Accompanying image for Slow Car Fast?  No.  Fast Car ... Way Slow.

 

Slow Car Fast? No. Fast Car ... Way Slow.

Two-hundred forty frames per second. It's a beautiful thing.

Racing
 
Thumb picture SVT_MAN - Aug 01, 2017

 

 

If you watched "Top Gear" back when the current “Grand Tour” boys were still the stars, you may have seen James May’s review of the Fiat Panda.  He made a point that I still find myself returning to at times.

If you don’t have a minute or two to watch the review yourself, here's the Cliffs Notes: driving a slow car on the edge is more fun than driving a fast car nowhere near its limit.  To be honest, I tend to agree.

Look, I love cars with a lot of horsepower. 

Camaro. 

M3. 

Challenger. 

Mustang. 

Whatever else there is out there with some ponies under the hood. 

But they all have one thing in common in their newest iterations: nearly unapproachable limits on public roads.  To actually use the vehicles to their fullest, you’ll need a racetrack or a drag strip.

Let’s focus on the drag strip for a minute.  If you have a fast car, the drag strip is a perfect place to unleash your vehicle’s full capability in a straight line. 

So fast cars can approach or reach their limits on the racetrack.  Which is great if you are the driver.  But what about people who are watching the drag race?  Is it enjoyable to watch these fast cars at the drag strip?

Well ... it can be.  But I have a problem with watching fast cars drag race.

Here's the beef: The faster the car, the shorter amount of time you get to enjoy it racing down the track.

Don't get me wrong - watching the brutal acceleration of a properly prepared drag car can be amazing and fun to watch.  But it's just a shame that it's all over so quickly.

But fear not.  Don Ford of Dream Machines Video Series seems to have found a solution to this problem.  It comes in the form of amazing camera technology that shoots at a mind-blowing two-hundred forty (240) frames per second.

At this speed, something amazing happens.  Suddenly drag racing is not only interesting again, but downright poetic and beautiful.

You see the tires flex.  You see the metal strain.  You see the chassis bend and shake.  You see panels go out of alignment ( ... err, more out of alignment, in some cases).

Somehow seeing friction in action is more interesting than hearing about it.  If physics class had been this interesting, maybe you would have been inspired to be an engineer.  (Or maybe you are an engineer - in which case, kudos.)

But enough babbling on about this.  Just watch it already!

 
 

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