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Road & Track August/September 2021

Road & Track includes technical features on automotive subjects, wide-ranging feature stories, spectacular automotive art and standard-setting new-car photography, humor, fiction, travel stories, book reviews and the most comprehensive racing coverage offered by a monthly magazine.Bonus: iPad Interactive

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Hearst
Frequency:
One-off
$5.99

in this issue

2 min
analog is the new luxury

THE FIRST ROAD & TRACK cover hit newsstands in June of 1947. The magazine was 33 pages long and cost 25 cents, and featured five open-wheel cars racing in the 1946 René le Bègue Cup, a grand prix held in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Cloud. The magazine logo was bordered by bands of red, but the photo itself is black and white. The car in the lead is the Alfa Romeo 158, known as the Alfetta, or “little Alfa.” This issue of Road & Track is Analog, a theme devoted to a world that predates, for the most part, the wonderful and loathsome ubiquity of computers. The intention of this issue is not to pine for the old days and moan about how microchips have made us all into monsters. Instead,…

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1 min
contributors

Peter Egan PETER EGAN HAS BEEN a contributor and columnist for both Cycle World and Road & Track since 1980, writing road tests, travel stories, and his monthly columns, “Leanings” and “Side Glances.” He lives in rural Wisconsin with his wife Barbara, seven cats, and a Golden Retriever. He spends most of his time working on cars and motorcycles in his workshop, or playing guitar in his fairly loud garage band, the Defenders. He believes a taste for older British cars and motorcycles to be his principal shortcoming. Davide De Martis Born on the island of Sardinia, Davide De Martis now lives in Monza, Italy, a temple of speed. When Davide was young, his father was a part-time rally co-driver, and family photos of races—plus the discovery of his grandfather’s camera—led him to…

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5 min
mighty minimules

IMAGINE YOU’RE IN charge of powertrain development at Cosworth, the legendary English firm with fingerprints all over racing. Two separate automakers—Aston Martin and Gordon Murray Automotive—have brought a challenge: build a free-revving, naturally aspirated V-12 able to meet today’s strict emissions standards. GMA wanted 650-plus horses from 4.0 liters for its T.50 supercar; Aston Martin wanted 6.5 liters and 1000 hp for its Valkyrie hybrid hypercar. How do you proceed? You’d figure the answer lies in a microchip. Render a V-12 engine in ones and zeros and tweak a million variables until you nail it. You could fiddle for thousands of hours without ever having to machine, cast, forge, or weld a single physical part. Computer simulation is key for Cosworth, but it doesn’t show a complete view of internal combustion. “Imagine…

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3 min
wow and flutter

“YOU CAN’T TOUCH IT,” says Henry Rollins of digital music in the film Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape (2016). He doesn’t mean you can’t touch its quality—nobody but the most die-hard tape-phile would claim the cassette is a high point of fidelity. No, the boss of Black Flag means that you can’t physically hold a digital file, can’t trace its progress through the smoked-glass window of a stereo, can’t pick up a download off the floorboard of a ’73 Plymouth Duster, blow the schmutz off, and hear it click into place in your cheap aftermarket stereo. Records get all the glory as the most romantic and physically present form of recorded music, but there’s no buying a Patsy Cline LP in a truck stop off I-10 and then listening to “She’s Got…

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3 min
mixed signals

THE FIFTIES WERE an age of intense progress for the auto industry. Technological advancements arrived at a gallop, making up for time lost to the war. And as with superchargers before, an exotic aviation technology found its way into our cars: fuel injection. The evocatively named Electrojector was the world’s first automotive electronic fuelinjection system, introduced by the Bendix Aviation Corporation in 1956, a time when computers were roughly the size of small buildings. It was brilliant—and an almost complete failure. The Electrojector was cutting-edge, developed from Korean War aircraft tech. A triggering selector—essentially a second distributor with two sets of points—worked with what Bendix called an electronic modulator. It’s a computer in everything but name. But if you take one apart, it looks more like an old radio, a tangle…

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2 min
american evolution

NASCAR’S BASIC FORMULA hasn’t changed much since the Cup Series’ inception. The cars sport a four-speed manual gearbox, a live rear axle, and more brawl than a bare-knuckle beatdown. But that basic componentry changes with the reveal of NASCAR’s Next Gen car, set to debut in 2022. The traditional elements are gone, replaced by a sequential transaxle and independent rear suspension. Other changes include the introduction of spec parts from specialized suppliers. NASCAR worked on the Next Gen car for more than two years alongside those vendors, as well as Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota. This is one of the biggest evolutions stock-car racing has ever seen. Here are the changes that matter. WHEELS: The Next Gen car sports single-lug, 18-inch aluminum wheels, a big increase in diameter from the five-lug, 15-inch…

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