Track 1 Camaro Update: The Roll Cage Question


“To cage, or not to cage?” That question has fueled many debates on enthusiast message boards.  The naysayers argue that one’s head may contact roll bar tubing during an accident and that the tubing is really, really hard.  Proponents insist that fast cars need proper safety equipment and a sound structure.

In truth, there is no easy answer. During an impact, contact between your head and a car’s dash, A-pillar or even glass, can result in serious trauma — especially if the roof structure or doors collapse.  You don’t get to pick and choose the terms or severity of an accident on the street. Every enthusiast needs to make their own choice regarding roll cages and safety.

For our own car, the Track 1 Camaro, we decided to add a roll cage based on our highly successful TigerCage design.  Built from stainless steel TigerCages rely on our patented TigerClamps for bolt together installation.  The TigerCage system adds structural rigidity without the need for welding.

TigerCage is made from 304L stainless. It has a lower initial yield point than chrome moly so it will actually absorb initial crash energy instead of transferring it directly to the driver. After the stainless tubing is bent, it increases in strength dramatically to continue to protect the driver. This same material is used by many oems in crumple zones to enhance crash survivability.
The bolt in brackets supplied with Tiger Cage interface with your car’s structural strength points in at least two different planes such that they are actually stronger than some welded connections. With a welded connection, you have a wide variety of joint design, tubing fitment, and welding proficiency. With a professionally engineered bolt-together connection you have a validated design with validated fasteners, brackets, and structural interface. This is why bridges, building, and airplanes are bolted together instead of welding.

TigerCages are offered in 4 point configuration with optional seatbelt bar and road race bars that tie the main hoop into the kick panel area and floorboards. The Track 1 Camaro has some additional bracing in the form of A-Pillar bars and “Down Bars” that run through the firewall and into the engine bay. They tie the entire structure together by connecting the A-Pillar bars to the subframe.

We worked hard to position the A-pillar bars as high as possible and close to the A-Pillars. Our innovative TigerClamps and bolt together floor mounts give us the option of removing the A-pillar bars on the street.  It’s a slick design, for sure.  Note that we have no immediate plans to produce the A-pillar bars and down bars at this time. This is a great example of motorsports parts driving production parts development.

Work is proceeding nicely at Smitty’s Custom Automotive in Tiffin, Ohio.  Chris “Smitty” Smith is sorting out the Track 1 Camaro’s ergonomics.  We have the opportunity to position the seat, pedals, steering column and gauges for maximum comfort and leverage.  We will cover that process in the next project update.

Stainless steel down bars in the engine bay bolt to mounts on the firewall Custom mounts have been made for the subframe to complete the bolt together design.
Stainless steel down bars bolt to brackets on the firewall that mate up with the A-pillar bars. Custom mounts have been welded to the subframe. Smitty’s installed the Vintage Air Frontrunner system and belt-driven, dry sump oil pump on the front of the SDPC 427.

Vintage Air

http://www.vintageair.com

SDPC RaceShop

http://www.sdpcraceshop.com

Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center

http://sdparts.com

Chevrolet Performance

http://www.chevrolet.com/performance/overview

RideTech Motorsports Links

For the TigerCage System, click HERE

For more information about RideTech Track 1 Products, click HERE

To visit SmittysCustomAuto.com, click HERE

To View other parts in the Track 1 Camaro Series, click HERE

2 Replies to “Track 1 Camaro Update: The Roll Cage Question”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *