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Spollen V-1 Streamliner

This page documents the Spollen V-1 streamliner shell, built by brothers Tom and Chris Spollen (Chris says "Tom's the mechanical genius... I'm just the pilot"), with invaluable help from John Tetz. This shell uses the original molding techniques developed by John Tetz, which are fully described on the Tetz foamshell streamliner page. These images are quite useful in that they give a good, clear view of the actual foam molding process.

Additional modifications were done to the bike in 2003. Photos can be found on the V1 update page.

The V-1 is a lowracer that's notable for its very low bottom bracket:


Early sketch, showing planned shape and attachment points:


This is one way to come up with a profile shape. Chris sat on the bike and Tom traced his outline onto kraft paper. Note the steeply sloped nose... too tight, as it turned out:


The plug was made using Tetz's original method. Styrofoam bulkheads every few inches, with spacers:




In the foreground is the fiberglass reinforcement used at the nosecone. This is very important, because the shell foam is under a lot of stress up there and needs to have something to lay down against. Contact cement is used to hold the shell foam.


Chris makes the first cut in the foam. The material is 0.5" thick LD45 Plastizote. More recently we've been experimenting with different densities of the foam.


Here John is fitting the first piece of foam to the top of the nose.


John Tetz starts the molding process. This is described in detail on the Tetz foamshell page. Note how the foam gets a semi-gloss finish as it's heated. Using a heat gun like this does work, but it has some minor drawbacks... it's impossible to evenly heat all of the foam, so inevitably there are internal stresses that show up later as waviness in the surface. Given the bike's mission, the. Tetz is working on alternate methods for heating the foam for his next project.


Now the fun starts. The next few photos show in detail what needs to be done to get the compound curvature at the nose. Note the slightly wavy upper nose surface.... Andy Douglas is trying to eliminate this by using a solid plug for his project.


Small zig-zag cuts are used to help the foam follow the curvature of the nose.


Ordinary contact cement is used to force the shell foam to lay flat against the fiberglass nose piece.


Going back for some alterations after the nose gets glued down.


The tip of the nose is a separate piece of foam. The bottom is made in a manner similar to the top.


It's a slow, careful process... trim, fit, glue, repeat.




The finished product, with Chris inside. Note how the nose shape changed a bit from the original profile tracing.


Tom Spollen on test day. Note how visible the vertical seam is on the side of the shell. Since the foam does not come in sheets large enough to make the side out of a single piece, this is inevitable. Andy Douglas is going to attempt to hide this seam on his shell by making the front and rear side pieces different colors.