Words on the web


As I have written mostly for magazines and those that I write for currently, with the notable exception of Stereophile, have only nascent web presence, there isn’t much of my work you can read via your browser. But there are a few bits and pieces out there, albeit not always the items I would choose myself.

Please note:

1)  All of these items were written a while back, in one case over a decade ago. The world changes.

2)  I have not, in general, checked them to see if they are a faithful rendition of what I wrote.

3)  Copyright is owned by the publishers of the magazines in which they first appeared.




One of the most satisfying jobs I’ve done for Autocar is act as technical lynchpin for the tyre tests it has conducted since the mid-1990s. I don’t get involved in the driving – much better pedallers than I do that – but I do help with the organisation, keep a general eye on the test procedures and, most importantly, perform the statistical analysis of the results that so many other car magazines feel able to do without. This feature of the Autocar tests, and the fact that we benchmark supplied tyres against samples obtained over the counter in the UK, makes them altogether more relevant and trustworthy than most. Before you ask, we did once catch a major European manufacturer providing unrepresentative tyres, to the extent that they proved all of 6 seconds a lap faster on the wet handling circuit that those we brought with us (and a second set obtained locally during the test). You do have to wonder how often differences of this sort have gone undetected elsewhere. This article, which I co-authored, is the 1999 test. There have been many others since, conducted at a variety of different test venues.


When I approached Motor Sport editor Andrew Frankel in early 1999 with a proposal for a series of single-page articles about components which had made a significant contribution to motor racing development, I had about half-a-dozen items on my shortlist and an expectation that, with a little brainstorming, we might increase the number to nine or ten. In fact the series ran from the April 1999 to December 2001 issues – a total of 33 pieces. Some of them were sods to research but most, to my monthly relief, proved to have at least one interesting aspect to them. A staffer on Autocar at the time was kind enough to say that I was the only person he knew who could write 1000 words on the rod end bearing and make it interesting – not true but encouraging to hear. This piece, about the development of the Gurney flap, was one of the more straightforward to compile because Dan Gurney still gives freely of his time to talk about his distinguished career as a racing driver and team owner. I am gratified he chose to reproduce it on the AAR web site.



One of the joys of being a Stereophile contributor is the magazine’s extensive web site, which is frequently updated with recent material from the magazine. My first feature appeared in the January 2004 issue and by mid-February it had already migrated to the web site. As future contributions do the same I will place links for them here. If only all print media publishers were this enlightened.



‘The Law of Averages’, January 2004



‘New Media Metrics’, April 2004



‘Cutting Corners’, July 2004



‘Red Shift’, November 2004



‘Time Dilation’ part 1, January 2005



‘Time Dilation’ part 2, April 2005



‘Contingent Dither’, July 2005



‘Ringing False’, January 2006



‘Naughty but Nice’, April 2006



‘Wayward Down Deep’, July 2006



‘Hot Stuff’, November 2006



‘Upward Mobility’, April 2007



‘Heavy Load’, July 2007



‘Anti-Node’, January 2008



‘Between the Ears’, August 2008



‘Cut and Thrust’, March 2009



‘Arc Angles’, April 2010


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