We're modifying the Lola race car's nose to fit MAX's chassis. The first step is cutting the nose down the middle so we can move the fenders apart a few more inches, which will let us steer enough for parking and other normal street activities.
The clock is ticking and I've been taking some shortcuts on getting MAX ready for Rally Green ... and some have turned into long cuts. I need to work smarter, not faster.
MAX is back at the shop, awaiting diagnosis and correction of an overheating problem, plus some additional body work before its next venture.
How will we live with no gas at the pump and no power in the grid?
Using MAX to test a tubing streamlining material, resulted in a significant reduction in drag.
MAX gets a temporary mash-up of old and new style body parts (the new nose is at the fiberglassers' having a mold made so we can make more of them) to get road-legal for a trip to Canada.
On a summertime cross country trip from Oregon to Ohio, I restricted MAX's radiator inlet air a little at a time, demonstrating that very little inlet area (28 square inches) provides sufficient air for cooling.
MAX gets a lightweight belly pan under the engine, to further reduce aerodynamic drag.
The second attempt at weatherproofing MAX involves a convertible top which flips open to get in or out of the cockpit. Not perfect, but not bad.
Results of the long-awaited cooling system test, which shows how little air MAX needs through the radiator.
MAX's bodywork continues, as Jack modifies the race car nose to fit over the Kubota engine.
More progress on MAX's streamlined body, using a laser to make curved body parts fit on a flat frame.
A primer on fiberglass mold making and molding fiberglass parts, using MAX's nose parts (hood and bubble) as examples.
How much energy does it take to travel? Can we collect this from the vehicle while we are using it?
Why pre-1960 race cars were more efficient than post-1960 race cars, and thus a better example for high efficiency highway cars.
The tail end of MAX's bellypan (diffuser) gets tuft tested, and the attached video shows the results. This was the finishing touch that got MAX its 100 miles per gallon on the highway.
Jack has dismantled MAX's body and is making molds from the body parts, so other MAX-like car builders won't have to duplicate his work.
By making a pattern and a mold, we can now reproduce rear fenders as needed.
Renowned motorcycle inventor and longtime aerodynamics expert Craig Vetter stopped by the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office on his way home from his latest fuel economy challenge.
MAX is getting prepped for paint, and all the essential bodywork is done for the new, streamlined roadster body.