History of the Combustion Engine 7
At least there was one company who went off the beaten track. Ferrari, who had left the roost of the mother company Alfa, gave their former designer the assignment of conceiving a twelve-cylinder, however, with one
cam each per cylinder-bank and with only three twin-carburettors. This took a great deal of courage and foresight, the country with it's incredible amount of two- and three cylinder cars, was poor and battered by the war.
Indeed, the racing tracks of the world would hear from them, very soon in fact, and to top it all, they only used a total displacement of 1,5 liters.
For the early Formula 1 this was unbelievable, 1500 cc spread over 12 cylinders. Fiat remained, as we said, with the two- and four cylinders, Alfa Romeo however, descended from the heights of producing in small
series, for only a few elite customers, down to the realms of mass production. Looking at the DOHC- with four- and occasionally also six cylinders and preferably Weber twin side-draught carbs, hardly any difference
was noticeable. Is there actually, any engine construction that Lancia didn't try out? At that time it was V6-engines with less than 2000cc.
In the post-war period, France was not very interesting for engine fetishists. Both Peugeot and Renault were building useful, everyday engines, Citroen on the other hand, at least built air-cooled two- and later also
even four cylinder boxer engines. A few examples of the six cylinder Traction Avant were sold before this car was replaced by the legendary “Goddess” DS. A very special car, but not it's engine. The glory days of the
Delage and particularly the Bugatti, were finally a thing of the past.
After the war, England was at least, able to maintain a number of it's motor companies, even though they were later forcibly merged together. Indeed, there was still freedom of trading, in the absence of foreign
currency, preferably with export successes. This they had, with the small, unrivaled unconventional sports cars. The engines were, apart from their long-stroke, nothing special. At least there was still the duet,
Bentley/Rolls Royce. Of the once 12 cylinders, there remained only 8, indeed, with a capacity 6,3 liters. Oh yes, I nearly forgot, Rover was building cars with gas-turbine engines.
The USA seemed to be so musclebound that they could hardly move. The cars there, with the exception of the two-seater British imports, were getting bigger and bigger, they were loaded with plenty of chrome and the
rear-fins were like airplane wings. In addition, the female consumers were being targeted. The two- and three speed automatic gearboxes that resulted, required added performance. The in-line six cylinder was
replaced by the famous V8. The simple OHV-design with a central cam and very thirsty four-barrel carbs. Would stay in our memories right up to and also after the crude oil price-crisis.