Well it is a bit sad that somebody does not restore and use the engine in a plane its better than it rusting away and the kids not playing with mechanical stuff and having fun. Actually it least running keeps it from rusting.
Just because an old engine will run does not mean it can be used in an aircraft of course. You need 50 grand to overhaul a kinner and 1/4 million or more to overhaul a merlin to airworthy standards. Plenty of merlins just get put on a display stand never to run again. Also most Merlins run in Warbirds have very few original parts. The cranks, pistons, camshafts, etc. etc are made new with new materials with CAD, the cases are original I believe but there is now a place making new cases too.
Even lycomings get used in airboats, company down in florada takes clapped out bits from lycominngs schleps together an airboat engine that runs a few thousand more hours.
Odd choice for a racecar engine? I always thought that you were not supposed to reverse-load radials, yet downshifting to slow down in a car does just that..
Or maybe he was just one of those backyard bodger/engineers who thought that a radial would look cool in a car
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