11-yr old me figuring stuff out in LEGO: “It’s got real steering and a different (sic) gear box!”
My uncle who was the chief mechanical designer on iconic Formula 1 cars from the 1960’s and 1970’s, with a completely straight face said “Show me how that works.”
And then I had several hours of conversation where I fumbled for words I didn’t know. I think in that entire evening he didn’t correct me even once. I recall there was a lot of “and how would you solve that?” questions that I was asked.
I later found out the “steering system” I had inadvertently invented was called “rack and pinion” and was old news. The differential gearbox was something I had seen in a magazine on mechanics and decided I needed to recreate. I will admit that as a child I was more ambitious than I was talented. Fortunately my mechanical adventures were only a scale model in LEGO.
Unfortunately my uncle passed some time back. But I did get to see some amazing cars. Even if I was too young to appreciate them. Which gave me an unhealthy interest in Formula 1 all through the 80s and a curiosity about the inner workings of mechanical systems even if I lacked the ability to put them back together after dismantling whatever the gadget was.
Also one of the reasons why I wound up with a “Ferrari red” Caterham Seven in my early twenties. That car – well it went when you engaged the clutch. Stopping was more… of a suggestion.
I think I just found what I want for Christmas!
P.S. If you think I had a cool uncle, wait until I tell you about my grandfather…