Radial plane engines in the automotive circus...
So let's start with my favourite,  Radial Hell from West Coast Choppers.

''The day Russell Ballentine bought an Australian-built 7-cylinder Rotec radial aircraft engine at an air show in Oshkosh, a dream was born. After acquiring a few more parts and modifying the engine, Ballentine brought his design to West Coast Choppers and enlisted Jesse James to build a prototype. Thus the outrageous Radial Hell cycle came to be''  -Jay Leno
   The engine produces around 110hp's and the chop itself was built around 2005-2007. You can find more detailed pics of it, here.


Photos by wcc, www.

   The Patmobil.  A rat rod with a Sternmotor 9 cylinder radial engine.
This one started showing up on the internet just a while ago. Around 2013. It was built by Haus of hot rod and damn is one sweet rat rod !
 ( Coulnd't find much info about it in english...)

Photos by pony photos blog (spotted @ just a car guy blog)

   Here's another Rotec engine powered chopper, but this time with a twist. A Red Baron twist.

    It took around 18 weeks to Frank Ohle to build this chop. The Red Baron theme is seen all around the bike; in the gas tank bomb design, small propeller in front of the engine and so on. By the way... the Red Baron is the nickname of the legendary fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen, who flew with an 1917 Fokker Dr.1 red plane in the WW1. His bravey and genious in combat tactics brought him his legendary nickname. Ok now the history lesson is over...
   Red Baron also came into the media's attention in the 2012-2013. The chopper is powered by a 150hp nine-cylinder Rotec Radial R3600.  Four-stroke, two-valve per cylinder. Frank used a bridge rigid frame without beams with a 300 wide tire in the rear.
    Although very cool looking (!!!) it looses points exactly cause of the ''theme bike'' idea, in my own humble opinion. That's why I said Radial Hell is my favourite. That doesn't mean I'm not in danger of wetting my pants when I see these bare metal photos below...

Photo by Rotec Engines.

     And here's the latest automotive creation with a radial engine. We're talking about a 68 C10 Chevy truck with airplane radial under the hood. It was built by TP Certified Hot Rods / Chris Daley. The truck was showned unfinished at the GoodGuys event in 2002 and it debuted finished a few week ago, in November, at the SEMA 2014. We're waiting for a few tech details and infos from Chris (as soon as I contact him...).

 Photos of the finished truck by Just A Car Guy Blog.

     Aaaaand this next project I think it got the most media exposure ever. Built by JRL'S Cycles, Lucky 7, back in 2007.  John Levey and Mike Wherle used for their chop a Rotec 2800cc-110hp aircraft engine.
       Fun fact, John wanted to mount the motor crossways, but Mike decided to mount it sideways, after seeing Jesse James 's Radial Hell. You can read the full Motorcycle USA article, here.

    Another plane radial engine powered chopper is Scott Hamann's. He built his seven-cylinder, 172-cubic-inch, 2,800-cc Rotec radial engine sickle named Black Jack around 2010. Full story, here.

       These are all mind blowing projects with a shitload of work behind. So regarding personal favourites, every project and their builders deserve nothing but respect and appreciation.  
      And just like a very well told story... we have a ''to be continued'' line... Randomly, I found a while ago this photo picturing another truck with a radial engine. As you can see, it looks like it's a build ''in progress'' . But I never managed to find out more. So keep your eyes open and let me know if you have something cool to share !


16.01.2015 UPDATE

A few weeks ago, my friend Jesse from Just A Car Guy blog contacted me saying that there are a few more other projects with radial engines. I wasn't interested in Megola's or any other similar projects like. But we did find three more fit for this Special. 

It looks like JRL Cycles built a second radial engine chopper. The main difference between this one and the Lucky 7 posted above, besides the color (...) it's the rear end set up. ''Kosmic Krome'' is a softail. Besides that, the engine looks to be the same Rotec. 


  Moving along with the VW Buggy with the W670-9A engine. The 668ci's, 220 horsepower radial engine built by Continental in 1941used to be fitted in airplanes. Although this exact engine comes from an M2 tank. Crazy cool project built by Mike Nieman. Not so eco-friendy tho... hahaha

Another ''exotic'' is the 2007 Dreamcraft's 7 cylinder radial engine motorcycle. All I know is that Paul Yang, the designer, is a graduate of the Art Center in Pasadena. (Like Chip Foose)
 Infos posted from here.

 As a fresh find, here's ITW 's latest rat rod. A VW Beetle called Bugly. The rat is fitted with a 1958 TSI 470 Continental airplane engine. Chris Walker, the man behind ITW Hot Rods took 2nd place at the 2014 Great American Build Off Drive Off. Bitchin'.... 

Ps: I'm still looking for more infos/pics of the truck above with the radial engine inside. dwrenched@gmail.com !

1 comment:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.