DO I SOUND OLD SCHOOL?
With all the talk these days about electric vehicles, how would that affect the sport we all love?
Now the truth is that I’ve yet to have driven any of the new electric vehicles. If someone wants to loan me one for a couple of days, I’d be glad to give it a whirl, which may or may not change my mind as far they’re concerned. But I can tell you that those new EV cars and trucks look pretty impressive. I happened to see a Tesla running at the track recording elapsed times in the high six-second zone on the eighth-mile, which roughly computes to high-10s in the quarter. Pretty impressive from a somewhat stock vehicle; an expensive one but probably no more impressive than the COPO, Cobra Jets and Challengers you could purchase from the factories and immediately have a nine-second race car. However, I did notice the Tesla being charged between rounds by a gas-powered generator. Sounds like some sort of oxymoron but…
I believe it was 2019 at the Winternationals when the eCOPO Camaro debuted in Pomona, and I was there to witness its initial runs. Elapsed times in the nine-second zone with wheels up launches were pretty impressive except for… The one thing those of us sitting on the guard wall agreed was the lack of noise.
Drag racing has always been a very visceral experience; the sights and sounds invoking an almost unnatural feeling, one which shakes your body from head to toe. Stand between two Top Fuel cars on the starting line and you’ll get the idea. And what could be more thrilling than hearing the crescendo coming from a set of tuned headers as it winds through the gears (okay so maybe there are only two gears in a Powerglide, but you get the idea.).
I read a couple of weeks ago where there’s a new target which raises the fleet average fuel economy requirement by 25-percent from 32 mpg to 40 mpg. President Biden had previously proposed a 38-mpg requirement in August and has encouraged automakers to transition their lineups to 50-percent electric vehicles by 2030. So what would that do for drag racing?
Once again, drag racing has always intrigued some from the aspect of noise. These electric cars lack that one aspect of the sport. Is that good or bad? Don’t forget the problems of noise which have plagued quite a few tracks across the country. Will something like this help?
And while I’m on the subject of EVs, what about these cars which will almost drive themselves? Talk about hands free! And then you have those which will park themselves and even back-up a trailer into a spot. And now we have the Ford F150s which utilize some sort of battery power that can provide power to a home should the power go out.
I guess it all comes down to the amazing amount of technology available today. Those of us old enough to remember the animated television show The Jetsons probably laughed at some of the devices and elaborate robotic contraptions on the show. Accordingly, I believe the show was set in the year 2062, but there’s little doubt that some of the devices on that show are in use today. Of course, then you have to remember the Back to the Future movies set in 2015. Naturally that was seven years ago and I don’t think any of the devices from that movie were in use back then.
Then question is: Even with the reduction in the use carbon-type fuels, we still need some sort of power to charge the proposed 50-percent of new cars powered by batteries. What would that do to the power grid in our world? So many questions with maybe the most important one… Do I sound old school to you? -JOHN DiBARTOLOMEO