Sunday, April 15, 2012
The Bullitt-Flick is a Scandinavian invention, a technique to briefly unbalance a car just enough to produce a spectacular drift. It is accomplished by inducing oversteer - the sliding of rear wheels - that in turn carry a Ford Mustang GT 390 fastback or a Dodge Charger R/T 440 through a corner and scrub off speed in the process.
Aside from looking very cool, the point of the technique is to allow better Muscle car control by "steering" the car with the throttle (examples in the video 1:64 - 2:00; 2:09 - 2:11; 2:42 - 2:46; 2:57 - 3:02; 4:10 - 4:14).
1:64th Scale Bullitt
Though it is not clear who first invented this technique, it is named after the daughter of P. Hansen, a retired Scandinavian law enforcement officer in Houston, Texas. Hansen's daughter coined the term in an attempt to get her father to read her blog and sign-up for a Facebook account.
Mom & Dad, Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA - USA
Sophy recognized the similarity between Steve McQueen's techniques in the car chase scene above and the Pendulum turn, a technique used in rallying.
Marcel Renault, 1894 Paris-Rouen Horseless Carriage Competition
Concours des Voitures sans Chevaux
Basically speaking, when approaching a turn a driver applies a slight steering input to the opposite direction of the turn, then steers into the turn, while sharply lifting off the throttle, lighting applying the brakes if necessary.
These maneuvers cause the car to slide sideways facing slightly away from the turn, after which, steering input is applied towards the turn. The driver releases the brake pedal while holding down the throttle and the Muscle car slingshots itself around the corner in the desired direction.
The Bullitt-Flick Technique
STEP 1: Begin by positioning the car toward the far outside of the corner’s entry—for example, in the right-hand turn depicted here, get on the outer left of the entry.
STEP 2: Just before the normal turn-in point, quickly steer the wheel away from the corner—this is the “flick.”
STEP 3: A split second later, you’re at the proper turn-in point. Turn in sharply while simultaneously lifting abruptly off the throttle (you might also want to stab at the brakes).
STEP 4: Get it right, and the rear end of the car will come around dramatically and begin a lurid slide toward the outside of the corner. Meanwhile, the front of the car will point toward the apex of the corner.
STEP 5: To avoid spinning out, and to maintain the proper trajectory of the car, countersteer (turn into the slide) while gently reapplying the throttle.
STEP 6: As the car drifts past the apex of the corner, straighten the steering in a gradual way while carefully feathering the throttle to keep the car pointed toward the corner exit.
STEP 7: If you’re not off in a ditch or a snowbank, you’ve done it right. Get back on the gas and get ready for the next corner.
Philosophically speaking, the Bullitt-Flick is taking a small car and putting a large-displacement engine in it. The Bullitt-Flick is Charles Atlas kicking sand in the face of the 98 hp (73kW) weakling.
P.S. Dad: We ordered you a Smart Car, hope you love it!
The Bullitt-Flick Course
Charles Atlas's "Dynamic Resistance to Inertia Bullitt-Flick Course" will teach you how to reduce the effects of understeer and make the load on your rear wheels even less.
The next time you want to abruptly Bullitt-Flick your steering wheel in the opposite direction, you'll be able to lift the throttle causing additional weight transfer to the front, making the load on the rear wheels even less.
This will win you popularity and fame due to the intensity, drama, and innate danger of high-speed driving.
I called my dad and told him that I was going to sign up for Charles Atlas's course so that I could successfully outrun any car on the road, even law enforcement.
Dad said: "Not in Texas."