3 Oct 2010

Went round and round on the engine cover and finally made a decision. The conflicting goals are: easy to make, looks good, light, cheap, low drag, and efficiently gets rid of engine heat. Like all styling decisions, it doesn’t accomplish all these goals and will have supporters and detractors – so be it. Yes it’ll be draggy (but how much more than something that’s a PITA to fabricate?), and no doubt some will think “I would have done it different.” But at the end of the day a decision has to be made so things can move forward.

Slots or holes may be put in the rear surface of the rear fenders to lesson drag – but how much will it help? I may ask our aerodynamicist for a final look, no doubt shaking his head. The pictures aren’t flattering because there isn’t a sense of how small the car is. Without that scale it admittedly makes the cover look huge, but it looks much better in person. Hopefully it’ll look okay once the car’s completed. The total vent area is roughly 1.8 sq-ft, so the idea is to make each side vent opening about half that (yes I know it’s not as simple as the open vent area due to fluid dynamics.)

After that, the side vents were sized up – same thing, a decision has to be made and it was. The panel shown is doable with one sheet with one single-plane bend. I’ll mess with the curve on the inlet a bit more, probably curving the top corner back forwards a tad. Is it perfect? What does perfect mean, anyway? Will everyone like it? Hah, I can already hear the heads shaking; I’ll never make everyone happy, but as someone said, how much like a Lotus Seven is the goal? It is its own thing. Builders can do their own thing, but when it’s done, know that people will say, “I would have done it different…”