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Featured Projects Curtiss Aero V8 powered Fiat 503 project.

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by edwardlloyd, May 11, 2019.

  1. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,034

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    I'm embarking on my next project which is going to take me way outside my comfort zone, so I'm trusting in help and advice from those with experience in this area.

    Key to this project is the 503ci World War 1 era Curtiss V8 aero engine.

    The goal is to build an early 20s race car. We've identified the 1924 Alfa Romeo P2 race car as the "look" we're going for.

    Last but not least I found an interesting base to build the car on. It's a 1927 Fiat 503 Torpedo which has come up for sale locally. Sadly we won't be using the lovely touring bodywork or the original engine, but hope to find a good home for it.
    But it's got all the right ingredients. Longitudinal leaf springs, friction dampers, RHD steering and of course a title. Fiat built a lot of race cars back then, some real monsters too, so the mechanicals are appropriate.

    The main challenge is finding a transmission and rear axle which will cope with the torque and translate a cruising rpm of 1400rpm into about 80 - 90mph.

    So, is this a traditional hotrod? Not in the Californian way, no. But I'm putting an ex WW1 American built aero engine in a pre-war Fiat chassis and fitting a hand built streamlined aluminium body to it.

    Apparently the Curtiss V8 is a popular transplant so there must be solutions to the drive train problem. OX-5_top_WL.jpeg 5eef29bb8a7a2cea98269ceb2cfc926b.jpeg IMG-20190509-WA0009.jpeg IMG-20190509-WA0017.jpeg

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    48fordnut, Jet96, catdad49 and 14 others like this.
  2. Really cool project. Subscribed
     
  3. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,042

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Dia-yum; where do you find this uber-cool stuff? I realize you're in Europe, but still... :D . Fabulous build, I'm in for the watch. These rank right up there w/20's->30's BoardTrack cars. Very top of the Cool pile. Which, btw, is the precursor to & grandfather of, the so-called "traditional hotrods".
    Marcus...
     
    Stogy likes this.
  4. I'm in. I like what I'm hearing. Seems a shame to tank the Touring body but I get it. Maybe the new Touring owner will do something outside the box with it. I have a friend with an old dirt car with a Ranger aircraft motor in it. Can't remember if it has a gear box or just an in and out but do believe it has a Clutch on the prop shaft. May be some info there that can help you in a direction for drive unit. If my memory is right I believe his car was built mid 40's just after the War. It's pretty Kool and a real monster.
     
    brad2v, dwollam, Stogy and 1 other person like this.
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  5. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 586

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Lemme see, hum? You're putting a overly large pre-64 V8 engine into a hand built roadster with all the design and fabrication problems you're going to encounter, correct? When you're done, you're going to have a roadster like no one else has and you're going to be the envy of every hotrodder on several continents. Is this a traditional Hot Rod? Hell, yeah:cool:
     
    dwollam, Ceegan, Stogy and 1 other person like this.
  6. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,143

    treb11
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Beautiful engine. I would hope that the final coachwork will show it off ss much as possible.

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    dwollam and Stogy like this.
  7. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,034

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    We are going to carefully remove everything we don't need from the 503 tourer and try and find a restorer who will put in back on a 503 chassis. Most 503s where sedans anyway, so hopefully someone will need it.
    Honestly if it were mine, I'd restore it, but that's not what I've been asked to do. But definitely going to save the body.

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    kidcampbell71, dwollam and Stogy like this.
  8. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,034

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    Loads of cool stuff in Europe if you look. My buddy just found this Delage.
    20180915_103448.jpeg

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  9. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 11,557

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The Spirit of Barney is Waiting @edwardlloyd...;)...Look forward to your doing the vintage magic you put into everything you have as a canvas...
     
  10. pumpman
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,449

    pumpman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Intrigued, this will be worth the journey.
     
  11. uncle buck
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,359

    uncle buck
    Member

  12. uncle buck
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,359

    uncle buck
    Member

    It uses a divorced transmission and a one off flywheel / clutch setup mounted to the tapered crankshaft output


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  13. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 6,755

    noboD
    Member

    This sounds interesting.
     
  14. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,034

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    tomkelly88 and kidcampbell71 like this.
  15. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,931

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    It may be more traditional than you think. Right after WW1 in the US there was a company that installed surplus Curtis engines in used, high grade chassis like Marmon and Packard. Then there were the aircraft engined record breaking cars and race cars, this seemed to be a British specialty. Several such cars ran at Brooklands in the twenties. Mercedes and Benz chassis seemed to be favorites. Such cars as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 1 through 3, Rabbit 1, the Higham Special and others.
     
    Jet96, kidcampbell71 and Stogy like this.
  16. Wow, who would think they'd see two of those motors in one day?
     
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  17. chrisp
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 720

    chrisp
    Member

    I was at the Montlhéry Vintage Revival today I've seen 3 cars with Curtiss engines but didn't check or get pictures of the transmission set up. With straight exhaust they sound good.
     
    Jet96 likes this.
  18. PackardV8
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 860

    PackardV8
    Member

    Ab Jenkins Mormon Meteor, designed by Augie Dusenberg,
    [​IMG]
    eventually got a Curtis Conqueror V-1570, the successor to your engine.
    [​IMG]

    jack vines
     
  19. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,703

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    Contact Rolfzoller, he's putting together a GN with a Curtiss. Maybe he could help you.
     
  20. uncle buck
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,359

    uncle buck
    Member


    The chassis is from a 1914 Velie touring car 120” wheel base including front and rear axles The transmission is from a 1913-1914 Cadillac .
     
  21. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,240

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    upload_2019-5-12_20-58-31.png

    1924 Alfa Romeo
    upload_2019-5-12_20-52-15.png
    upload_2019-5-12_20-53-11.png
    1927 Fiat 806 Corsa
     
    Jet96, kidcampbell71, dwollam and 3 others like this.
  22. RMR&C
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 3,010

    RMR&C
    Member
    from NW Montana

    Subscribed. Love this kind of build!
     
  23. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,052

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D This is going to be a fun and awesome build.I`ll saddle up and go along for the ride.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
  24. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,703

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

  25. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 1,235

    The Shift Wizard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Long live the long hoods!
    .......:oops:........
    Long live the long bonnets! :rolleyes:
    .
     
    Stogy and cactus1 like this.
  26. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,308

    LAROKE
    Member

    First time I've ever seen Velie mentioned. There was a Velie Touring car in a warehouse near my grandfather's place when I was growing up. I often pressed my face up against the window and daydreamed about what I'd do with it if it were to fall into my hands.
     
  27. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 6,755

    noboD
    Member

    I THINK Velies were built by the son in law of John Deere.
     
    LAROKE likes this.
  28. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,703

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    60343026_1034740726716614_537759819906416640_n.jpg J-C A. pic from Vintage Revival Montlhery 2019.
     
    Jet96 likes this.

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