Leroy the Vette Kart Has It’s Aerodynamics Tested in a Wind Tunnel

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Leroy’s quarter-mile trap speed is being held back in a big way by the car’s signature exposed chassis look.

Cleetus McFarland’s Vette Kart has sparked quite a fad when it comes to exo-skeleton cars with no body panels. While there’s an immediate gain in speed due to the significant reduction in weight, the penalty paid from no longer having a slippery body is quite significant at the fast end of the drag strip. McFarland has decided it was time to get scientific about Leroy’s aerodynamics.

Moorseville, North Carolina, is home to the A2 wind tunnel, and that’s where McFarland took Leroy and a stock body C5 from Heintz Racing for comparison. Of course, it’s not often that you get a chance to step into a wind tunnel, and A2’s wind speeds can get up to 85 miles per hour, so why not try it? After cranking things up, McFarland has only one thought, saying, “this video is going to be all wind noise!!”

McFarland quickly got to business, saying, “OK guys, so now not we got to see what its like in here, we’re all going to go into the control room, leave Leroy in here by himself, and we’re going to do a control test, spin these bad boys up again and see what Leroy’s drag coefficient is as he sits.”

Leroy vette kart aerodynamics

Now, the video is one of the longest ever made by McFarland, but it is also quite intensive as well, and definitely worth the watch. Serious consideration is done to try to solve the problem of Leroy’s huge pockets of dead air all around the car. As a matter of fact, the car would be aero limited to a top speed of about 175 miles per hour if it made 500-600 horsepower. Obviously, that’s not a worry in the 1/8th mile, but in the 1/4 mile there’s some serious speed still on the table.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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