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Anyone Recognise It?

Graham Smith

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Received this via e-mail:

Yes, these are Allison aircraft engines. The easiest way to distinguish them from the Merlin is that the valve covers taper at one end. I recall this 4-wheel drive beast from coverage in car magazines back in the early '60s. I found some more photos on Pinterest.com, a couple of which referred to it as "Quad Al," and another identifying the builder as Jim Lytle.

The Fiat Topolino body was a popular basis for drag cars competing in the Altered class back in the '50s/'early 60s. I don't know whether the rules for the Altered class actually allowed unlimited displacement or length, but I believe the car was mostly intended as a promotional attraction, performing demonstration runs and as a showpiece at various dragstrips and car shows.

I came across these ads for surplus Alison engines, which helps explain how building a car with four exotic engines could ever be economically possible. The first one was from the Feb '47 issue of Popular mechanics.

Allison Engines Feb '47 Popular Mechancanics Ad.jpg

Allison Engines Ad.jpg

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