24th February 2017
Sadly, in spite of his efforts to ignore all his recently diagnosed health problems, Mick died about midnight on Saturday 11th February. It is just amazing how many friends and admirers he had - I think even he would have been surprised. He said he had enjoyed his life doing work he loved with no regrets, which I guess not many could say.
His funeral will be at 11.30 am on Friday March 3rd at Baston Church and then at the Bourne Corn Exchange.
Only family flowers, but any donations can be sent to the Sue Ryder Hospice in Peterborough: www.sueryder.org/carecentres/hospices/thorpe-hall-hospice.
6th February 2017
Mick Howlett - statement from Mike Pilbeam, Managing Director.
After an exciting period when Mick and others did such a superb job of presenting our stand at Autosport International, it is so very sad to have to say that Mick was quite suddenly taken ill and diagnosed with an aggressive cancer shortly afterwards. I feel sure this was actually with him before this, but in characteristic fashion he pressed on to get the job done and ignored his own problem. He has now been told that it is inoperable, but this does not stop him – he is hoping to come in to work when possible and we are ensuring that there will always be a place there and something not too physically demanding to do whenever he can manage it.
Mick has worked for the company for 40 years and has become a well known and well respected character around the hillclimb scene. Our many customers frequently comment to me on his invaluable help in a crisis when a problem needs solving and always quickly! I celebrate Mick’s many and varied abilities and helpful attitude.
11th January 2017
Pilbeam MP102 débuts at Autosport International 2017.
Our new MP102 carbon chassis will be on display for the first time at the Autosport International at the Birmingham NEC on Thursday 12th January 2017 - come and see it for yourself on Stand E883 to find out more.
It is fitted with Pilbeam suspension as supplied to many Elise and Exige racers worldwide and can accept virtually all the Elise components and can also be built with rocker inboard suspension - making it the perfect basis for an ultimate high performance road or race car. A further option is as the basis for your own GT race or road car with your design of body and suspension. The chassis can accept either transverse or in-line engine installation and the MP102 carbon chassis is half the weight of the Elise aluminium chassis.
20th December 2016
Pilbeam at Autosport International 2017.
Visit us on Stand E883 - First release of fantastic new carbon GT chassis
The new MP102 carbon chassis will be on display for the first time at the Autosport International 2017. The first chassis will soon be in the Lotus 300RR with the 1000hp Hartley-Holeshot V8 built for Osler Engineering. This will be the second version of the famous Lotus GT which won many endurance races in Malaysia and Japan.
On the show stand it will be fitted with Pilbeam suspension as supplied to many Elise and Exige racers worldwide and can accept virtually all the Elise components.
Build your own perfect race car- lots of options!
The MP102 can also be built with rocker inboard suspension and would make the perfect basis for an ultimate high performance road or race car. A further option is as the basis for your own GT race or road car with your design of body and suspension. We are happy to supply a chassis only and we can even tailor the strength and stiffness if you need an even stiffer chassis for a modest increase in weight.
The chassis can accept either transverse or in-line engine installation. Full FEA study has been carried out to establish optimum strength and stiffness.
High performance by design
Notably the MP102 carbon chassis is half the weight of the Elise aluminium chassis: Weight is 45 Kg with torsional stiffness of 17,000 N-M /degree. This balance of stiffness, weight and strength is calculated to ensure that the handling gives fantastic performance.
As well as the more common torsional stiffness criteria we have made a careful study of other important stiffness factors which are often ignored and which we have found to make a massive difference to performance.
Of course we have also looked carefully at performance in an impact to ensure optimum security for driver and passenger.
The cost of the new MP102 chassis is £25,000 +VAT for a single chassis: cost is reduced if more chassis are required. The options referred to can be made to suit your wishes.
Carbon fibre subframe for Pilbeam GT car
To match the strength and stiffness of the Pilbeam GT chassis we have also produced a subframe in carbon fibre which carries the rear suspension as well as the engine and gearbox and saves about 15Kg as well as being much stiffer than the standard frame. It has been built for the very special Lotus 300RR GT racer we have manufactured for Valerio Osler with a 1000HP in-line V8 engine.
30th November 2016
Attention all Pilbeam hillclimbers and sprinters!
ROPS APPROVAL FOR 2017 - In accordance with the new MSA requirement we are arranging to produce ROPS certificates for MP62/72/82 and MP86/88 and MP97 race cars. Please contact us as soon as possible for details. The 2017 season will soon be upon us!
10th October 2016
MP102 Carbon GT Chassis.
Our new carbon chassis is now available and the first example is currently being assembled into a GT car with Lotus 300RR suspension. It is also being adopted in new high performance road and race car projects by other manufacturers. We also offer our special version of the Lotus Elise suspension as shown on the photos.
An alternative version has a pure racer setup using rocker type inboard suspension. The chassis can accept either transverse or in-line engine installation. Full FEA study has been carried out to establish optimum strength and stiffness. Notably there is a huge weight saving compared to any comparable chassis: Weight is 45 Kg, but it also has great strength and stiffness which ensures that the handling will gives fantastic performance. Resistance to crash loads has been optimized during the FEA study.
Carbon fibre subframe for Pilbeam GT car.
To match the strength and stiffness of the Pilbeam GT chassis we have also produced a subframe to carry the rear suspension as well as the engine and gearbox. It has been specially built for the very special Lotus 300RR GT racer we have manufactured for Valerio Osler with its 1000HP in-line V8 engine.
22nd February 2016
New conversion for MP82.
Now there are a number of MP82 chassis racing, mostly using the strong but very heavy Hewland FGC gearbox, we thought an update was warranted. The first is now being completed for Andrew Dinner and promises a big improvement. The new gearbox is the sequential Hewland JFR which accepts all the existing wishbones and uprights but incorporates a better rocker system with an antiroll bar having more adjustment possibilities.
The whole package is lighter by about 25kg and as all this weight loss is behind the rear axle it will improve response and feel, i.e. it will lose any tendency to 'wag the tail', so we anticipate a new life for the well liked MP82 and a return to the superb feel of the original MP62 with the tiny LD200 gearbox . Of course the JFR can also accept our Geartronics paddle shift with all the benefits that gives too.
Now that it is compulsory to use the HANS device we can offer a low cost adaptor that fits to the chassis and places the attachments in the correct place so that the HANS device gives the support to the driver's head and neck as it is intended. This is designed for Pilbeam single seaters from the MP62 up to the MP97. Call if you need help.
At the same time as the HANS conversion it seems a good point to think of replacing seat belts which may be old or perhaps (never suggest it!) have experienced the odd nudge. We can offer the TRS belts as supplied on our new cars at a favourable price. They have been planned to be a good fit and to work well with the HANS on our cars, which has been done by specifying all details to suit car and driver, so they are not quite the same as 'off the shelf' items. Contact us for more details and prices.
15th September 2015
New partnership on the MP102 carbon chassis.
Pilbeam Racing has joined forces with Osler Engineering Sarl to build this exciting new chassis which is already finding great interest as a thoroughly up-to-date and versatile basis for many new projects requiring a superior hi-tech solution, including the MP103 GT racer (see next news article below) and others currently planned.
Valerio Osler will take delivery of the first chassis which Pilbeam will build into a mega lightweight GT car using an 800hp V8 in line engine (photo below).
New MP103 GT.
The new MP103 GT race car now under construction at our Bourne workshops is the second design to use the new MP102 carbon chassis and will be ready to race in the 2016 season.
It is designed around the new chassis and will incorporate inboard rocker suspension and aerodynamically designed underfloor profile for maximum downforce.
Two new MP101 autoclaved carbon hillclimb chassis are being built for the 2016 season with improved aerodynamics. Weight is reduced whilst retaining the traditional secure Pilbeam primary structure and driver compartment.
3rd February 2015
New MP102 multi purpose carbon chassis
Pilbeam has designed a completely new carbon chassis as a major development for the Lotus Elise/Exige to take its excellent handling and roadholding another step forward or, alternatively, as the basis of new race car with a variety of possible layouts. The Mp102multi purpose carbon chassis features a big reduction in weight as well as increased rigidity when compared to the original chassis and translates into a fantastic final package which also looks great.
The MP102 can accept all the original Elise components including crash box, bodywork, heater, dash structure and engine mountings.
- Adaptable chassis designed to accept Elise/Exige components or to form the basis of a new design.
- All carbon construction with honeycomb sandwich throughout to give maximum stiffness together with minimum weight.
- Accepts Lotus crash box, body, doors etc.
- Can use either original Lotus suspension or Pilbeam racing suspension system.
- Stronger roll hoop: a full cage can be fitted to increase stiffness and safety even further.
- Accepts Lotus rear subframe to use transverse engine.
- Front suspension uses mountings designed to give original Lotus suspension geometry; alternatively, different geometry can be used.
- Alternative installation is possible for in-line engine as on Lotus NGT (300RR).
- Larger fuel tank can be fitted or long distance events.
The chassis can also be built into any new type of sports racer or a road car with genuine two seat capability and true race bred design.
- Front suspension can be by pushrod and rocker suspension instead of conventional design. This allows the possibility to create a more aerodynamic shape with front or side radiators.
- Any new sports/GT project can be created with this extremely versatile "mother chassis" leading to a new range of rear-engined sports cars.
14th January 2014
MSA approval for Pilbeam MP101 Hyabusa
Mike Tregoning has conducted a successful shakedown test with the new MP101. The car has also been presented to the MSA's Technical Officials and passed with flying colours so now has its MSA log book, ready to compete in the 2014 season.