The 1966 TDX Was The First Plastic Car
In 1981, McLaren changed the car world when it debuted the MP4/1, the first Formula One car with a complete carbon fiber chassis. From then on, slowly but surely, people came to understand that a fiber-reinforced composite — plastic — was the fastest, lightest, strongest, best way to put a performance car together. Long before that McLaren, though, one dad was at work in a Long Island garage.
What should I say first, that the “P” in CFRP stands for plastic? That it’s carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, plastic all along, just fibers in resin like fiberglass before it? Is this some revolutionary thought? Would carbon fiber have the same allure, the same mystique, as it does today if we all accepted that it’s plastic like everything else? Would I, as a …
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