Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin……….to modify the driver’s seat in our latest project car.
Sitting comfortably to watch television is a relatively easy thing to achieve but heading out for a lap of the Nuerburgring Nordschleiffe soon highlights any shortcomings in driver ‘comfort’. We all know that comfort means to be relaxed, contented and with a freedom from pain. Most car seats can provide this in the showroom; but so can a Parker Knoll armchair (other brands are available).
Things can go wrong when the dynamics of the car, road and the action of driving exert their influence. The seat must now provide isolation from the external forces (through bounce, roll and yaw), yet maintain a suitable connection between the driver and car; and therefore, the road surface. So, we need comfort with control. Thankfully, most new vehicle manufacturers understand and deliver good ‘dynamic’ seat comfort.
So, are you now sitting comfortably? Then I’ll mention the surroundings. It is a bit of a cliché, but are you sitting in or on the car? Is there sufficient (any?) height adjustment to let you feel as one with the car? Even seemingly small details can detract from your comfort. An innocuous radiused edge on a centre console can create painful jeans to leg friction when bracing yourself against cornering forces; which itself may be an unconscious act due to a seat with insufficient lateral or under thigh support?
I sat comfortably in our latest project car, an early MGF with half leather seats. They are surprisingly comfortable, with little sign or feeling of sag in the cushion. However, something was wrong when driving. I felt perched on the car and very sensitive to the lack of on-centre roll support. So, a lowering of the seat (courtesy of our VHS seat frame modification) is in order.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then begin to enjoy your driving.