Seriously, can you imagine what this blog would look like if I had the funds and facilities to make everything that popped out of my fevered imagination. Think an amalgam of The Hacksmith, Cleetus McFarland, and Mythbusters, on crack with a side order of Battlebots, and I can’t even think of an analogy for the human powered monstrosities. Speaking of which I was contemplating a pedal powered cell phone charger using readily available parts using an old kid’s bike I have in the garage, a stool, a alternator, a 12V SLA battery out of a lawnmower, and a cigarette lighter plug USB outlet. You would have to supply your own charge cord, but if you had good cadence you could get your phone from zero to 85% in about 15 minutes. Cell phones have relatively tiny batteries and can stand charge rates of 5C up to 85% without damage. Seriously most of your charge time is spent packing that last 15% in without damaging the cell, because that’s where the Lithium cell starts building the heat. A healthy non-athlete can easy put out 150 watts for 15 minutes, back when I was riding every day I tested at 150 watts for an hour and was barely breathing hard by the end of the hour. That was the year I managed to finally finish the Hotter ‘n’ Hell Hundred without breaking the bike.
Anywho, back to the finding a sponsor for my madness, who do you think would be a good match? I’m thinking a pharmaceutical company on account of how many years I spent as a lab rat. Something along the lines of the old “Better living through chemistry” slogan DuPont used to have. Or maybe a casket maker, “Opus will never need our products, but you will eventually!” Or maybe an energy drink that wants to show how their product sharpens the mind. The possibilities are endless… as are the reasons to use somebody else as a spokesperson.
I just had a flash on the last one; “I was killed in 2001, if 20,000 Volt Energy Drink keeps me moving just think what it will do for you.” Yeah, I know morbid and silly. That’s actually a pretty good description for me personality wise. Anyway background of a recreation of the wreck scene with a CGI depiction of my body crushing the truck’s roof and flying through the air while the not-dead me extols the invigorating qualities of 20,000 Volt Energy. “The blend of caffeine, B-Complex vitamins, and amino acids combined with that fresh citrus taste really keep me going through those long creative sessions inventing usefully fun stuff. Sure beats chasing people down for their brains. And remember, when they scrape your broken body off the street, pop the top on a 20KV and say you’re not ready for a body bag yet.”
You think Monster Energy is ready for a new sub-brand yet?
I sometimes try to not think about the Sprint-T, and think about other things I want to make, like bicycles and furniture (I have a plan for a bed stand/storage thing to put a mattress on that has been rattling around my head for years ever since the last repair to the futon frame), but for some reason I always seem to keep coming back to race cars for SCCA Solo Racing A/MOD class. The rules are simple, minimum wheelbase of 72″, minimum tread of 42″ and minimum weight of 900 pounds with driver. A few safety rules to protect the driver in case of a rollover, and that about covers it. Oh and a maximum of 20 ft2 total wing surface and unlimited underbody downforce developers, bodywork covering tires optional, that kind of thing.
My design philosophy has been lots of tire and suspension built to keep it square to the road, lots of brakes and an engine that can motivate without adding too much weight. Usually I come up with motorcycle or go kart powered things that have all the weight in the center of the wheelbase and as close to the centerline of the car as possible, but the latest fantasy was an LS7 coupled to a shorty Powerglide mounted to the right of the chassis and the driver seat to the left just enough to balance left-to-right, and a chain coupled transfer case to get the power to the center of the chassis to line up to the input of the rear, and front, axles. That’s right AWD traction to get 505 HP to hook up on a sub 1000 pound car. Of course I’ll never have the funds or facility to build this mini-monster, but it’s fun to think about. Given that there is scant difference in weight between the various naturally-aspirated LS engines but huge differences in low-end torque it makes sense to go for the 7 liter big dog, and the shorty Powerglide is the lightest transmission capable of handling a standing start that will bolt to the LS family bellhousing pattern (which it shares with the venerable SBC first sold in 1955), and the possibility of 4 smoking tires when the loud pedal is used too enthusiastically were just too much for my fevered imagination to bypass, so I didn’t. Estimated weight is 900 pounds without driver making it weigh about 1100 with my lard ass in the driver’s seat, or about 2 pounds per HP on 93 octane pump gas. The number of cars with this power-to-weight that are intended to make right and left turns on the regular in competition can be enumerated on the fingers of one foot. I think there are a few sprint cars in the same ballpark, but they are literal grenades, and there were some F1 turbo cars back in the 3-liter formula days that might be in the same power range, but again those were literal bombs on wheels with 1499.9 cc turbocharged engines putting out about 900 HP in qualifying trim and good for maybe 3 laps at full chat and very little time at rated output before exposing the inner works to the world. And if you think I’m exaggerating look up some YouTube videos of late ’70s to mid ’80s F1 qualifying sessions especially the Renault powered cars. In comparison the LS7 is an anvil used as a paperweight
So anywho, you have insight on my fantasies of power and glory, enjoy!