1965 Corvette Stingray Makes Composite Show Debut with Formaplex

09 October 2012

One of the first production composite cars, the 1965 Corvette Stingray, will make its debut appearance with pioneering, rapid-engineering company Formaplex at the Advanced Engineering Show, NEC, Birmingham, on the 7 – 8 November 2012 at Formaplex’s stand 743.

To represent some of the sectors where Formaplex works, the company says it has been lucky enough to borrow a car that represents the early days of composite technology as one of the first production fibreglass bodied sports cars of any real volume, and has an enviable international track record. That car is of course the iconic Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

This particular example is a big block race car that could be seen racing in the USAC GT championship at places such as Daytona, and Sebring in the mid-60s. The car is still regularly raced by its owner Craig Davies, and is fresh back from the Historic Spa six hour race a couple of weeks back, where it battled with period E Type Jaguars, and AC Cobras to name but a few.

“We are very lucky to have such an iconic car that represents not only the early days of composites in automotive production, but also gives us a benchmark as to how the industry and production technologies have changed through the years” said Formaplex’s Composites Director, Jon Payne.

In addition to the car, Formaplex’s Managing Director, Michael Last, will be leading an open forum with Jon Payne to discuss how the lessons learnt in the motor sport or automotive arenas are directly transferable to the defence and other industries.

Every day Formaplex is applying the lessons it learns in one industry to the benefit of others, so that staff are not constantly re-inventing the wheel. This forum will explore how all sectors can work better in unison, developing fresh approaches to common problems.

Away from the show Formaplex says it has had an excellent year in the composites sector, continuing to support its customers in top flight campaigns including Formula 1, WRC, and sports car racing at both GT and LMP levels.

In further news, Formaplex has introduced two new injection moulding machines: Negri Bossi 650T and 1500T, which are helping the company to meet the increase in demand from customers for injection moulded parts, expanding Formaplex's mould & assembly division to eight moulding machines ranging from 55T – 1500T.

Plus, the installation of two new DMU100U 5-axis machining centres within its metallic machining division are helping the company to meet short lead-time deliveries demanded by customers. Tooling in aluminium & steel for plastic injection moulding and composite part production are manufactured around the clock 24/7 by Formaplex.

Andy Bone, sales director, said: “Our customers operate in highly competitive industries and are highly demanding, in terms of quality and time for delivery. These new machines have slotted seamlessly into our 24/7 production processes, especially for smaller, more complex components. Already they are manufacturing new parts for new customers. This is a win-win investment - good for our clients and good for Formaplex.”

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