3 thoughts on “DTW Festive Teaser (3)”

  1. The TR4(A), Panda, and Kadett B were launched with leaf springs but later moved to coils for suspension, whereas the later production Pathfinders moved to leaf springs from coils?

  2. A perfect answer.

    The Kadett ditched the longitudinal leaf springs after two years of production and received this neat arrangement of two trailing links and a torque tube acting as a third link. The Panhard Rod completes the set-up, which is markedly different from other GM designs, including the contemporary Viva HB.

    The Panda got its Omega rear axle in 1986, shared with the Lancia Y10 which was launched in 1985. It’s very different from the VW style torsion beam arrangements which were soon to become universal.

    I’ve never tried a leaf sprung Panda, but I put a considerable number of miles under two almost new coil sprung 45s in 1987 and can humbly report they were bloody awful in their chassis dynamics – vastly inferior to the Uno which cost about £500 more, or to the superminis of a decade before; 127, Renault 5, Fiesta Mk.1.

    The TR4A IRS which arrived in early 1965 had not only coil springs, but fully independent semi trailing arm suspension, replacing a live axle on longitudinal leaf springs. Not all TR4As had IRS. The new chassis was cleverly designed with a pressed steel bridging piece which supported the differential, and could be omitted when a live axle and leaf springs were specified. Most of the leaf sprung TR4As went to the USA, where perhaps the acronym ‘IRS’ had a less pleasing connotation.

    And finally the hapless Pathfinder. The last few of the 5536 examples produced were fitted with the Wolseley 6/90s longitudinal leaf springs rather than Palmer’s more sophisticated trailing link and Panhard Rod arrangement.

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