With blacked-out windows, stunt driver Paul Swift had to rely on the 360-degree Around View Monitor camera system.
The J-turn – or reverse 180 – is a tricky maneuver even under the best of circumstances. But imagine attempting it “blind”. That, surely, would be impossible.
Well, no. Stunt driver Paul Swift has become the first person in the world to complete a blind J-turn. Using a Nissan Juke with blacked out windows, he relied solely on images from the car’s 360-degree, Around View Monitor camera system, displayed on the dashboard screen.
The J-turn was developed as a means of making a quick getaway from an ambush. You simply throw the car into reverse, mash the gas, get some speed up, and yank the steering round. As the car swings round, you put it in gear, straighten the steering and drive away.
Sounds easy enough. But, as anyone who has attempted it will know, it’s a very difficult trick to pull off. You have to be going a lot faster in reverse than you expect, for a start, and turn harder. Then you have to manage the steering and gears with absolute precision to drive away in the right direction, without stopping. Advanced practitioners jam the brakes on to lock the front wheels as the car spins around, as well.
Paul needed a few attempts to get to used to the camera system. But once he got his head around it, he executed as perfect a J-turn as you will ever see. Indeed, he completes the move in a space just 7.1 inches (18 centimeters) longer the car, equaling the world record.
Paul said: “Looking at the 360-degree view on the dashboard screen – rather than over my shoulder through the rear window – was strange at first, but I quickly adjusted. The AVM cameras gave me a clear view of the track so I was confident of staying within the lines.”