Learning something new…

Posted on September 21st, 2003 in Opinion by Julian Edgar

It’s easy to think that vehicle aerodynamics is an esoteric topic not really relevant to typical modified cars. After all, goes the common refrain, if you’re not driving at 150 km/h, who cares? That viewpoint can be supported by some recent Australian cars which seem to be developed more with styling in mind rather than slipping cleanly through the air – the latest Mitsubishi Magna didn’t see the inside of a wind tunnel and HSV products are now developed without tunnel testing.

However, to take that view would be short-sighted – as car manufacturers chase increasingly better fuel economy, you can be sure that low-drag aero will start making a comeback. Of course, for many manufacturers, aero attention never went away…

It’s been an exciting weekend.

Posted on September 7th, 2003 in Opinion by Julian Edgar

It’s been an exciting weekend.

Genuinely exciting.

I have been testing one of the projects from an electronics book I am doing with Silicon Chip Publications. I’ve been selling work to Silicon Chip, an Australian electronics magazine, for a long time – in fact something like a decade. Over that period I have written many articles about car electronic systems, in addition to covering topics as diverse as electric lighting technologies and washing machines.

But what I have been testing over the weekend is all about modified cars.

It began when about six months ago I had a discussion with the publisher of Silicon Chip, Leo Simpson. He asked: how would I like to come up with all sorts of ideas for electronics projects that could be applied to high performance cars? After I devised the concept, the magazine’s chief electronics designer – an unsung genius called John Clarke – would do the hard work (including building the prototype) and then I’d do the on-car testing. And after we’d got a bunch of projects together, they’d be published in a magazine-style book.