The Scott 97 Fuel Injection Prototype
We all know that the first example of a somewhat reliable and steetable fuel injection system probably came from Chevrolet. Even so, how many examples of these cars have been found with carburetors installed while the highly valuable injection systems hang from a shop wall somewhere? My unscientific estimation is a shit load. While full throttle applications were setting records on the track in the 1950’s, we just didn’t quite have the technology yet to make mechanical injection a viable option on the streets.
One guy that was quietly working on this problem was Milford Scott. Milford was literally a rocket scientist that dabbled in combustion engine performance on the side. By just about all accounts, he was the only guy capable of having a truly meaningful conversation with Stuart Hillborn over fuel injection. And while the two weren’t close at all, there is no denying that Milford wasn’t above learning from both Stuart’s success and failures.
After years of working on the issue, Milford sent a couple of units to Rod & Custom Magazine for evaluation and testing. The magazine ran two articles on the subject. The first was in January of 1958:
And the second was in September of that same year:
The first article essentially gives you a good idea of the concept. Milford’s design was actually quite simple. A three deuce intake was typically utilized with a ’42 Buick (larger venturis than the 97) carburetor placed in the center and the injectors book ending the outsides. So to combat the common issue of low RPM mechanical fuel injection woes, a progressive linkage was used that activated the center carb under most part throttle situations and turned on the injectors quickly at somewhere around 80% throttle. R&C’s findings were somewhat incredible – they saw an increase of more than 35hp over a then modern 4-barrel carburetor setup.
The second article ran in September seems to have been written to answer some objections to their first. It sounds like people jumped on the Scott Injectors after the glowing review only to have all kinds of problems tuning them. The key to most of those problems, according to R&C, was consistent fuel pressure and volume. Milford wanted 7lbs at all times no matter the RPM or load.
Read back-to-back, these articles are actually incredibly educational. They go along way in teaching you the basics of mechanical injection without going so deep into the science of it all to make it a bore. If you are interested at all in this stuff, take the time to read them – you will glad ya did…
But I didn’t actually run this article to educate you on the basics of early injection. See, a few days ago my buddy Jeff stopped by the shop with an absolutely amazing find. He was rummaging through eBay and found and then subsequently bought an early Scott 97 prototype. Dig on this:
Amazing, right? Jeff doesn’t know the history of the unit, but it looks to him and me like this was most likely one of Milford’s early attempts at his injectors. The craftsmanship is temporary. The unit is rough. But my god man… This is the coolest piece of history that I’ve seen in awhile.