Keith SuperDork
Feb. 3, 2012 2:47 p.m.

I've been driving the Westy to work the last couple of days, and I have to say - I don't think I've ever driven a vehicle that was so up-front about weight transfer and tire loading. Not just lateral weight transfer - that part's pretty obvious just to look at it - but diagonal and longitudinal. It's got fairly long travel suspension and you're sitting on top of the front wheels, so any fore/aft transfer is converted directly into vertical motion of your butt.

You can really feel it load up the front wheel on corner entry, and when you get on the gas at the apex you're treated to a very clear feeling of the outside rear taking the load. There's a diagonal expansion strip mid-corner on a bridge on my way to work that underlines some really interesting dynamics. You don't feel it in normal cars, but it's still going on.

Plus, of course, you have to be super-smooth to keep that high CG and soft, tall suspension from getting all sketched out. It's a great way to teach "slow hands". I think there are a lot of transferable skills here.

Plus, if you pulse the brakes at the right frequency coming up to a stop, you can get it pogoing really nicely

mad_machine SuperDork
Feb. 3, 2012 2:56 p.m.

I learned a lot from driving commercial. Like your westy, you are tall, narrow, and perched atop the front wheels.

your Westy is faster though.

I have gotten a 32foot long (at the box) box truck up on 4 wheels.. (out of six), it is an unusual feeling to say the least

AngryCorvair SuperDork
Feb. 3, 2012 4:51 p.m.

i learned to drive stick in a corvair van, and that was my primary ride for a couple years after i got my license. not as tall as the westy, but every bit as stimulating.

Keith SuperDork
Feb. 3, 2012 5:26 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: I learned a lot from driving commercial. Like your westy, you are tall, narrow, and perched atop the front wheels. your Westy is faster though. I have gotten a 32foot long (at the box) box truck up on 4 wheels.. (out of six), it is an unusual feeling to say the least

Westys aren't faster than much, although this one does have a big brute of a Subaru engine - 134 hp!

I'm trying to picture which four wheels would be off the ground.

mad_machine SuperDork
Feb. 3, 2012 5:31 p.m.

two on the front, and two of the four in the rear were still on the ground... so.. very close to tipping

Woody SuperDork
Feb. 3, 2012 5:34 p.m.

I've always thought that 49cc for stroke scooters were a great way to learn apexing and conservation of momentum.

Keith SuperDork
Feb. 3, 2012 6:33 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: two on the front, and two of the four in the rear were still on the ground... so.. very close to tipping

I'm pretty sure that any time you have more than 50% but less than 100% of your wheels off the ground, tipping is a distinct possibility

T.J. SuperDork
Feb. 3, 2012 7:12 p.m.

In reply to Keith:

I'm pretty sure that if you have 4 out of 6 wheels on the ground you have less than 50% off the ground.

I used to like dd'ing my Jeep. It was a fun to be able to drive close to the vehicle's limits and not getting arrested. I had a 4.0L though, so it was a bit different than your Westy.

SkinnyG HalfDork
Feb. 3, 2012 7:54 p.m.
Woody wrote: I've always thought that 49cc for stroke scooters were a great way to learn apexing and conservation of momentum.

I learned that on a long board like this one:

Then one time, I badly miss-judged a corner.... After all the skin grew back, I moved on to other things.

Graefin10 Dork
Feb. 3, 2012 8:47 p.m.
Woody wrote: I've always thought that 49cc for stroke scooters were a great way to learn apexing and conservation of momentum.

948cc Spridgets in the mountains of NE TN and W NC will teach you that too. But funnnnnn going to classes.

dculberson HalfDork
Feb. 3, 2012 8:58 p.m.

One of the first cars I ever spent a lot of time driving was a 1969 Dodge A100 .. with a Ford 351 Cleveland swapped in and nothing else upgraded. So it had the top heavy dynamics, soft springs, non-power single circuit 4 wheel drums, non-power steering, over-the-front-axle seating, and about 380 lb-ft of torque. No, you should not let a 16 year old drive that.

Looking back, I think it did teach me a lot about vehicle control. Only once did I just about bite it, that was enough.

Taiden SuperDork
Feb. 3, 2012 9:43 p.m.

GRM, the only place on the internet where the idea of a westie being a good beginners road racing vehicle is not met with ridicule.

RedS13Coupe Reader
Feb. 3, 2012 10:47 p.m.
Taiden wrote: GRM, the only place on the internet where the idea of a westie being a good beginners road racing vehicle is not met with ridicule.

More importantly it seems to have taken the better part of a page for anyone to realize this is not normal.

Keith SuperDork
Feb. 4, 2012 12:04 a.m.
T.J. wrote: In reply to Keith: I'm pretty sure that if you have 4 out of 6 wheels on the ground you have less than 50% off the ground. I used to like dd'ing my Jeep. It was a fun to be able to drive close to the vehicle's limits and not getting arrested. I had a 4.0L though, so it was a bit different than your Westy.

Reading fail. I thought there were four out of six off the ground. Still, I stand by my statement.

I used to be able to do a four-wheel drift on my skateboard while delivering papers. That was before they invented longboards, this was circa 1986 or so.

Really, a Westy is just a really tall Porsche 911.

amiller34 New Reader
Feb. 4, 2012 12:25 a.m.
Keith wrote: Really, a Westy is just a really tall Porsche 911.

Best quote ever! Sounds so ridiculous but at the same time indisputably accurate.

turboswede SuperDork
Feb. 4, 2012 12:49 a.m.

I'll just leave this here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq5YEBLvrsU

mad_machine SuperDork
Feb. 4, 2012 7:17 a.m.

damn... I kept waiting for one to fall over

chandlerGTi Reader
Feb. 4, 2012 8:26 a.m.

My first daily driver back in high school was a one ton 1981 Plymouth voyager. It was so much fun trying not to flip it, of course it had slots and blacked out windows. I loved it and it really showed me a lot about hitting a corner just right.

iceracer SuperDork
Feb. 4, 2012 9:16 a.m.

Drove a '73 Type 2 for a year . Been there Had fun one time while waiting fro a light to change. A couple of guys in a Mustang were in the other lane. By slightly engaging the clutch, the front end would raise. Light turned green, Mustang burned out. I enjoyed the view from my lofty seat.

novaderrik Dork
Feb. 4, 2012 10:06 a.m.

has one of these...things... ever been built up for Chumpcar/LeMons glory?

move the driver's position back to where the side door is and down as low to the floor as possible, build a cage, lighten up the structure of the roof as much as possible and go for it.. what could go wrong?

amiller34 New Reader
Feb. 4, 2012 11:29 a.m.
novaderrik wrote: has one of these...things... ever been built up for Chumpcar/LeMons glory?

That's not a Thing...

This is a Thing!

BTW - That was a lot funnier in my head when said with an Austrailian accent...

Keith SuperDork
Feb. 4, 2012 12:40 p.m.
turboswede wrote: I'll just leave this here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq5YEBLvrsU

Who the hell organizes a track day for Vanagons/T3s? That's hilarious.

edit - Janel just pointed out there are people in the stands too...

oldeskewltoy HalfDork
Feb. 4, 2012 1:45 p.m.

besides ANY VW bus.... the 1st Gen Toyota Van was a similar exp

Hal Dork
Feb. 4, 2012 2:21 p.m.
turboswede wrote: I'll just leave this here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq5YEBLvrsU

OK, if the camera vehicle had a Renault V6 Turbo in it, what was in the other ones that blew by it like it was standing still?

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