Famous Engines

BMW M3’s four-cylinder engine
By May 12, 2011 Read More →

BMW M3’s four-cylinder engine

After the production of the BMW M1 had stopped, the BMW CEO Eberhard Kuenheim commissioned a design for a successor. On one of his regular visits to Motorsport GmbH in Munich’s Preußenstraße he said, “Mr. Rosche, we need a sporty engine for the 3 Series.” Motorsport GmbH with its managing director of technical development Paul Rosche had demonstrated its expertise with the legendary 5 Series saloons driven by M engines as well as developing the Formula 1 turbo engine that powered Brazilian Nelson Piquet to win the World Championship in the Brabham BMW in 1983.

Henry Ford’s 2-cylinder engine in Sweepstakes
By April 15, 2011 Read More →

Henry Ford’s 2-cylinder engine in Sweepstakes

When Henry Ford began building “Sweepstakes” race car in 1901, he had a specific purpose in mind: publicity and recognition. Racing proved the worth of a builder’s engineering talent by demonstrating the speed and reliability of the product. In the Sweepstakes race car the engine was mounted in the middle of the car on the left-hand side, under the seat. It had two cylinders, horizontally opposed, with the crankshaft aligned transversely across the chassis. The cast-steel connecting rods reflected steam-power technology, with brass crank bearings as separate pieces bolted to the ends of the rods. The block and pistons were cast iron and with a seven-inch bore and seven-inch stroke, the total displacement was 539 cubic inches.

History of Volvo’s 6-cylinders
By December 29, 2010 Read More →

History of Volvo’s 6-cylinders

In the spring of 1929, the DB engine saw the light of day fitted to the equally new Volvo PV651, a car both larger and more comfortable than the ÖV and PV4 models. The 6 indicated the number of cylinders, 5 the number of seats and 1 stood for the first version of the new series. The DB engine was a conventional piece of machinery; all cast iron with side valves – the valves standing on the side in the block rather than being located in the cylinder head – and with a capacity of 3010 cc. With a 55 hp power output it easily brought the car past the 100 kph mark. An unusual and slightly extravagant detail was the heavy seven-bearing crankshaft which was both statically and dynamically balanced. Good fuel economy in those days meant anything less than 20 litres per 100 km, and the new six was considered to be very economical indeed and also proved very reliable and long-lasting. Those two properties were to characterise all D and E engine versions over the years.

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History of Chrysler 426 HEMI
By May 14, 2010 Read More →

History of Chrysler 426 HEMI

The Chrysler Corporation stunned the racing world on Feb. 23, 1964, when stock cars equipped with its powerful 426 HEMI® engine swept the Daytona 500, taking first, second and third places in stock car racing’s most prestigious event. The engine also set a new average speed record for the track of 154.33 mph. While the engine’s life on the racing circuit was brief – NASCAR quickly imposed stricter engine specifications in an effort to level the playing field – that February day was enough to set the public clamoring for HEMI-style horsepower.

History of Ford V8 flathead
By April 15, 2010 Read More →

History of Ford V8 flathead

The Ford V8 flathead can take a lion’s share of credit for the revival of U.S. road racing after the Great Depression, primarily because Ford V8 cars were relatively lightweight, maneuverable as well as powerful … and also inexpensive. On August 26, 1933, Fred Frame won the Elgin, Ill., road race in a Ford V8 “stock car.” The event was the first Elgin race run since 1920, and the last ever run. Ford V8 cars swept the top seven finishing positions. Six months later, on Feb. 24, 1934, Stubby Stubblefield won the Gilmore Gold Cup road race at Mines Field — an airport circuit in Long Beach, Calif. Of the 26 cars entered, 22 were Ford V8s, and Ford cars finished first through 10th.

Gottlieb Daimler’s grandfather clock
By April 6, 2010 Read More →

Gottlieb Daimler’s grandfather clock

The history of the “grandfather clock” engine goes back to the year 1882, when Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach began work in Cannstatt on a light-weight, high-speed, four-stroke engine. But the ignition represented a major challenge if they were to achieve higher engine speeds and thus a higher output compared with previous combustion engines. Maybach first concentrated on this problem, working through countless patent specifications before finally coming across the Englishman Watson’s uncontrolled hot-tube ignition system, which proved suitable for the high engine speeds they aspired to.