initially planned to use pieces of it, until I was persuaded that 2CV circuit racers are often seeking 6mm laminated screens, so I resorted to 6.4mm, clear laminated glass, often used in glazed doors. Having dabbled in stained glass window fabrication not too long ago, I have an oil-fed stained glass manual cutter and grozing pliers, so trimming oversize pieces of 6.4 laminated glass was not a problem. The edges were finish ground using a diamond-faced disc and a Dremel , (mask essential – powdered glass floats everywhere!)

Bending the aluminium channel proved even worse than extruded, aluminium edge trim! One wall would pickle in, the other would pickle out. The cure turned out to be clamping the bent, hot channel in a vise, with cardboard angles covering the jaws and gently teasing the wrinkles with a slim, oak "chisel" and hammer. As the exterior was going to be hand-finished, minor inaccuracies didn’t matter. The man who made my fuel tank, TIG welded the attachment brackets to the channel. Hand filing/dressing made the weld beads disappear (very time consuming and exacting)

rose joints or spherical bearings

Initially, I was going to use donor 2CV front "window flap", angled pivots to anchor the rear of the deflector frame, until I found a supplier in Germany, on Ebay, making female end housings for M4 rod, with M4 rose joint swivels.

completed frame

The ends of the channels are tapered away – after annealing, they curl round and clasp the 2 ends of the glass ( using a small rubber mallet) after the clear PU silicone has fully cured (no danger of flaking the glass surface).

rose joints or spherical bearings

Achieving a continuation of line profile over the deflectors and aero screens was particularly important – the present angle/attitude is fixed and can’t be changed easily – perhaps the Mk 2 version could include a pivot/friction hinge close to the screen spindle attachment, but presently I’m happy with the "bit-box" special, safe in the knowledge that I’ve got the only pair.

completed frame
completed frame

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