We had the honour to create the bodywork design for the Silvermine 11SR track racer. Its beautiful race chassis was designed and built by a single man, Frank van Rouendal. His skills as a marine engineer and machine constructor led to a beautiful uncommon piece of engineering, that he built in his own garage over the course of 10+ years.
In collaboration with Marco van Overbeeke, we created the exterior design for the Silvermine 11SR, a track day dedicated race car.
Usually, engineering and exterior/interior product design happen simultaneously within an integrated design process. However, in this case there was a unique situation because of the unusual sequence of events. First the chassis had been developed and built. Then an exterior had to be designed, tailored to fit. The 11SR is the embodiment of Van Rouendal’s racing and engineering dreams. His straight forward approach to create this lightweight chassis inspired us very much during the exterior design process. This is the main reason a choice was made to not cover the raw chassis completely, but show the craftsmanship in certain places.
We tailored the new exterior around the hard points the chassis provided us with. The main challenge for us was to play with the high contrast between curved and sensual body work and the hard core rigid chassis, and especially where the both meet. Inspired by the great race car heritage of the 50’s-60’s-70’s, a design has come to life evoking echoes of a bygone era. As the design evolved, these familiar lines were rediscovered and carefully penned down into a recognizable new blend. The result is a timeless design, a car that induces associations with highlights from the past. It is not intended as a retro design, but a deliberate search for where old meets new, where nostalgia meets contemporary engineering.
Classically sensual lines meet a very straight-forward and functional race chassis. The design is clean with very few lines and contains a classic curved beltline, voluptuous wheel arches and classic surface treatment. The air ducts are kept simple and purely functional, no excessive design is applied. The form language of some elements are inspired by elementary fabrication techniques, like the front nose grill (milling aluminium), side skirts and rear diffuser (pressing and bending sheet metal).
At the rear, the exposed chassis frame shows its raw engineering and functionality. Underneath the tailgate, the engine bay is visible as is the gear lever mechanism and the adjustable rear suspension. The complete exhaust system is not even styled at all. The front suspension is visible through the wind shield which itself is also part of the nose air duct outlet. Opening the front and rear hood, exposes the carefully crafted chassis with bolt-on sub frames and adjustable suspension with the one-of-a-kind uprights.
The off-the-shelf headlights and the brackets on which they are mounted, are maintained as Van Rouendal has originally fabricated them. They are fully visible through the front light panel, providing also a peak into the car’s front internals. The transparent engine cover exposes the longitudinally placed 325 hp Subaru 3.0 liter six-cylinder boxer engine. One of the most exquisite and remarkable pieces of engineering on the car is the exposed gearshift system.
For more info, see www.silvermine.nl