NELSON KRUSCHANDL'S JOYSTICK CAR CONTROLS
The designer of BE1 electric land speed record car (1990) and the current BE3 electric land speed record car , Nelson Kruschandl, built a prototype single seat sports car to test his ideas about replacing traditional steering wheel and floor pedals controls of a road car, with something easier to operate and cheaper to produce. The car below named the 'Borzoi' after the Russian wolfhound, is what he came up with.
Nelson says: "I decided to build my first car to test out the ergonomics theory I'd developed concerning vehicle controls and prove the concept for a patent application." "This car cost me around ฃ30,000 to develop and build, including patent fees." (Note 1980s prices) "It is unfortunate that I did not receive any outside assistance or sponsorship with this project, hence was forced to shelve the idea permanently. Subsequently, General Motors and the Dti expressed belated interest, with a view to improving vehicle control for disabled drivers - they both then found excuses not to proceed with any form of serious development."
Nelson Kruschandl - "build your own car"
Pull back to accelerate - push forward to brake and just point left or right to steer. What could be simpler? Nelson Kruschandl built the Borzoi single seat sports car to evaluate the 'Joystick' type twin handle lever control shown below, the subject of British patent 2253379, granted in June of 1992.
The Borzoi's twin handled combination lever controls with switchgear (joystick)
Even before it was completed, the Borzoi was used to demonstrate the ease with which one handed driving may be achieved. Featured in several media articles in 1990, including: The Evening Argus, Eastbourne Gazette and Evening Standard, and on Meridian television, the car then appeared at the Bexhill 100 motor festival in 1991 and the Daily Telegraph in 1992.
With a 0-60 time of 4 seconds and a top speed of 170mph good vehicle control is essential. That was why a sports car was built to test out this combination lever control.
Unfortunately, the power steering rack was never fitted to truly show the system at its best. Unlike the GM joystick cars of the sixties and Volvo joystick cars of the eighties, the Borzoi used a mechanical configuration, to comply with DOT safety regulations, so could be incorporated into production vehicles.
Nelson Kruschandl testing the Borzoi's seating
Constructed around a box section steel spaceframe, the Borzoi joystick prototype was originally fitted with a contact breaker distributed, carburetor 3.0 liter Renault PRV V6 engine of around 150hp. This was later replaced with a fuel injected Peugeot V6 engine of 2.8 litres, giving approximately 200hp. The standard Peugeot engine was then dry sumped, fitted with an oil cooler, electronic ignition and modified exhausts which took the power output to around 240hp. It would have been easy to raise the output to 300hp, but without the power steering added, that might have been dangerous.
The car had a double wishbone independent setup, with disc brakes all round and a hybrid twin coil rear, and rubber cone front suspension.
Nelson Kruschandl making the Borzoi's alloy bodywork
Weighing in at 1,600lbs, the 0-60 time was impressive at around 4 seconds. A top speed of 170mph was limited by the final drive ratio. A Renault electronic three speed automatic gearbox was eventually fitted, mated to a more sedate 2.5 liter unit.
A good way to learn how to form metal, is to build a car from scratch. Nelson had no previous training when he began building the 'Borzoi' in 1984.
The Borzoi head on view
With a 0-60 time of 4 seconds and a top speed of 170mph good vehicle aerodynamics is essential.
The Borzoi Joystick Prototype Car Painted
OTHER PATENTS FILED BY THIS INVENTOR:
MISCELLANEOUS INTERIM DEVELOPMENTS 1988 - 1993
INVENTORS A - Z
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