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Harry Ricardo, Wilfredo Ricart and the Alfa 162


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#1 Jakechapman

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 21:00

Hello, lately i have been reading a book by karl ludvigsen called BRM V16, a fascinating car but that is another story. I was flicking through the book were i came across a page full of information about how the brm v16 was designed and how the alfa 162 played a part in its creation.
The alfa 162 was a racing car desgined by harry ricardo and wilfredo ricart in 1939 and 1940 with a 3.0 litre V16 engine, four valves per cylinder and two stage supercharging by a quadrouple battery of triple-lobe roots-type blowers. the engine was expected to produce 490bhp at 7800 rpm and 560 at 8200rpm. i was amazed at how a engine of 1939 could produce that power and be made possible.
The reason why this really came to my attention is because my dad had told me about this car and how not many people know about it and now i know that it helped design one of the most magnificent british grand prix cars ever i just had to share the story.
i wanted to tell people about this car so people can enjoy learning about it just as i did. now i wonder does any one know anything else about the alfa 162?
this is just a brief story about the car and im willing to write more if people are intersted- jake chapman
the only picture i have of the car is this : Posted Image



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#2 David McKinney

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 22:42

Welcome to TNF, Jake

You'll soon learn to use the 'search' function (at the top of the page), in which you'll find several mentions of the Alfa 162, eg:
http://forums.autosp...showtopic=70295

#3 Jakechapman

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 17:03

Welcome to TNF, Jake

You'll soon learn to use the 'search' function (at the top of the page), in which you'll find several mentions of the Alfa 162, eg:
http://forums.autosp...showtopic=70295


I did actually see this post and others on wilfedo ricart but it never mentioned much infomation on the alfa 162 and harry ricardo and also how it inspired peter berthon for the desgins of the brm v16 i just wanted to share this information i have learned for anyone that doesnt know about the car. jake chapman

#4 Roger Clark

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 17:31

I would be interested to learn about the influence of the Alfa 162 on the BRM. Had any of the BRM designers seen the 162?

#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 20:44

I would be interested to learn about the influence of the Alfa 162 on the BRM. Had any of the BRM designers seen the 162?


I frankly doubt that this design had much significant influence upon the BRM concept. Berthon was far more focused upon German innovation than Italian.

I certainly cannot recall finding very much reference to the 162 amongst the reams of paperwork explored during research for my BRM Saga Volume 1, covering the British V16. Neither did Raymond Mays nor Harry Mundy make memorable mention to me of any such influence...

DCN

#6 JB Miltonian

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 20:49

Quoting from an article ("16 Cylinder...The Incredible Saga of the BRM's") by Karl Ludvigsen, in Sports Cars of the World, 1972:

"For several years before the war Cadillac built a 135-degree V-16, but this was far from being a racing engine. More interesting to Mays and Berthon was engineer/editor Laurence Pomeroy's proposal in a December 1938 issue of Motor, for a British 3-liter GP car, one with a wide V-16-cylinder engine. Such an engine of fantastically elaborate design was built in 1939 and 1940 by Alfa Romeo, with the consultation of Briton Harry Ricardo. This type 162 Alfa was never made raceworthy, but the BRM's planners knew of its design."

The same booklet includes a 6-page article by Luigi Fusi about Alfa Romeo's 16-cylinder Grand Prix cars, including the 162 project.

#7 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 21:09

I frankly doubt that this design had much significant influence upon the BRM concept. Berthon was far more focused upon German innovation than Italian.

I certainly cannot recall finding very much reference to the 162 amongst the reams of paperwork explored during research for my BRM Saga Volume 1, covering the British V16. Neither did Raymond Mays nor Harry Mundy make memorable mention to me of any such influence...

DCN

As a matter of tangential interest, Doug, was there any evidence that Berthon had any knowledge of the fabled blown V16 Talbot engine which Tony Lago used to extract money from the Fonds de Course and later claimed to be reworking as a 1500? Circumstances would suggest he might.

#8 MartLgn

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 21:23

I don't think that Karl Ludvigsen is making any claims in BRM V16 about Ricarts design influencing Peter Berthon and the BRM engineers in the design of the BRM V16. In chapter 2 of the book he mentions some of the most startling engine designs of the period including a Massimino designed V16 for Maserati which never advanced beyond the drawing stage. To my mind Mr Ludvigsen is attempting to set the V16 design against a back drop of extreme examples of what other designers were thinking just prior to WW2 rather than what directly influenced the design team at Bourne.

#9 RStock

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 21:42

I know it's been said that Gioachino Colombo's original V-12 design for Ferrari drew on Ricart's and Trevisan's pre-war V-12 work in that it was helpful in knowing what not to do. Perhaps that is the case here as well.

Edited by REDARMYSOJA, 28 November 2011 - 23:38.


#10 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 21:53

Tresvian? Who he?

Tresilian, perchance? :)

#11 RStock

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 23:37

Tresvian? Who he?

Tresilian, perchance? :)


Sorry, a dyslexic moment had I. That should be Trevisan, as in Bruno Trevisan.

#12 Jakechapman

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 17:43

I did actually see this post and others on wilfedo ricart but it never mentioned much infomation on the alfa 162 and harry ricardo and also how it inspired peter berthon for the desgins of the brm v16 i just wanted to share this information i have learned for anyone that doesnt know about the car. jake chapman


according to the book there were several parts of the brm v16 engine that were based on the alfa 162 ''an expetinal feature for the v16 concepetion in 1946/47 was its use of hairpin style valve springs; pairs of springs reasembling those used in clothes pegs. advantages were a reduction of a resonant mass and less height than coil springs allowing shorter and lighter valve stems and a more compact engine. this was a feature borrowed from the alfa 162. also following the afla 162 design was finger type cam followers were specified, with a sized ball at the top of each valve stem to set running clerance.

I frankly doubt that this design had much significant influence upon the BRM concept. Berthon was far more focused upon German innovation than Italian.

I certainly cannot recall finding very much reference to the 162 amongst the reams of paperwork explored during research for my BRM Saga Volume 1, covering the British V16. Neither did Raymond Mays nor Harry Mundy make memorable mention to me of any such influence...

DCN


the article says this . peter berthon and raymond mays etc.. were thinking of ideas for a engine they thought of a v8 but they said it was copying the tripoli mercades. then they thought of a v12 based on a m195 mercades engine but then that was aborted until finally peter berthon was inspired by the alfa 162 engine.. the article says ''more concrete inspiration in 1939/1940 in the form of a fantastically complex 135 degree 3.0 litre v16 built by alfa romeo, under its ultra creative engineering chief wilfredo ricart, with the consultation british engine expert harry ricardo''. i also very much agree with about them being inspired by the germans as of course they were superior during the 1930s. but this alfa must of played a part if features from the alfa were borrowed and used in the brm v16.

I don't think that Karl Ludvigsen is making any claims in BRM V16 about Ricarts design influencing Peter Berthon and the BRM engineers in the design of the BRM V16. In chapter 2 of the book he mentions some of the most startling engine designs of the period including a Massimino designed V16 for Maserati which never advanced beyond the drawing stage. To my mind Mr Ludvigsen is attempting to set the V16 design against a back drop of extreme examples of what other designers were thinking just prior to WW2 rather than what directly influenced the design team at Bourne.


yes karl ludvigsen did talk about other v16 engines around that time but specifically said that peter berthon was inspired by the alfa 162 engine as i said to doug above.

i did want to make this topic to be foucsed on the alfa 162 but thank you for everones response about how its related a bit to the brm (makes things a bit more fun i suppose). -jake chapman

#13 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 18:52

Indeed - rather more likely. PB knew Tony Lago...and they would come close to a collaborative road car project just before Talbot imploded.

DCN

#14 D-Type

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 20:27

Jake, before you dig yourself further into the proverbial may I respectfully suggest that you purchase a copy of BRM: Front Engined Cars, 1945-60 v.1: The Saga of British Racing Motors: Front Engined Cars, 1945-60 Vol 1 by Doug Nye. ISBN 0947981373

I don't own either book, but my understanding is that Doug Nye had access to a greater quantity of original source material than Karl Ludvigsen.

#15 RCH

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 20:58

Maybe I'm talking about something of which I know very little but would Harry Ricardo have been collaborating with an Italian company in 1940?

#16 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 21:30

Maybe I'm talking about something of which I know very little but would Harry Ricardo have been collaborating with an Italian company in 1940?

I believe there is some evidence that Ricart had started work on the 162 GP car and the closely-related 163 coupé as early as late 1937. It was certainly well in train by mid-1938 - at which point Britain was still on friendly terms with Italy, so there would be no problem in Ricardo working with Alfas. I think the 162 engine design was complete by the summer of 1939: it was certainly being bench tested by the end of the year.

#17 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 21:33

Jake, before you dig yourself further into the proverbial may I respectfully suggest that you purchase a copy of BRM: Front Engined Cars, 1945-60 v.1: The Saga of British Racing Motors: Front Engined Cars, 1945-60 Vol 1 by Doug Nye. ISBN 0947981373

I don't own either book, but my understanding is that Doug Nye had access to a greater quantity of original source material than Karl Ludvigsen.

The relevant chapters of Karl's book are available for perusal on Google Books:

http://books.google....a...sen&f=false

#18 Allan Lupton

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 22:16

Whilst both Alfa and BRM may have had hairpin valve springs those springs were not unusual in 1930s motorcycle design, and many racing car engines have drawn on motorycycle technology.