Fourteen years of innovation

Posted on October 16th, 2012 in Driving Emotion by Julian Edgar

Today marks the launch of the 14th anniversary issue of AutoSpeed – we began in October 1998.

Over those 14 years we have covered many unique approaches to DIY car modification – and DIY tech in general.  I am proud of that history of innovation and lateral thought:  it’s also something I think undervalued by many. (To put this another way, if we stop publishing tomorrow, I am sure that in five years’ time many people would trumpet about the ‘good old days of AutoSpeed’ and ‘wasn’t the stuff they did fantastic’!).

Those innovative and unique stories include:

DIY aerodynamic testing and development – including measuring the effectiveness of bonnet vents, front spoilers and undertrays; and visualising airflow over cars by use of tufting and on-road testing.

Low cost DIY electronic modules – including interceptors, rpm and voltage switches, temperature alarms and displays, current pulsers, air conditioner controllers, intelligent intercooler spray controllers and air/fuel ratio monitoring.

Ground-breaking modifications – including electronically altering power steering weight, modifying regenerative braking on a hybrid, supercharging and then turbocharging a hybrid, switching off stability control without affecting traction control, and electronically modifying EGR for better fuel economy.

Down-to-earth and straightforward coverage of topics that many people find difficult – including aerodynamics, suspension design, electronics and current car technology.

The design and building of lightweight and sophisticated pedal-powered recumbent vehicles – including one with arguably the best suspension design (and so best ride/handling compromise) of any such vehicle in the world.

I could go on – simple modelling of spaceframe structures, all the good bits you can find in discarded goods like photocopiers and printers and VCRs, innovative intercooling approaches, how to use hand tools, measuring on-road acceleration using a boat clinometer, finding intake system restrictions…

And so to this issue’s main story: designing and building your own tuned mass vibration dampers to stop driving light vibration.

It’s another ground-breaking story of the sort I have seen nowhere else.