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.

9 Responses to 'Fourteen years of innovation'

Subscribe to comments with RSS

  1. Budhi Santoso said,

    on October 16th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Happy Anniversary. I’m your reader from Indonesia. For me your magazine are the must read for performance-car modification enthusiast. You hard work make different perspective from the bolt-on in another magazine.

  2. Jerrycan said,

    on October 16th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Just the best site for a whole range of well researched and presented subjects, innovations and projects.
    Love your work!!

  3. jay said,

    on October 16th, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Happy birthday AutoSpeed. I may not have been aware of you for the full 14 years, but I certainly appreciate the alternative viewpoint and approach you take, compared with mainstream motoring media.

  4. Rich said,

    on October 17th, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Congratulations on reaching your 14th year! I’ve been a reader since about 2002 and have enjoyed each article since. Keep up the great work and cheers to another 14 years. Best wishes from an avid US reader.

  5. Roy Sallows said,

    on October 18th, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    I stumbled across your site while browsing images, and I am truly impressed at the professionalism, coherence and relevance of your entries. It is sadly rare to find anything on the ‘Net that is as coherent and useful as what you have done. Thank you for your efforts. I shall be spending a considerable amount of time here, reading and trying to assimilate your work.

  6. Nathan said,

    on October 18th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks for publishing one of the best and only decent sources of modifying info on the web. This site truly was ahead of it’s time.

    Even to this day, it’s pretty damn difficult to find information that isn’t manufacturer sponsored propaganda, or blatantly factually incorrect (ie what is found on 99% of car forums).

    So proud this came out of Australia.

  7. Mike Emerson said,

    on October 22nd, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Good job, lasting 14 years is something to be proud of. Your technical writing is fantastic and your out side the box thinking is even better. The former is sorly missing in other automotive magazines. Though I just found your site, I have already gotten many ideas for improving my cars performance and fuel economy. Again great site and keep up the good work.

  8. AUSCARS said,

    on October 22nd, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    J, you forgot to mention you ARE one of the greatest and hardest hitting car testers in Oz, period!
    By bad luck car makers/importers want *issues* glossed over or removed all together from road tests.
    Sadly we miss your real world testing and honest feedback and opinion, the other alleged “journos” in Australia [thats nearly every single other] should bow there head in shame….”cash-for-comments”

  9. Odysseyesm said,

    on October 25th, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Always getting back to your site. I’m an Adelaide reader I’ve been following your articles since the Fueltronics and Zoom days and GP’s muffler test (Has he still got the GM powered Cobra with the Volvo radiator?). I still remember standing on ANZAC Hwy at Kurrulta Park watching you come past giving the Daihatsu a bootful. It was huffing and puffing with the front end popping up and down on the gear changes – I was hooked on turbo cars from then on. Nice Work I’ve learned a lot on here.