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Breakthrough: The overhead camshaft – Part one

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David Twohig | Engineer


20 June 2024

Once upon a time, I was a young gun. Seemingly in the blink of an eye, I went from promising young thruster in our little automotive engineering world to being described by that sharpest of double-edged sobriquets – a veteran. But one of the very few benefits of being quite literally an eminence grise is that I occasionally get to impart words of wisdom to a new generation of engineers.

And what I always tell them is that I am insanely jealous of them; that I would give my left name-an-appendage to be 22 or 23 again, and starting a career in what I genuinely believe will be the most exciting decades of the car story so far.

Despite our occasional doom-mongering about boring EVs, obese cars, autonomous vehicles and general hand-wringing of the-sky-is-falling variety, I really believe that the combination of smart young brains, mind-melting technology and old-fashioned passion will lead to tremendous breakthroughs in the next 10 to 20 years. So I play up the wistful old boy part, and tell the engineering yoof that I wish I’d been born when they were, because they are going to live through the most exciting decades of the automotive industry.

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