The Mechanics of an Absurd Crash: Why Driver Error, Not the KGB, Killed Camus

The wreck of Michel Gallimard’s Facel Vega near the town of Villeblevin, France. However from Il y a 60 ans, Albert Camus perdait la vie dans un accident dans l’Yonne. France 3.

In his most recent column, CounterPunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair pointed out the resurrection of an outdated idea that the KGB had a hand in the demise of the French author Albert Camus. Here’s why which is unlikely.

1. “The Rebel” is a fantastic reserve.

2. I never like Sartre, he did almost nothing for the Resistance (Camus did a great deal), and nothing worthwhile towards postwar Stalinism (Camus did much), and his gal-pal was a sexual predator.

3. I could simply imagine Stalin putting a strike on Camus, but not Khrushchev (critical point).

4. The Facel Vega product car or truck Camus was killed in was:

– significant (1.75 tons, 3500 lb),

– had drum brakes (which “fade” – shed halting skill for the reason that of friction heating throughout large use – substantially additional than disc brakes, which ended up initially adopted by Jaguar in 1955, pursuing plane observe, and progressively by many others thereafter),

– was nose weighty, due to the fact of its big Chrysler V8 entrance engine, and which prospects to “oversteering” – swinging broader than supposed by the angle of the steering wheel (meaning you have to “understeer” as you go into a flip at speed, to go the place you want) – which is why race automobile companies (the finest types) significantly went to mid-motor configurations soon after 1960-1963,

– had an “ox cart” rear suspension (live axle with semi elliptic leaf springs), the rear configuration least adept for exact “handling” (reaction to road surface area problems/bumpiness, response for exact directionality of the vehicle), but the front suspension (unbiased) was pretty very good,

– rapid due to the fact in spite of its substantial fat, it experienced loads of horsepower (250hp, thus 14lb/hp), up to to 120-128mph prime pace,

– does not show up to have had any seat belts (and air luggage were being ~20 a long time in the foreseeable future).

An professional driver (like a race driver) of the working day would know how considerably to go in balancing:

– pace,

– steering wheel angle,

– progressive and anticipatory braking (to stay clear of brake fade from a last-next stress-braking stomp, a thing now finished by Ab muscles: automatic braking devices WITH disc brakes), and

– manage sliding (which is highly dependent on road area, dust-dust and especially water and ice include building sliding a great deal much more harmful and very very easily uncontrollable).

So I believe that:

– Camus’ publisher and the owner of the auto was not likely to have experienced driving talent as refined as a competitors driver of the 1950s,

– that a wealthy and self-pleased “hot” luxury car operator could very easily travel in a way past his skill degree (this continues to be regime),

– that the car in dilemma experienced a substantially decreased threshold of uncontrollability than automobiles of subsequent years, and primarily of even the most modest of budget cars these days,

– and that this kind of motor vehicle lacked all of the security improvement that have been formulated because “Unsafe At Any Pace.”

So my estimation is that Camus died as a final result of auto crash in a potent quickly weighty gradual-braking lousy-handling no-basic safety-products luxurious auto pushed far too fast for the skill stage of its wealthy proprietor-driver. In transient: DRIVER Mistake.

Q.E.D.