A FAMILY AFFAIR

Sited conveniently close to Snetterton race circuit in Norfolk, Damico Engines has amassed an array of engine building equipment and facilities, as well as the skill set to make full use of them, with a long future assured by its strong family ethic…

We’ve visited quite a few engine specialists for features in the pages of The Engine Rebuilder and we never cease to be amazed at the wide variety of accommodation and the wealth and depth of skill and experience that is available within the industry. By their very nature, most companies in the business work from far-flung locations in buildings which owe more to function than form, but it’s what lies within that makes all the difference. As well as a comprehensive range of technical facilities available, it’s the skills and experience of its staff that are even more important. It’s even more impressive when you see that not only is the business maintaining a long tradition of conventional engineering skills and ability, but that it is also investing heavily not only in equipment and stock. It’s also important to nurture and develop the skills and experience of staff at the younger end of the spectrum, to ensure that the business has a long and healthy future. In this respect, Damico Engines has a distinct advantage in terms of its workforce, as will be revealed…

CLASSIC MOTORS

ON SHOW

An eclectic mix of classic cars assembled at Knebworth House for the August bank holiday weekend, with many superbly detailed engine bays on display…

In stark contrast to the 2018 washout, this year’s classic car show – staged over the August bank holiday weekend – saw the traditional Knebworth House venue basking in glorious sunshine, no doubt aiding the record attendance of classic car enthusiasts and onlookers.  

This was the 29th running of the Classic Motor Show in the grounds of the famous country house, but also the third year running that it has also incorporated the Hertfordshire Motor Show which attracts exhibits of more modern machinery from Lexus, Toyota and BMW. 

In total, more than a thousand individual classic cars were on display over the two days, with awards for Pride of Ownership, Oldest Classic, Daily Driver, Best in Show and the “Decibel Duel’’ for the loudest vehicle. The event also sees a wide range of traders and an extensive autojumble area, with many bargains to be found. Clearly providing plenty of attractions, the organisers claim an attendance of over 10,000 over the weekend, with many families also taking advantage of access to the country house and its extensive grounds, providing excellent value for the modest £10 entry fee.

Read the full article here…

COMPETITION IMPROVES THE BREED

Connaught Competition Engines has clearly established itself as one of the UK’s leading competition engine builders and race preparation specialists

Based in the Kent countryside just a mile or so south of Newington, not far off the A2 near Sittingbourne, Connaught Competition Engines occupies a large purpose-built industrial unit on the Wormdale Farm site it shares with a Bentley specialist and several bodywork and paintshops, along with a nearby Outdoor Pursuits centre.

The business was originally founded in February 1985 when proprietor Phil Price decided to go it alone, after six successful years working for Minister Race Engines. Born and raised in Greenwich, Phil then served a long and highly educational tool-making apprenticeship and graduated with an IMech Tech while working for the Ministry of Defence at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, acquiring a wide range of skills and experience in traditional engineering.

That combination of formal grounding and real-life hands-on experience served him well when setting up on his own and Phil proved himself in his first year of solus operation, when Connaught’s Atlantic BDA powered Steve Holland’s GRD to the Lydden-based Formula Libre Championship title.

FERRARI F154 CB/CD

The multiple award-winning Ferrari 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 may
well go down in history…

Ferrari has a long and distinguished history of engineering high-performance cars and engines, for both fast-road and motorsport alike. In both cases it has been equally well rewarded with ownership enthusiasm, accolades from the press and major competition results throughout the years, having competed in every world championship since the 1950 Formula One season with 16 constructors’ championships and 15 drivers’ championships to its credit.   

Most recently, Ferrari has yet again taken the International Engine of the Year award with its F154 CB/CD, making it four titles in a row for the 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8. The Ferrari engine, as used in the 488 GTB and 488 Spider in 670 hp CB guise and on the 488 Pista and F8 Tribute in 720 hp CD form, amassed 425 points to finish well ahead of Jaguar Land Rover’s full-electric powertrain (328 points) from the I-Pace and the Mercedes-AMG M178 4.0-litre V8 (280 points) as used in the GT family.

Commenting on the win, Dean Slavnich of the International Engine and Powertrain of the Year awards said ‘It has won the award for four years straight, cementing its place in the history books. I very much doubt that such an achievement will ever be matched again…’

WIZARD OF THE SKIES

A brief tribute to the most iconic of all aero engines, the Rolls Royce Merlin V12 which played such an important role in the skies above Britain during the war years…

Although we have only four pages of a magazine at our disposal, compared with numerous documentaries and books, following the recent annual celebration of the Battle of Britain it is only right that we attempt some sort of tribute to one of the most iconic aero engines of all time. Rightly described as ‘the most significant aircraft piston engine in history’ the Rolls Royce Merlin V12 is most famous for its use in the Supermarine Spitfire, but also saw many other applications. 

Originally designed in 1933 as a private venture code-named PV-12, first flown in 1935 with production commencing in 1936, its first operational applications were in the Fairey Battle, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire. It was also later used in the twin-engined de Havilland Mosquito fighter/bomber, Bristol Beaufighter and the quad-engined Avro Lancaster and Handley Page Halifax and also some Vickers Wellington bombers, as well as the de Havilland Hornet and North American P-51 Mustang, plus many other aero applications too numerous to list here.

MRX POWER!

Continuing a long and distinguished history of Ford performance tuning, Mountune’s latest conversions for the Mk 3 Focus RS boost the power output to unprecedented levels…

We profiled the history of Mountune in the April 2018 issue of The Engine Rebuilder. The company founded by David Mountain while working in a shed in Maldon Essex has since gone on to make its name specialising in Ford products for both road and track, developing high quality engine and performance parts for almost 40 years.

Its historic portfolio includes successful upgrades for the 2-litre YBD engine for the Sierra Cosworth, powering the RS500 to BTCC victories, podium places in the World Rally Championship, developing the Duratec engine for a wide range of motorsport applications including GRC, and most recently realising the full potential of the four-cylinder Ecoboost engines for both fast road and racing applications.

Now operating from its HQ in Brentwood, Essex, and with a facility in Los Angeles, California, Mountune has remained at the forefront of Ford performance tuning, catering or everything from the classic models and competition cars to the latest models, while ensuring that the vehicle still remains safe and reliable for road use.

“The Magazine for all 

Engine Rebuilding and 

associated industries”

The Editor investigates the viability of another option for alternative powertrains, with a test drive of the Toyota Mirai fuel cell model…

Continuing in the recent theme of electrification and emissions control I spent a day with Toyota, organised by the Guild of Motoring Writers at the RAC headquarters at Woodcote Park in Surrey, to get up close and personal with the Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle, powered by electricity generated from hydrogen and oxygen. 

With all the recent emphasis on hybrids and battery-powered electric cars, the fuel cell is an alternative powertrain technology that hasn’t had quite so much attention. Here there is no combustion engine at all, and it certainly doesn’t burn hydrogen, as those more familiar with previous gas-powered (LPG or CNG) engines might have assumed. 

Instead, the fuel cell car is an electric car that generates its own electricity. The hydrogen is stored in high pressure (700 bar) tanks and delivered to the fuel cell, which also receives oxygen from the air that enters the car through the large frontal vents. 

Here the oxygen and hydrogen chemically react within the polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack to generate electricity to charge the battery and power the motor. The battery also receives incidental charge by recuperating energy while decelerating and braking.

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