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RE: [T3] Fastback rear shelf...

I dug around a little and got some data to support this.  Removing the
package tray and rearseat strainer on a Taurus reduces the torsion stiffness
of the body structure by 17%!!!  Probably why we put it in there in the
first place. 8^)

As I said early, this effect is probably a bit less on our cars because of
the hybrid body construction, but I would bet it still reduces it more than
10%.  I would say that is significant.

On the Squareback vs. Fastback or Notchback question, the Square would be
less torsionally stiff than the other two since the roof panel is larger and
the size of the rear opening is bigger.  Unless of course VW did something
to compensate.  I will see if I can find data comparing sedans with wagons
to get a sense of how much of a change there is.

As a side note for those DARKSIDERS out there thinking about cutting the
roof off of their car, a convertible is typically less than HALF as stiff as
its sister coupe, even after all compensations that can be economically made

John Jaranson
'71 FI Auto Fasty (Jane)

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