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Swamp Buggy Anatomy

Posted in Events on June 1, 2007
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The rig is completely custom from the chassis to the bodywork. It is approximately 9 feet wide and 20 feet long.

Swamp buggies are completely custom made. While they're designed to accomplish the same basic goal, each is one-of-a-kind. Most have been built by their owners, based on the theory that they know what works in this type of racing environment.

We hit the pits, surveyed a number of rigs, and talked with several drivers. What follows is a look at the interesting tech being applied to the "Barefoot Too" Six-Cylinder Class buggy driven by Scott Marcotte. This buggy is the prerunner of the swamp-buggy world.

The front suspension uses coilover shocks and the steering is fully hydraulic. Notice how the suspension is longer on the driver's left than it is on his right. Since most of the high-speed turns at the Florida Sports Park are righthand turns, this gives the vehicle greater stability at speed. Also note the skis on the front suspension. These give the buggy the ability to skim over deep water like a boat. When the buggy rides up on the skis, the front wheels act as rudders so the driver has total steering control. The front and rear axles on this rig are also cocked (in other words, the distance is greater from front to rear wheels on the driver's left than they are on the driver's right) to aid in fast cornering.

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