The term monocoque (French for "single shell") was originally phrased to describe the stressed-skin tube-like structure of metal aircraft fuselages. F1 chassis designers started applying this aircraft structural technique back in the '60s, using first riveted aluminum skins, then bonded and riveted aluminum honeycomb panels, and finally one-piece composite tubs.
Most current production cars use a similar construction method, that is referred to as "unibody" construction. The only technical difference between unibody and monocoque is that the entire outer mold line surface of a monocoque structure is load bearing, while only a portion of the unibody outer mold line surface (such as the roof panel, rockers and pillars) are load bearing.
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