March 20, 2014. The New England Auto Museum (NEAM) launched its automotive collection and educational initiatives with their acceptance of the donation of the Delta Thor X-110 chassis produced by Connecticut-based Tyndall Motor Car Company. This innovative aluminum space frame chassis designed by Bruce Tyndall in 1964 was visionary for its advanced impact-absorbing qualities. Tyndall continued development of the chassis and began construction of the frame in 1967. His body-styling drawings present a European-tradition sporty roadster.
Tyndall, a mathematics professor, has had a lifelong fascination with all forms of transportation, especially automobile design. Born in 1930 in Iowa City, Iowa, his interest in automotive engineering was influenced (yet discouraged) by his father, a professor of physics. Tyndall began designing his impact-absorbing aluminum framed car in the early 1960s while teaching in the Department of Mechanics at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; his research on the absorption qualities of aluminum was enhanced by fellow Professor James F. Bell’s studies on the deformation of metal when struck by a high-velocity object.
In 1980, the Society of Automotive Engineers published Tyndall’s “An Aluminum Automobile Structure to Absorb Impact” analysis of the use of aluminum to create lighter, safer and more fuel-efficient car platforms. Ford and Chrysler hired him in the 1980s and 1990s to design aluminum framing for impact testing.
Tyndall’s plans and research documents and related parts, including a small Hercules truck engine round out the donation.
“The New England Auto Museum is grateful to Bruce Tyndall for his generous contribution,” states Michael E. Scheidel, NEAM Founder and CEO. “Mr. Tyndall’s car frame and studies are central to the educational mission of the Museum as we partner with schools to realize his goal of building the body.”