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There are two main types of bodywork:

1) Human Touch Bodywork:

This "bodywork" refers to the touch and/or manipulation of one body by another for healing/health reasons. Most popular in this category are massage, chiropractic, osteopathy, Breema, Shiatsu, and Soft Tissue Therapy.

2) In automotive engineering, the bodywork of an automobile is the structure which protects:

  • The occupants
  • Any other payload
  • The mechanical components.

In vehicles with a frame or chasis, the term bodywork is normally applied to only the non-structural panels, including doors and other movable panels, but it may also be used more generally to include the structural components which support the mechanical components.


Automotive Bodywork

There are three main types of automotive bodywork:

  • The first automobiles were modelled on horse-drawn vehicles, and had body-on-frame construction with a wooden frame and wooden or metal body panels. Wooden-framed motor vehicles remained in production until the middle of the 20th century, for example the MG A which continued in production until 1962.
  • A steel chasis or ladder frame replaced the wooden frame. This form of body-on-frame construction is still common for trucks.
  • Monocoque construction, in which the metal body itself provides support as well as protection and there is no separate frame or chasis. Steel monocoque construction is now the most common form of car bodywork.

Less common types include tube frame and space frame designs used for high-performance cars. There have also been various hybrids, for example the Volkswagen Beetle had a chasis, consisting of the floor pan, door sills and central tunnel, but this chasis relied on the stiffening provided by the bodywork, a technique sometimes called semi-monocoque construction.

Non-structural body panels have been made of wood, steel, aluminium, fibreglass and several more exotic materials.

Body styles

There are several common car body styles:

See also