Friday, 22 November 2013

Torque wins trophies!

The long winter nights spent in the garage working on my 1957 MGA have proven to be fruitful. Strengthening the front springs has reduced the annoying wheel spin from the inside rear wheel when hard cornering, allowing exit speeds to be increased. The engine rebuild has also increased brake horse power from 109 to 124 and torque from 105 to 129 ft.lbs. The new camshaft has given me torque at lower revs, working to the adage, “torque wins trophies” rather than max power. 

The engine took longer to build than expected as everything has to be built, measured, stripped, machined and rebuilt to get it right. Everything has to be matched together, valve sizes, compression, bore size; some people call this “blue printing”. Once built and run in, around Wales one winter weekend, the car was then set up on a rolling road which enables the car to be tuned at maximum speed without leaving the garage.

The season is now over and I have defended my Luffield Championship title again. It came down to the last run of my season at Prescott and I was very pleased with my performance under pressure from 3 of my fellow competitors who were all getting some very quick times. It took a new class record to finally clinch the title.

Now I need to figure out how to get more speed out of the old car again this winter. Hmmm!!!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Birmingham engineering firm involved in the UK’s bid to break the World Land Speed record

I was proud to learn this week that a Birmingham engineering firm is playing a crucial role to help the UK’s bid to break the World Land Speed record.

Aluminium specialist metalweb is helping to develop the wheels for the Bloodhound SSC (Super Sonic Car). Metalweb is working closely with Castle Precision Engineering and Bloodhound SSC to develop the bespoke aluminium wheels. The aluminium road wheels, which comprise of a solid aluminium disc and a separate dust cover, have now been completed and they will soon undergo testing early next year. It is essential that the wheels must remain in contact with the ground during the attempt and they have to be capable of absorbing immense levels of heat without distorting.

Mark Benfield, Sales Director at metalweb, said: “We are extremely honoured to have been approached by Bloodhound SSC and Castle Precision Engineering to be a part of such an exciting project. We hope that our involvement with a 1,000mph vehicle will showcase how extraordinary engineering can be, and the great things it can achieve".

Richard Noble engineering entrepreneur and former record holder has assembled a team and is currently developing the vehicle which it hopes will top 1,000 mph/ Mach 1.4 in the remote desert in South Africa in 2013. Their aim is to top the current land speed recored of 760mph was set in 1997. The team comprises of the best of British engineering talent to ensure success.

Mark also explains that the project is also about, "re-establishing a belief in the value of engineering; not only in introducing new talent to the industry, but also the potential impact it could have on the nation’s economy.”

I will be following their efforts and I hope success very closely.