Unlike most of The Intercooler’s contributors, Joana actually has a proper job. She is a powertrain engineer who has worked for several years for automotive OEMs across Europe. She also has a Masters in Motorsport Engineering, drives an E46 BMW M3 and rides motorcycles both for work and play.
She moved to the UK from Portugal in 2011, primarily because cars are cheaper here. The fascination with all things mechanical started when aged 16 she bought her first motorcycle, tried to drift it and nearly fell off. Not much has changed since then. She loves cars too and is particularly obsessed with anything possessing a flamboyant 1980s interior; and she has a curious penchant for small quirky Japanese cars.
Currently Joana divides her time between trying to figure out the future of the car and the endless maintenance demands that come with multiple vehicle ownership. When she is not staring blankly at Excel spreadsheets and trying to save the world, she can be found rambling on Twitter or enjoying the best of car culture at different events across the UK.
Driving a Porsche 996 GT3 up a snowy but empty Stelvio pass in the early hours of the morning
A Porsche 930 or 964 Turbo. In the realm of the unobtainium, Lamborghini Miura Jota
Fondest driving memory:
An R56 Mini Cooper D on cool wheels and a Cookie Monster rooftop decal. Sorry, Dad
"I remember riding my first motorbike at 16 and suddenly feeling an extreme connection with all things mechanical. Cars and bikes give me the joy of absolute freedom. There’s no feeling like being in control of a machine and hearing an engine revving through the gears"
Jo’s Diary: Why I love the Honda NSX
Growing up in Portugal made our diarist fall headfirst for the Japanese sports car. Joana Fidalgo explains her infatuation with the Honda NSX
Jo’s Diary: Retiring my M3
It’s time to lavish a little attention on the M3 and give it a better quality of life. But, says Joana Fidalgo, it’s knowing when to stop that’s the problem
Jo’s Diary: Cold, wet and not loving it
Can her favourite kinds of machine make biking in bad weather enjoyable? The ever intrepid Joana Fidalgo climbs aboard to find out
Our Cars: Que Sera, Sera
Joana Fidalgo had no intention whatsoever of acquiring another small, quirky Japanese car. Right up until the moment she did
Jo’s Diary: Ducati’s electric racing motorbikes
The radical new race series for the Ferrari of motorbikes. Joana Fidalgo goes trackside to discover if ‘electric Ducati’ is a contradiction in terms
Jo’s Diary: The healing powers of power
Being let loose at Goodwood in a 730bhp Ferrari may not seem like the most obvious form of therapy but, say Joana Fidalgo, it worked for her
Jo’s Diary: Land of the sliding fun
They say you can have too much of a good thing. Cobblers, says Joana Fidalgo, as she heads east again for another fix of a unique kind of motoring culture
Postcard from Japan
Japanese late night car culture is unlike any other in the world and, as Joana Fidalgo reports, it’s all the better for it
The gender car gap
In response to Andrew’s lament about young men losing interest in cars, Joana Fidalgo observes precisely the opposite trend among women
Skinny Cappuccino: Part two
Who’d consider spending a large amount of money restoring a beloved but not very valuable kei car worn thin through rust? Joana Fidalgo, that’s who