Safety gear

How to mount a roll cage foot with bolts through a renforcing plate

None of the motorsport competitions I do actually require much safety gear but my car has a few bits anyway. I wouldn’t hillclimb or sprint a Midget (or any other open car) without them.

Fire extinguisher mounts neatly and out of the way in front of passenger

Most dramatic is a substantial roll cage, complete with door bars (these might be a problem in a competition Midget – see below). You’ll nned to read the Blue book for details about how to mount the cage but you’ll need to weld some steel plates to the floor and then bolt the cage to them. Slightly strangely the scrutinneers will let you race without a cage but if ou have one that isn’t fitted as per the blue book they won’t so you’ll need to get it right.

The cage!

My Midget’s cage still allows the roof to go up and down as normal. Not all do nd this might be something you want to check first.

I have seen a Mini barrel roll during a sprint a Goodwood. It must have rolled 3 or 4 times and the guy just opened the door and got out.

Obviously a rollcage is pretty heavy and in such a low powered car as a Midget every gram counts. But I think it is probably worth a few tenths by making me feel safe enough to push pretty hard. It also stifens the whole car up which should make it handle better.

I’ve also got a big set of harnesses too. People say these have the bonus of holding me very still and therefore making it easier to drive accurately (though when I’ve competed in my Boxster using just a three point belt I haven’t found this as a problem).

I really ought to get a competition seat too. The MSA insist the car has head restraints and my car does – the tiny standard ones. But – and here’s a warning for those thinking of new seats – the space between the door bars and the seats is so small that standard competition seats won’t fit. They are available in smaller sizes but hey are really expensive – £400 rather than the £120 that basic competition seats cost.

I’ve got a fire extinguisher that mounts neatly on the monocoque which has a beam that just infront of the seats. This allows a fairly bulky item to mount within easy reach of the drive without getting in the way of the passenger.

2 Responses to Safety gear

  1. Colin Mee says:

    I bought a ’67 Sprite last year and am intending to start hillclimbing at Loton Park, just a few miles from here. Most things are in place, but I’m not happy with the way the roll bar I’ve bought fits. I’m thinking of getting a RollCentre bar but even they don’t have a picture of their older 38mm bar so I’ve been trawling the net for days trying to find one. Your ‘the cage!’ pic above is the only one I’ve found! I believe the one you had on your Midget was the 38mm bar which allows the hood to be used, the new 41mm bar doesn’t. From the other pictures on your site it looks as though this is the bar I want, but I’ve been stung once so I want to make sure before I buy again. Do you have any pictures that you could forward showing the whole bar clearly? Is the diagonal bar welded on or bolted onto the main hoop? Did your bar have a harness bar or did you mount your harnesses by bolting them direct to the structure?

    Here’s hoping this message reaches you – I’ll certainly be returning to the site because you’ve got loads of helpful information.

    Many Thanks
    Colin Mee

    • Shoestring says:

      Hi Colin,

      I didn’t fit the cage but, as you say, it was Roll Centre and I could raise and lower the roof witht he hood in position. Mine was a late car and had a differnt hood design than the earlier cars but I don’t know when they changed over. The diagonal was welded. My harnesses were mounted to the rear bulkhead of the car, again by the previous owner, but I wouldn’t do it like that again as they were at too steep an angle really. To be honest my cage didn’t fit perfectly – there was a bigger gap on one side than the other, but I never knew if the cage or the car was wrong!

      Sorry not to reply sooner, I’ve had a look and I can’t find any better photos of the cage.

      Good luck with it all and please let me know how you get on.


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