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 Monocoque body
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・ The monocoque construction originates from aircraft. Instead of ensuring overall strength and rigidity using frames, outer panels necessary for creating the vehicle shape are given the minimum necessary reinforcement. This ensures strength and rigidity and is also referred to as stressed-skin construction. It has the double advantage of reducing waste and mass.
・In Japan, this technology was first used in a frameless rear-engined bus. It was then applied to the Subaru 360, and subsequent passenger vehicles.
・At that time, vehicle bodies of both trucks and passenger cars were created on a frame like a house. Thanks to the mass reduction of parts and application of the monocoque body, the Subaru 360 was light and strong. The dynamic performance of its 360 cc engine rivaled that of 1-liter power plants.
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Storage location:FUJI HEAVY INDUSTRIES LTD., SUBARU DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING DIV. TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATION DIV., INFORMATION CENTER (10-1, Higashihon-cho, Ohta-shi, Gunma-ken 373-8555)
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Year manufactured:1958
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Manufacturer:Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd.
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Classification:Literature
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Current status:Not open to the public
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Model / Manufacture
Familiar name:Monocoque body
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Company name:Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd.
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Location of actual vehicle:Subaru Gallery (Ohta)
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Installation vehicle:Subaru 360
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Year of manufacture:1958
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Designed by:Kozo Murota
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Structure, type, measure, means, etc.:"Mono" in "monocoque" means "single" and "coque" means a shell like that of an egg. A monocoque body is a eggshell-like car body, and also is referred to as stressed-skin construction.
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Function, effect, etc.:Monocoque construction originates from aircraft. Instead of ensuring overall strength and rigidity using frames, outer panels necessary for creating the vehicle shape are given the minimum necessary reinforcement to ensure strength and rigidity.
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Effect:No-waste, mass-reducing structure
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Features:Round eggshells are strong. This principle was applied to the Subaru 360 monocoque body. As a result, the vehicle was light and had large cabin space. It also had enough strength and rigidity to resist torsional stress and deflection.
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Reference materials:Journal of Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan, Vol. 12, No. 10, 1958
Fuji Jukogyo 30 Nenshi
"Fuji Heavy Industries: Its Technology and the People Behind It"
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