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Some of this week's Letters to the Editor!

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AutoSpeed Lotto Picks

I thought after reading the 'Response' column of current issue, that on a lighter note to the depressing lack of funds to change vehicle ownership, you could have an AutoSpeed winning lotto numbers pick (like Woman's Day etc do). So if like me, the next car you'd like to try is a Porsche 924 (I'll explain later if requested as to why) - perhaps numbers 9 and 24 would be first up, then the cost for a mint example (minus the thousands) eg 17. Then the horsepower at flywheel eg 168 to be 16 and 8... and the sixth and final crucial number... the number of lays you will expect to notch up on your belt while owning a Porsche (for me since 0 is not played, I'll have to go for 45 :)

"And the winning numbers are... 9, 24, 17, 16, 8, 45... the supplementary numbers..."

Out the door with ticket in hand to the local Porsche dealership!

David Traianou

Guest Columnist Comment

To Tom Harley... ["Guest Column"] that'd be why race drivers need race licences (and they don't race on shared public roads), or pilots need specialised training.

I would have thought you'd have arrived that the 'lowest common denominator' conclusion well before 3 full pages of (not-very-useful) diatribe.

Can't escape it... we're surrounded by idiots (which seems to be your point). The only part you missed is this... occasionally you will become one of those idiots, as will I, as will everyone. It's human nature.

Peter Schurr

Bellmouths #1

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I thought your article on the homemade bell-mouths ["Ballistic Bellmouths"] was very resourceful and useful. I would really like to see more of these sorts of articles if possible. Lastly would it be possible to have some more information on A/R ratios of turbos, such as choosing the correct size? I know it is a very difficult subject to cover and it has been covered before somewhat, but I think it would be good if it was covered in more detail. Thanks for you time.

Samuel Quadflieg

We are in the planning stages of producing a really detailed series of articles written by a real expert in the turbocharging field.

Bellmouths #2

This is a great mag - great article on the bellmouths. It would be great if you could write on technical fabrications on exhaust and intake manifolds ie what's involved in making them ie formulas for tuned length runners for people who like having a go at modifications instead of just buying stuff off the shelf and spending wads of money and its good stuff to learn and really interesting. Or at least recommend a book on this subject.


Julian Edgar's book - 21st Century Performance - has coverage of custom intake and exhaust manifolds. Our article on intake systems ["Breathing Deeply"] is largely drawn from that book. For purely calculating lengths, an engine simulation software program is a good approach. But be aware that even major car companies - with lots of computer modelling at their disposal - still build many prototypes for testing.

The Desired Tarago

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I read with interest your article on the Toyota Tarago ["New Car Test - Toyota Tarago GLi"]. There are a couple of things that Toyota could do to improve the models available in Oz.

1. Install 3-point seat belts in all 8 seating positions.
2. Make the 3-litre 6 cylinder engine available here. The vehicle is designed for it, Toyota Australia has decided not to offer it. If it were to be offered please don't only offer it on a top of the range vehicle, make it available across the range.

For my use the current GLi spec, plus ABS, cruise, 3.0 litre engine and the 8 properly belted seating positions would be fine.

Thanks for the interesting articles; you cover a lot of ground.

George Tillett

Speed Kills

Regarding the two articles on "Speed Kills..." (starts at "Speed Kills - the Big Lie?") I have a problem, not with the actual content, but in understanding the ramifications of what is being said.

Firstly, the initial article talks about setting the speed limits at the 85th percentile of traffic speed. At the moment, the 85th percentile is above the speed limit. If the speed limits are raised to this level, what is the chance that motorists will exceed THIS speed limit, thus raising the 85th percentile, and therefore prompting calls for a further increase in the speed limits. The vicious circles bites.

Secondly, in the subsequent article, it talks about the increased risk of an accident as speed increases. I have to admit that I am no angel when it comes to adherence to the speed limits. Particularly on the highway, I may sit up to 20 km/h above the limit. And around suburban roads, I may sit 10kmh above the limit - well, everyone else is. Now here is my problem - with all these flirtations with speed, why is it that I can lay claim to an accident-free period of some 18 years? I guess I must be an exception to the rule. But if there is an exception to the rule, then why is it an exception? Why have I been blessed with this enviable driving record when I am clearly at a higher risk of being involved in a crash?

I know what it is - I have taught myself how to drive - not simply how to get a licence, but how to drive. How to handle an oversteer skid; how to stand on the brake pedal and not lock the brakes (no ABS when I learned!).

If proper driver education is not the answer to the problem, then why do the state police forces send their own people on various advanced driver training courses?

Greg Brown

More Late Model Tech

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Thanks for the great magazines and excellent informative articles. Articles such as the current one in relation to Fords and Jim Mock ["Promise Delivered"] must satisfy large numbers of your readers and are particularly informative. Driving a current Magna sports, obviously a similar type article on Magnas would be appreciated, however I realise that you would have many other considerations in hand. I recently followed a newly registered 'Ralliart' Magna, obviously a manual and hope that eventually you can undertake a test of that vehicle.

Michael Munns

We cover every late model power up that we find. We hope to test the Ralliart Magna soon.

Tyres Not Like That

Great job on a very neat website. I just got done reading article "Tyres, Grip and All That..." on tyre physics and I can't help but comment. I found this article interesting, as this topic is widely misunderstood, and have to disagree with Mr. Dennis Jensen on one point. Contact patch DOES have an effect on traction. He states, "The size of the contact patch has no bearing on the amount of grip generated at all." What a crock of shit! Even without the elementary knowledge of physics this editor is displaying, common sense should tell you that more contact area equals more traction. Why do dragsters run 18-inch+ slicks with 10 psi - for more contact area.

And if common sense is something that is lacking, the physics is flawed because it does not take any account of the adhesion factor. (YES, there IS an adhesion factor ...the road is not flat, it is rough) The formula for grip or traction has to do with force, coefficient of friction, and adhesion. Obviously, adhesion is calculated and is directly proportionate to contact area. Even beyond this, on a molecular level, with a larger contact area, there are more molecules that have a micro stretch and return effect to help keep the tyre adhered, without spinning.

I know my spelling, grammar, etc sucks, but it surely isn't as inaccurate as your physics. Have a nice day! :)

Troy Bibus

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