Unibody build process gives Revology Cars a unique advantage in low volume classic car business
Enhancing its reputation as a sophisticated manufacturer of specialty automobiles, Revology Cars is now assembling in-house the new, 100% steel unibodies on which its Mustang and Shelby GT models are based.
Used throughout the modern auto industry, unibody construction involves the welding of individual body panels to form a complete vehicle structure, as opposed to the more traditional body-on-frame process. Unibody construction reduces weight, allowing for better acceleration, handling, fuel economy, and improved ride comfort. It is also safer, since the entire body can absorb the energy forces in a crash.
Tom Scarpello, CEO of Florida-based Revology Cars, explains the significance of this initiative. “The unibody is the basic structure of the car. The powertrain and chassis are mounted to the front and rear subframes. The unibody must be strong and capable of coping with acceleration and lateral loads, yet light in weight for enhanced performance.” Revology’s unibody features strong construction. Scarpello notes that this rigid structure is critical given that Revology Mustangs have twice the power of the originals and suspension systems that generate far more grip and lateral g forces.
Dimensional control is another key reason Revology chose to build its own unibodies in-house. Dimensional control refers to the level of precision with which the unibodies are built. The integration of modern components, many of which are significantly larger than their 60s counterparts, requires much better control of manufacturing tolerances. To provide expert guidance on dimensional control, Revology brought in Marty McClellan, former dimensional control manager at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant, where the current Mustang is built. “It’s really exciting to be working with Revology,” says McClellan. “I come from an environment where we spent a lot of time on controlling the detail of the build procedure to make sure the vehicle comes out the same way every time. At Ford we were building 500 cars a day, and although Revology production is a fraction of that rate, the same basic principles apply.” Revology’s unibody tolerances are measured in millimeters and even half millimeters in some areas, a far cry from the variability that was acceptable in the 1960s.
Welding is another area that Revology can better control by building its unibodies in-house. The company has invested in sophisticated modern spot welding equipment that’s able to sense the thickness and composition of metal that is being welded and apply the proper amount of current to ensure good quality welds. “OEM body shops have many weld stations, each of which performs a limited set of operations,” says Aaron Wright, Chief Engineer. “That allows them to set a specific weld schedule for each gun. However, at our production rate, one gun does a lot of different welds. It was important for us to have sophisticated equipment like this, to ensure proper weld integrity in all areas of the unibody.”
In addition to improved strength, dimensional control, and weld integrity, the mere fact the Revology unibody is assembled from brand-new steel is an important factor for the company’s clients.
“Even a rust free original body, if you could find one, will not meet our requirements for structural rigidity and tight tolerances that allow the packaging of powerful new engines, suspension systems and new componentry,” says Scarpello. “Even original bodies that look nice can have hidden rust or poorly executed repairs from 50+ years of service. A new body eliminates those problems.”
Revology is the first company ever licensed by Ford to build a new reproduction Ford. It is also one of a handful of companies worldwide licensed by Shelby.
<About Revology Cars>
Revology offers a complete lineup of licensed reproduction 1965- 1968 Mustangs and Shelby GT 500 and Shelby GT 350 models. Complete information, including pricing, can be found on the Revology Cars website at www.revologycars.com or by contacting Revology Cars directly at (800) 974-4463.
Ford Trademarks and Trade Dress Used Under License to Revology Cars.
SHELBY®, CARROLL SHELBY®, GT-350®, GT-350H®, GT-350R®, GT-500® and KR® are registered trademarks and/or the trade dress of Carroll Shelby and Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc. (Shelby). COBRA and the COBRA SNAKE Designs are trademarks of Ford Motor Company used under license.
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