Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Abarth OT 1300: Engine compartment complete

With lousy weather prevailing, progress on the OT 1300 continues at a rapid pace. I am not sure how long this will last, so I am working on getting as much done as quickly as possible.

The engine is installed, along with all the bits except for the muffler which will go on last. I had trouble with the braided hose, which is either too small or too big (3/4" at scale) and for now have not plumbed up the remote oil filter mounted on the left rear fender.

It's all looking pretty good and mocking up the wheels with the central body section is pretty exciting. The little periscope for cockpit ventilation is cute if a bit silly.

It's tiny, with the Lotus Europa, complete with trunk, looming over it. The picture shows a total of 16 cylinders, roughly 6.5 litres, somewhere around 450 hp between the four of them.

In a similar vein, I once had the pleasure of driving a Ginetta G15, with the Hillman Imp drivetrain which was a street version of the lovely Coventry Climax engine. With a short-stroke aluminum block, wet liners, aluminum SOHC head, a pair of little Webers and ~100 hp from 1100 cc, the Coventry Climax motor was a lovely little unit and found its way into all kinds of classic items like the Lotus XI. The Imp version was sleeved down to 875 cc with two Strombergs CDs, probably about 50 hp, all to fit under the tax limit in the UK while also competing with the Mini at 850 cc. The motor was far more advanced than the Mini's long-stroke, iron block with siamesed 8-port head, but the rear-engine design of the Imp doomed it from the start when compared with the massively space-efficient FWD design by Alec Issigonis.

Of course as one of the few people in North America to have even seen a Ginetta, let alone driven one or worked on one, I can honestly claim to be something of an expert. A Ginettacist, what! Ha ha, get it, geneticist/Ginettacist... OK never mind. Twin-cam fours forever! I've got a resin kit of an Offy motor on order.

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