Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Lord K's Garage - #22. SWANDEAN SPITFIRE

In the post-War era, there was a brief period of surplus aircraft and tank engines. Several found their way into race cars. Most were under 20-liters but a few were above the magical 20-liter mark.

The cars fitted with these engines were very powerful, but they were also very heavy and very long which crippled their ability to handle and brake.

One 20+ liter example was the 1953 Swandean Spitfire Specialbuilt by Michael Wilcock, proprietor of the Swandean Garage in Worthing, Sussex. Two Daimler Dingo scout car chassis were welded end-to-end. A Merlin-powered V-12 27-Liter engine, fitted with a supercharger, was installed and offered a staggering 1600 horsepower at 3000 RPM.

The car was used on several Brighton Speed Trials during the mid-1950s. It is reported that the car achieved 150 mph in third gear, though its overall top speed is still unknown, and it had one more gear left to explore.

The car was used about eight times before it was sold to James Duffy of St. Louis, Missouri in 1956. It was later sold to SL Lambert who had it rebuilt as the Lambert Engineering Special.

During the 1960s the engine was transplanted into a boat while the car was put into a boat museum. Years later, the roof on the museum collapsed. Following this unfortunate incident, the car was sold to collector who brought the car back to its former glory with its original engine.

Text & images: © Conceptcarz

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Comment by lord_k on August 28, 2012 at 5:06am

Restored 08-28-12

Comment by Neil Crompton on January 29, 2010 at 7:55pm
That is amazing. Did anyone build anything with the gryphon engine?
Comment by Tome Wilson on January 29, 2010 at 1:34pm
I love the exposed look of the exhaust and suspension. This is a great find, Lord K! One of my personal favorites.
Comment by Hayen Mill on January 29, 2010 at 7:07am
Holy crap that car is awesome

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