Davies Craig Rides a Meteor

23/02/2018 12:00AM

The annual British Speed Week held in November each year once had a story about a car powered by an engine sourced from a WW2 fighter plane. It was a spectacle to behold with flames, sparks, and smoke being emitted as it was piloted around the show’s test track.

British based attorney John Crowhurst is one member of a very select group who had similar thoughts to the builder of that car. John, formerly based in South Africa, has found an engine that comes from the same basic aeronautic background, however it’s a British built Merlin engine.

During WW2 the Merlin engine powered planes such as the iconic Spitfire. Rolls-Royce sourced parts from engines that had been in crashed aircraft with the hope of being able to use them for something else during the war. A home was found for the project by using these parts as the basis for an engine that was called Meteor.

The Meteor engine was built for and used in tanks and was in service until 1964. One of these has been repurposed to be the power plant for a hand built car that John, sadly, can’t legally drive on UK roads.

It’s a V12 configuration, something that fans of Jaguar or Aston Martin can appreciate. But it’s the capacity that gives pause for thoughts. Consider for a moment that a Holden 5.0L engine was 308 cubic inches. John’s beast is 27.022 litres or a whopping 1648ci!

Naturally something this big needs a good (great?) cooling system and John has fitted a set of tanks that have a total of 70 litres worth of fluid capacity. This is where Davies Craig has joined the party. Two Davies Craig EWP150 Electric Water Pumps, were sent to John and both installed, one at the rear and one at the front end for the radiator.

The car itself is built on a ladder chassis with tubular components  forming the upper body structure. It’s strong but flexible enough to deal with the 631 horsepower and 1449 lb-ft (470 kW and 1964 Nm).

John is naturally quite happy with this although laments that, in his extensive sponsor list, he doesn’t have a fuel supplier. Why? At around 100 km/h or 60 mph it uses a litre of fuel every mile.

At least it won’t overheat thanks to the two Davies Craig EWP150 Electric Water Pumps!