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Re: Racing Engines in Street Cars

To: MG List <>
Subject: Re: Racing Engines in Street Cars
From: Max Heim <>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 14:10:40 -0700
I would think a lot of the early Ferraris would qualify, since the street
cars were just an afterthought and the engine development was concentrated
on the race cars.

As a wild guess (I'm a little foggy on pre-war MG history), how about the MG
K3? Was that little 6cyl based on a Morris motor, or was it an MG original?
I suppose you could argue that it wasn't really a street car...

on 4/10/01 12:58 PM, at wrote:

> From another group - a discussion I started on car trivia. You guys get the
> difficult challenge of coming in half way through.
> "You may recall the question I raised about engines originally designed from
> scratch (i.e., not based on some previous design) for racing purposes that
> found their way into street models.
> The score so far:
> Lamborghini (designed by Bizzarini from plans for a Ferrari Formula 1
> design - my purchase of the Islero started this whole train of thought).
> Alfa Montreal - derived from the T-33 Alfa race engine.
> Porsche 4 cam - originally in the racing 550s, later installed in Carreras
> Ferrari/Fiat Dino using the Formula 2 motor to get 500 out there for
> homologation purposes
> Close but no cigar:
> Chrysler Hemi - derived from the 413 wedge motor, although it raced before it
> hit the street cars.
> Lotus engine used in Jensen Healey etc. - built on stock block Vauxhall 2
> litre block.
> (there is still some life in this one as it has been argued that the original
> was tested using the cast iron block and soon after went alloy, but I have to
> wonder if the alloy block was virtually the same if this one doesn't fall
> just over the line)
> Coventry Climax - originally designed as a lightweight firepump engine, able
> to be carried to fires. I remain unconvinced that race car builders were
> waiting
> in the wings, having tricked them into designing an engine that just happened
> to be easily convertible to race use.
> A new contender!
> A friend who is a trivia buff like me commented that many Bugatti engines
> would qualify, which I think is correct, but he also told me about one that I
> hadn't known about.
> He said the racing engine used in the Maserati 450S was an oddball design
> with the cam drive for the timing gear running in the middle of the block
> instead of at one end or the other (I am not familiar with this motor, so
> can't comment). He told me that when Maserati designed the V6 engine for the
> Citroen conglomerate (later used in the SM, one of my favourite oddball cars
> - you don't mash the brake pedal, vous manipulez le champignon), which was
> also used in the Maserati Merak, they more or less just chopped off the end 2
> cylinders, and that you can tell, because it is a 90 degree V6 with the cam
> drive running between cylinders, as in the V-8 version.
> So I think we have another winner.
> And I thought of another one that would marginally qualify, when I was
> thinking about the Maserati cam gear. The racing prewar Alfa 8C 2900 race car
> engine was a straight 8 with central cam drive to the valves. It was copied
> almost bolt for bolt, I believe by Donald Healey, for use in the Triumph
> Dolomite (the old neat one, not the boxy newer one).
> Any others?
> Bill Spohn



Max Heim
'66 MGB GHN3L76149
If you're near Mountain View, CA,
it's the red one with the silver bootlid.

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