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Spitfire Experimental Engine


Paul H
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We need to travel back in time - its 1969 or 1970 - I was the proud owner of a Herald 1200 White Convertible with 5.5" inch wheels and SAH shortened spring . I needed more power to keep up with my mates and started to look for a spitfire engine - I was living in Liverpool at the time and came across an advert for a Spitfire engine with manifold . The location was Winsford which incidentally where Demon Tweeks are based . I purchased the engine for £40 couldnt understand why it was so clean - it was spotless so much so the engine stayed on a chair in the living room of my bachelor flat . Bearing in mind I knew nothing about engines other than when issues cropped up on CRL636C ( now in rust heaven) I found a way to fix because I couldnt afford garage prices. The manifold had the word Mangoletsi on it and I still didnt realise this engine could have been a bit special - I knew my existing manifold wouldnt fit as there were more ports on the cylinder head - pretty sure there was 12 ports instead of 8 . I asked a more knowledgeable friend who on checking the engine said the head had been been fully gasflowed stage 3 ?? and the crank was special and descriptive words I didnt understand so have long since forgotten. 

I checked the engine number which was XOE1 - I started ringing around and eventually made contact with a development section of Triumph in Abingdon ( I think ) The guy remembered the engine and said it was a prototype for the next upgrade for the spitfire ( which model ive forgotten ) The CC was 1360 I think . Other info was that the manifold was a one off and suited to Twin Weber DCOE 40's . The development guy explained that if I did fit the engine, the gearbox, diff , brakes & suspension would need to be beefed up to cope with the power. Abingdon were extremely helpful in that they even sent me the engine plans, the BHP was quoted at 110 I think with 0-60 less than 10 secs .

I sold the engine for £200 to a guy who raced Lotus Elans - Because the engine was homologated he was able to use the engine in production car races at Oulton Park

Looking back I think the engine originally found its way to Demon Tweeks and then got "lost" somewhere before I purchased it .

Thanks for sharing my memory and if you can fit in any history I would appreciate it, as some of my figures are bound to be incorrect given the passage of time 

Regards

Paul 

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Paul

 
True Triumph experimental engines all originated from Banner Lane early on, and later from Canley, both in Coventry. 
 
The engine number prefix for all these engines began with an X (not XOE) and ran numerically from the late 1940's through to Triumphs demise in the 1980's.
 
Around the time that you acquired your engine the Triumph experimental department at Canley were in the X1000 + range in the engine numbering sequence.
 
Bearing in mind where your engine originated from I think what you got was a Leyland ST unit. 
 
Leyland ST was the retail aftermarket tuning arm of British Leyland in the 1970's  based in the old rally department of the MG Abingdon factory.
 
Regards
David (Canley Classics)
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