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 should fit right in.
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 Eighties 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"
The cars behind the camera
Ever wonder how those high-speed chases are filmed? By using some of the most highly adapted, cleverly conceived cars in existence, says Joana Fidalgo
‘More Woodstock than Wacky Races’
Scared to death, plastered in mud and dust, Joana Fidalgo’s been finding just how much fun she can have on two wheels. Plenty, as it turns out
Why have only two women ever started a World Championship Grand Prix? Not a lack of ability argues Joana Fidalgo, but lack of opportunity
Miss Shilling’s orifice
A racer of cars and motorcycles, Tilly Shilling was also a brilliant engineer. Joana Fidalgo reveals her most important – and perhaps simplest – contribution to the war effort
Breakthrough: Fuel injection
Try telling most people these days you’re thinking about tuning your carbs and you might inadvertently get a referral to Weight Watchers or advice on the latest fad diet...
Labels are for tins, not people
It was a sunny, slightly breezy day when I asked my parents if we could sit at the front of the restaurant with an open view of the sea. I deliberately picked the chair...
Breakthrough: The spark plug
When it comes to traditional internal combustion engines, the recipe is surprisingly simple: a little spritz of fuel, a good gulp of air, some sort of ignition and you...
Growing up as an introvert in a quiet town in Portugal, with a weird car fixation none of my friends really understood, I often retreated to car magazines...
Good, for a girl…
The speed picks up as we reach the bottom of the hill and we quickly start climbing again. Unlike my unsuspecting passenger, I know what lies ahead. We are now going up the last hill...
Meeting with a Duke
I won’t be the first to observe that the world often works in mysterious ways. I don’t know exactly how I found myself in this very fortunate position – realising a dream on two wheels...