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Transportation Technology

Old Cars Are Getting Ahead With New Tech 53

Posted by Soulskill
from the will-send-a-tweet-when-out-of-gas dept.
An anonymous reader points out an ExtremeTech article that begins: "Historic car races might seem like the last place you'd find modern auto technology. The cars are lovingly restored to their full, authentic racing glory, and care is taken not to allow modern tweaks to improve their performance. Surprisingly, though, both the pits and the cars are crammed with modern technology to help drivers improve their performance. Long-term benefits from tech at the race track isn't confined to racers, though. Researchers are hoping to use what they find by monitoring drivers' bodies and brains, along with the cars, to build better and safer cars for all of us."
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Old Cars Are Getting Ahead With New Tech

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  • A buddy of mine is doing this with old hotrods. Yeah, totally plugging him, because he's classy enough not to plug his own business... http://rodtronix.com/ [rodtronix.com]

    • by Amouth (879122)

      At least in SCCA stock mean stock.. NASCAR shouldn't be allowed to call it's self stock car racing, as they have forgotten what the word stock means.

      • At least in SCCA stock mean stock.. NASCAR shouldn't be allowed to call it's self stock car racing, as they have forgotten what the word stock means.

        Umm.. except the shocks, exhaust, air filter, wheels (stock size but lighter), tires (2 lines of tread), alignment, racing seat and harness. And 100 Octane if you can find it. But yeah, stock.

        • by ZosX (517789)

          The only thing stock on a nascar car is the fact that it has 4 wheels. They share nothing in common with their production counterparts. Even the body is a big fake fiberglass costume.

          • by ZosX (517789)

            Oh...you are responding to the ssca being stock...nm...long day

          • by TubeSteak (669689)

            They share nothing in common with their production counterparts. Even the body is a big fake fiberglass costume.

            NASCAR just moved from carburated engines to fuel injection, so they've finally got that in common with production cars.
            /But still no speedometer.

            • by tazan (652775)
              The ironic thing is that even with the fuel injection NASCAR cars still have more in common with a mid 60's Chevrolet pickup than a modern stock car.
      • by AK Marc (707885)
        You can replace the brake pads, shocks, air filter, cat-back exhaust, and a number of other things in SCCA "stock". I've even seen some people "cheat" to pre-heat their racing brake pads.
      • Stock Miata SCCA in Sebring a few years back, all the cars had the back of the left headlight cover bent down - makes a cold air intake scoop... Stock class allows any sway bar, I knew a guy that ran one so big (rigid) it was tearing off the mounting brackets when he ran on "stock" (R compound) tires. And the classic stock class trick (all piston engines) is to rebuild the engine with a max allowable overbore, blueprint, 3 angle valves, etc. etc.

        Even in Stock SCCA, the serious guys bend the rules when they

        • by Amouth (879122)

          Stock Miata SCCA in Sebring a few years back, all the cars had the back of the left headlight cover bent down - makes a cold air intake scoop... Stock class allows any sway bar, I knew a guy that ran one so big (rigid) it was tearing off the mounting brackets when he ran on "stock" (R compound) tires. And the classic stock class trick (all piston engines) is to rebuild the engine with a max allowable overbore, blueprint, 3 angle valves, etc. etc.

          Even in Stock SCCA, the serious guys bend the rules when they can.

          I agree - and that would be me.. I tore a weld 4 ft on my midget with an over sized sway bar and r-comps. luckily my miata hasn't broken anything yet.

          If you want real stock, show room stock is the class to run at the nationals.. only safety equipment is allowed and not even all of it.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        You mean go fast, turn left?

        NASCAR should also try getting rid of their rules that make the cars something out of the 50s.

        • by tazan (652775)
          Not really much point, they are already capable of going faster than humanly possible to race. The rules seem to mostly be about slowing them down. Any changes or opening of the rules will just cost teams money on R&D that could be going into their pocket. I like NASCAR but it's all about the money and having everyone drive a 1965 Chevy pickup with generic sheet metal makes everyone the most money.

          I like to watch Australian racing as well. They do actually have stock cars like NASCAR had in the 6
  • I would have to agree with this story. All over the place, I see piece of shit cars driving around with their owners/drivers listening to their iPods using the earphones. These reckless drivers are oblivious to other drivers on the road, which is fine by them because they don't care if their peice of shit gets in an accident.

    This scourge of iDrivers is a menace to society, and must be dealt with.
    • All over the place, I see piece of shit cars driving around with their owners/drivers listening to their iPods using the earphones. These reckless drivers are oblivious to other drivers on the road, which is fine by them because they don't care if their peice of shit gets in an accident.

      Agreed, it's hard to get worked up about losing an iPod.

    • I blame the car makers. How dare GM not have the foresight to include aux in or bluetooth in the 1975 corvette!!
  • I've got a Pontiac fireo 1986 GT that has a 2007 Corvette LS3 engine in it. (Yes it' eats drive shafts) Along with upgrading the ECM and swapping in a 6 speed automatic paddle shift tranny. (all paddle shift are automatics, a real transmission has a stick.) Breaks were upgraded to Brembo and I am in the process of fitting a Chevy steering assist unit. and some custom suspension parts to make it better than the corvette could dream of ever handling and I spent less than 1/2 the price of a used 2009 Z06.

    • So, the only thing "stock" is the lug nuts?
      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Nope, I use titanium lug nuts. they weight 1/2 of what the stock ones do. Every ounce removed from rotating mass is another 1/10th of a HP to the ground.

    • I think the article is focusing on guys that keep the cars original, but tack on tech - mostly driver improvement focused - that improves their times even with the engine, suspension, tires, etc. kept historically accurate.

      I knew a guy that was swapping late 80s Corvette engine/suspension/digital dashes into things like '32 Hudsons, makes for an interesting end product.

    • by tippe (1136385)

      What the? Brembo? Tranny? Methinks you've come to the wrong place, my friend.

      I doubt those words have ever been spoken aloud on Slashdot before, and I'm pretty sure that they are near the bottom of the list of things your typical slashdotter will think of when they think of "tech". If you'd at least said your Brembo brakes ran Linux or something, then maybe we'd be impressed. Maybe.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Not all paddle shift cars are slushboxes though. Some are robotic manuals.

      • by zwede (1478355)

        Not all paddle shift cars are slushboxes though. Some are robotic manuals.

        The industry can call it what they want. As far as I'm concerned: 3 pedals = manual. 2 pedals = automatic.

        • by cynyr (703126)

          But the robotic manuals don't have the slip and glide of a slush box. The VW DSG / porshe PDK is actully a very tolerable automatic as it drives just like a manual.

        • Didn't VW make a car with a stick-shift but no clutch pedal? It had some sort of clutch that automatically engaged/disengaged when you moved the shifter.
          • by hawk (1151)

            The "Automatic Stickshift" of the 70s (may have started in the late 60s).

            It was actually an automatic clutch. First gear was removed, and it started from 2d with the help of a torque converter. They were the regular 2, 3, and 4 gears.

            hawk

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          Amen. If it does not have a clutch pedal, it's not a real transmission but a glorified slushbox.

    • by dow (7718)

      I'm glad I'm not the only car geek on here...

      I'm in the UK and driving an S14a 200sx (aka a Silvia or a 240sx in the US) which I've had on axle stands for two years treating all the rot and swapping out most of the standard stuff for better parts. It's running around 300bhp now, and is a lovely car to drive although the standard ones weren't bad 17 years ago, and I guess it really isn't a terribly old car but it has none of the traction control or stability guff that modern stuff comes with.

      Anyhow, this pro

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      You missed the point. They have original mechanics and modern telemetry. You have modified mechanics. And you should have gone with the 87 Fiero.
    • Best thing I've so far in the past several years was seeing some friends drop a turbo-charged Subaru engine into a 60's-era VW Westfalia. That damn van could move.
      • by Lumpy (12016)

        I have a friend that has a Pontiac Transport minivan that we dropped the entire drivetrain from a Grand Prix GTP into. yes it fits easily. 3800sc engine and 4T65HD tranny = make kids in hondas and WRX's cry as a minivan smokes them.

  • They can give them modern names, too.

    Anyone wanna try out my Cleveland Steamer?

  • The autmotive tech that makes it to consumer cars is mostly useless. If you're driving a '70s car and you're not an inattentive soccer mom, you're not missing anything other than EFI (downside: roadside fixes become much harder) and maybe ABS. The rest of the tech is a hindrance.

    And what do race cars have? Data logging and EFI. Driver aids, when present, generally stay switched off. Cars like the GTR are rich douche toys ripe to be stomped by a more serious car like a Noble M600.

    • by _Ludwig (86077)

      I’m with you if you’re talking about touchscreen control panels that softly pop out of the dash, but you don’t consider safety features tech? What about CVTs or computer-adjusted suspensions? Variable valve timing?

    • by hawk (1151)

      I have a 72 Eldorado covertable.

      Once it's fixed, it will be still be missing something: double digit fuel economy :) (OK, it should actually get 14-16 on the highway, and 10-12 around town).

      It would benefit significantly from an overdrive gear, lockup torque converter, and a handful of the northstar technologies (particularly, the bit about not firing on all 8. There was an attempt on a smaller version of this engine a couple of years later, but the electronics were a disaster, and most cars eventually di

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