The list of parts you can throw at your C2 or C3 Corvette to make it handle better is a seemingly endless parade. But what if you started your suspension and handling upgrades with an entirely new chassis? Sure, replacing a complete chassis is a big job. But what if that new chassis had the best of both worlds, true race platform design and still bolted up to a stock body? And what if said chassis had just the right amount of manners for the street? If you're starting to get a smile just thinking about that elusive combination, you'll be happy to know such a product is very much real and ready to slide under your favorite car. That's because the folks at Ruth Engineering & Racing and Jamison Fabrication Unlimited used exactly that simple formula to create a true tube chassis that is both race caliber and will bolt up to a stock body without cutting any body parts. They call it the Triple Threat Advantage (TTA). If that isn't enough to get your juices going, think about these features: The Triple Threat Advantage chassis can be used with C4 or C5 components and utilize modern Corvette rack and pinion steering. And those are just a few of this new chassis's features.
It's 2010 and that means things have changed quite a bit since C2/C3's stock chassis first rolled off the assembly lines. It also might mean the one you have is rusted or corroded and in need of replacement. It might mean the weak points of your stock chassis have been compromised and are putting your safety in jeopardy-not to mention giving up valuable handling. Then there's the platform issue. You'd love to hang some sexy new chassis components on it. Maybe you're thinking about bigger brakes and a more aggressive suspension. But if your chassis reminds you of the silk purse-cow's ear analogy, why hang top of the line parts on it? To get the most out of those parts, you'll need a chassis that is stiffer in torsional strength to get the most out of those goodies.
The 100 percent round tubing composition of the Triple Threat Advantage chassis means a race-like quality platform for any new chassis pieces you'll throw on it. The design of this chassis wasn't just another attempt to cash in on the Corvette market. Designed by Corvette people (see sidebar), the goal was to eliminate the rust-prone and weak design and go the extra steps required for those wanting real performance from their chassis. The TTA chassis's main rails are comprised of three-count 'em, three-tubes to ensure maximum solidity. Those three tubes are two inches in diameter and gently curve up front to meet at the centerline of the front suspension for the best possible control of chassis energies. In the back, those three tubes converge into a three-inch-diameter crossmember that also supports the forward pivot points of the rear suspension. Along the way, there is a substantial amount of triangulation everywhere to keep those chassis forces in check and allow the platform to properly handle and distribute suspension loads. Another crossmember, this one for the transmission, is also three inches in diameter and connects the main rails in the middle of the chassis. It also offers pass-throughs for exhaust pipes up to four inches in diameter. Suffice to say the flex in this chassis has been kept to a minimum. In fact, the nickname that's been used the most regarding the TTA is "The Stiffie."
When we looked into the construction of this chassis, the first thing we noticed was the fact that it's 100 percent TIG welded making it super strong and sexy. The chassis material is DOM or 4130 seamless tubing and it's fitted into jigs before welding for controlled consistency and quality.
The maintenance aspect of this chassis was well thought out as well. One of the bigger pains with some chassis is sustaining chassis stiffness yet still including access for changing out assemblies such as the tranny and rear end. The Triple Threat Advantage chassis offers easy tranny work with a slick crossmember that is removable regardless of tranny type. Out back, there's easy, bolt-in removal/install of the rear end assembly via the drop axle cradle. Both of these features combine to offer yet another feature in that none of the chassis' integrity has been reduced by providing the ease of workability. Better yet, these features have no ill effect on maintaining the all important stiffer middle, frame kick-up or rear end of the main rails..
You'll also be happy to know there is no cutting of any fiberglass body parts required for mounting the TTA under stock or stock appearing bodies. Likewise, no relocation of the battery is required. The Triple Threat Advantage chassis also offers use of stock fuel tanks, bumpers, brackets, and even emergency brake mounts as other valuable features.
When ordering a TTA, there is a surprising amount of flexibility for chassis component options. Owners can work with the chassis builders and set up exactly what suspension systems will be used on their new chassis. The TTA is the first of a number of chassis from this group. Got a fancy for building a C1 with a straight axle? They can do it. Thinking about going the opposite direction and having a C1 with C6 suspension? Yep, they have that, too. Vintage racers who need a better chassis yet have to use OEM steering boxes and related parts and this chassis will work there as well. You can order your Triple Threat Advantage pretty much any way you want it. So instead of thinking about all those dreamy new parts and if they'd fit your Corvette, think how you can order a better chassis and know those parts will fit.
Ruth And Jamieson-Who Are These Guys?
Ruth Restorations, Inc has been in business for 50 years just outside Cleveland, Ohio. It all started in 1958 when Bob Ruth, already a road racer running 290hp fuelie Corvettes, worked on other racers' cars and developed a name for himself. A service station quickly became too small for all the work he was doing on SCCA racers wrecking their Corvettes on weekends and other Corvette owners. It wasn't long before son Craig got into the business and armed with an engineering degree, starting looking at race frames for the early cars as an option to the original, rust prone frame. The biggest thing that demanded improvement was the main framerails followed by a better degree of adjustability for the suspension. Craig came up with the initial design and contacted long time friend and fabricator, Andrew Jamieson.
Andrew and his dad, Richard, make up Jamieson Fabrication Unlimited, a state of the art fabrication shop in Richland, Michigan. They make custom, one-off fixtures and prototypes for all applications and offer machining services. It's a father and son business with over 70 years of combined experience in fabricating, machining, and engineering. They make custom tube chassis, fixture tube chassis, suspensions, rollbars and rollcages to NHRA and SCCA specs, fuel and oil tank fabrication, exhaust systems with custom styles, R&D and prototype work for multiple industries. Another valuable asset to Jamieson is Jordan Vanbelle, whose experience in body and paint keep those aspects involved in the design of all products. Ruth Restorations, Inc., Ruth Engineering & Racing, Inc., and Jamieson Fabrication Unlimited are the distributors of the Triple Threat Advantage Corvette chassis.