Mini Challenge #632: Motorsports

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
NicholasD Contributing Member • Posts: 836
Re: Mini Challenge #632: Motorsports Exhibits and entries

These are wonderful - thanks for posting. Some thoughts below...

(was Goodwood the Revival? I went in '99 and 2000 and there never would have been a contemporary car in the paddock)

edform wrote:

Some very good stuff in this challenge - thought these might fit...

Exhibit 1: D-Type Jaguar on show at Goodwood

Exhibit 2: Gearbox of one of the Toyota Le Mans cars - can't recall which.

Exhibit 3: Ford GT40 giving it some around a spectator-lined street circuit.

A GT40 at speed - Elkhart Lake, WI....

The crank and rods are just gorgeous metal working art that is normally invisible. Coincidentally, I encountered intact examples of both engines a couple of months ago at Revs.....


and a 917...

I appreciated your comments on LeMans below. I was a track marshal there in '95 at Mulsanne. Last practice was Thursday night from (I think) 8pm to midnight with a half hour break midway through. The corner crew cooked a dinner during the break with the last bit of sun dropping below the horizon. They started up again at 10 pm -  perfectly still night and before you saw them, you heard them flat out coming out of the last chicane, then you saw the headlights reflecting off the guardrail, and then the lead group of prototypes crested the shallow hill a quarter mile away at 200 plus.  Not a bad way to spend a summer weekend in France.

Wonderful captures - thanks for sharing

Entry 1: A roller-bearing crankshaft from a Mercedes GP car of the late 30s - W154, Supercharged, 3 litre V12. It is made up of dozens of precision machined parts joined together with interference fits and screw threads and prevented from being twisted out of line by Hirth joints - the toothed face you see at the end is half of one of them. The thing was pushed together with very short tapered sections and then very high pressure oil was pumped in to swell the joints and allow the parts to be pushed home. It's simply jewelry.

Entry 2: Another view of the same crank - it's in the big Mercedes museum next door to the works. This view shows more detail of the conrods.

Entry 3: A solid Titanium crankshaft from a Flat-12, 1968, Porsche 917 Le Mans car - it's in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. It weighs 13Kg, 10Kg less than an equivalent steel shaft. These motors delivered 1100 bhp in 24 hour race trim and rumour has it that some of the 'qualifying' engines had 1500 bhp. They could break traction on the rear wheels at 200mph. I think I'm right in saying that they are still the most powerful cars ever brought to Le Mans and one of them holds the all-time lap record at 3' 13.6" and always will, since they added a chicane in the Mulsanne straight the next year to limit the insane speeds being achieved on that long, long stretch of road. Weight saving measures were so extreme on these cars that the tubular chassis was used to pipe engine oil to the oil coolers and the gear knob was turned out of birch.

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