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The most evocative racing sounds?


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#1 C F Eick

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 13:24

I thought it could be interesting discussing our different choices of favorite engine sound. To start things off, here is a list of my favorites:

1.5-litre BRM V16. Although I've never heard one live I've got the "Into the red" CD and that works for me!

Every Ferrari ever made, especially the 512 S or M or even more the 712 CanAm version.

Every Porsche ever made, especially the flat-6 Carrera RSR and the 917 flat-12 models.

Any hard tuned American V8, ever seen "Vanishing Point" or "Bullitt"?!!!

The Lamborghini 12-cylinder engines used in Offshore Power Boat racing, listen to that shriek!!!

The Matra V12, obviously...

/C F Eick


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#2 Huw Jenjin

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 13:46

A geat topic, and one of things that make cars and motorcycles so intoxicating.
The BRM V16 undoubtedly is the best for me.
Any Ducati vee twin motor cycle.
A Vincent Vee Twin
Any normally aspirated Porsche flat six
Normally aspirated Porsche 917
a good DFV
McLaren Mercedes 2000
Mercedes and AutoUnion 1939
A Honda six GP bike.
Right,can any body get these sounds together?

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 14:07

Sure hope Keir doesn't see this one...
Not many would know it, but a Repco-headed Holden pushed hard in a speedcar sounds just great to me.

#4 C F Eick

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 14:41

More wonderfully sounding engines:

the 4-cylinder Ford Escort BDA at 8000 rpm

the 5-cylinder Audi Quattro

the 2000 Cadillac Le Mans cars

the Panoz ALMS cars

And of course:
a 3500 bhp Top Fuel Dragster blasting past at 450 km/h!!! Man, does those damn things make the ground and the air vibrate...

/C F Eick

#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 14:58

Well, I have said I don't like V8s especially, but the Cobra 427 of Ken Miles had the ground shaking at Lakeside all right.

#6 404KF2

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 15:04

Porsche 917 F-12
Matra-Simca V-12
Dodge 426 Hemi
Renault Dauphine Gordini ;)

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 15:12

The 56 Ferrari with the Lancia V8 sounded sharp, too. Only heard it from newsreels, though. And the 2.2-litre BRM V8 had a good howl to it.
But Alfa's GTA engine had a loud and piercing sound that worked on your eardrums something bad.

#8 Pascal

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 15:19

The Matra V12... This engine really has an unforgettable sound!

#9 green-blood

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 15:27

All very nice stufflads but none of us can nip down to the shops and make our own noise in thosenow can we. For me its not even the most powerful of the range but the 1300cc, 104bhp engine from the early Alfa Guilia GT Junior, aahhh heavenly. Some day soon.

Anyway if its race car engines I'll stick with the cliche, BRM V16, its still the best, get to Goodwood some year and follow Mason all day until he starts it.

#10 DJS

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 15:30

1995 Ferrari F1 car: 3 litres, 12 cylinders, 17,000+ rpm... magic... :)

Also, that lovely howl produced by a hard tuned straight six... Seems to have only been perfected by BMW. (For those whoe haven't heard it, go and watch Ronin.)

C F, don't they tune their Top-Fuellers right up??? The current 'Guestimate" is that the top teams in the US are pushing 7000hp!!!! (running mid-fours at 315ish mph)

We had them over here for the first time in 7 years, so it was my first experience with them. I was standing on top of our 4x4 when they went past... the shock almost knocked me over!! Funniest part was all the idiots in the pits trying to be tough when they were tuning the engines, standing a couple of metres from the exhausts, with tears streaming down their cheeks from the unburnt methanol that was spewing out the exhausts. :lol:[p][Edited by DJS on 06-28-2000]

#11 C F Eick

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 15:45

DJS: I knew that my estimation was a bit conservative (it's been a couple of years since I read Swedish drag racing magazines) and suspected that they should be up towards 5000 bhp but 7000 bhp, really? Wow, that explains the mid-4:s...

You're absolutely right about the shock wave when they pass, wonderful!

Has anyone heard the 2-stroke rally Saab:s that guys like Erik Carlsson used to drive. Very cool sound, screaming hysterically!

/C F Eick

#12 Darren Galpin

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 15:52

The Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Now that makes a gorgeous noise. OK, so its link to motorsport is somewhat tenuous, but there wasn't any limitation in the thread title.....

#13 DJS

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 15:58

Too right Darren!!

A guy in Australia called Rod Hadfield is putting one into a 1955 Chevrolet... Why I don't know.

#14 Gerr

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 16:00

Novi, http://www.primenet.com/~bobwest/#wav


#15 Keir

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 18:15

Sorry Ray,

Can't hide the good ones from me!!!!

Can anyone say MATRA!!!!!!!
I knew you could!!!!

V12 Ferrari's any and all, beautiful.

The six-pot Honda RC cycle motor

#16 TNSFH

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 18:49

If there are no limitations I would have to say the sound of a radial engine in a F9F Bearcat is fabulous, next the Rolls-royce Griffin.

If your talking automotive, the 1969 E-type Jaguar, after that, any V-12.

Best sounding motorcycle; Honda 6 cylinder. Although I do love the sound of a Harley.

#17 gunner

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 19:15

I kinda like the sound of the hit miss single cylinder engine on a friends gasoline powered milking machine.

Gunner

#18 gunner

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 19:32

DJSA.

Where is Hadfield going to put the Merlin in a 1955 Chevy? The engine is half as big as the car!

Gunner

#19 ZippyD

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 19:50

'78 Fiat 1.3 liter with no tail pipe. A real screamer!!!!

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#20 Keir

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 20:37

Having heard the Fiat "up close and personal".
I do miss that car, hated to drive it, but loved to hear it!!

While we're on the subject:
1974 Datsun B210 - pushrod 1300cc - 3ft of exhaust after the manifold, a poor man's 4 pot Coventry!!!

#21 luisfelipetrigo

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 20:45

The 3 cylinder DKW ;)

#22 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 22:05

Re the Chevy: I know why... it turns out more poke than the stovebolt six and looks better than the bent eight!
Wonder what the Buick chassis with the 1920s Cirrus aero engine will sound like - anyone near Mittagong can check it out?
Note, folks, that nobody has mentioned rotaries....
I do remember one thing, with regard to the sound of engines... when Warwick Brown and Len Goodwin would turn up late at Warwick Farm for practice and they'd be out on their own in the ten-minute discretionary session at the end of the day. All around the circuit you could hear the scream of the little FVA...
My point? It's not just the sound, but the setting and how you hear the sound...
Like the grid full of F5000s lifting off sounded better at Phillip Island than at AIR...

#23 Darren

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 02:03

Because, Ray, rotaries sound apallingly bad. When they're not flattened with a turbo, they're buzzingly horrid. Admire the engineering, not the sound.

OK, how about a Mercedes 300 SLR? Or an MV Augusta 750? Or a Guzzi v8? Or a Laverda Jota?

And all this is only about engine noise. Just think of how good supercharger and gearbox noises are. Which brings me to Alfa P3s and Monzas. And Bugatti 35s.

#24 404KF2

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 02:16

OK, how about the loping idle of a Peugeot XCKF2 engine? Very relaxing!

#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 02:28

loping idle, mixed in with the mechanicals... lovely, but only a promise of what's to come... and I agree, rotaries sound apalling... nothing worse, but they do come close to matching the pain of the GTA..

#26 KzKiwi

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 09:22

Matra V12
BRM V12
Auto Union V16
Any MB V12 from the mid to late 1930s
1989 Ferrari Tipo 034 V12 (this was the first atmo season after the turbo era - by did those turbos drone)

Besides the obvious ones listed above, imagine this.

Sunrise on a crisp winters day, beautiful blue sky, on a Forest road accessible only by foot, Out the back of Lake Rotama in the Bay of Plenty district of NZ, surrounded by trees and the wonderful silence of nature....and then....the howl of an engine...rising and lowering in pitch as the driver dances at the wheel...as the howl intensifies you realise the unmistakable sound of a BDA engine in a Mk 2 Ford Escort...listen, watch and wait as the screaming engine note comes closer and closer, louder and louder...and then...screams past you in a gracefull opposite locking moment...with only a 6" fence post between you and Ari Vatanen...peace and quiet resumes

Such a contrast between the silence of nature and the sheer delight of a screaming BDA engine. Truly a moment of the right sound in the right place at the right time!!!!

Come too think of it, a 1000 cc Kawasaki engined sidecar at full revs, as it struggles for traction on a speedway track sounds kind of horny too.

#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 11:08

I wrote a story that started like that once, about the little girl, about four or five, listening as her daddy took his car for a run up Anstee's Hill, just out of Adelaide, where the plateau drops into gullies and roads wind in and out.
He had a circuit he used, about ten or twelve miles, and all around the sound would echo. No mufflers, it was his racing car. The Dodge Weapons Carrier chassis fitted out with not one but two side valve Ford V8s, so there was a total of twelve stub exhausts emanating from under its alloy bonnet, sparks assured by aircraft magnetos.
The sound would rise and fall... a lovely sound, but not a refined sound or a rushed sound, and always a little distant. It would be a wonderful memory to one of us if we had been there. Eldred Norman was certainly a character.

#28 Alfisti

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 11:37

Top Fuel... no contest... i have heard F1 cars and Top Fuel engiens are something that cannot be described.

I guess the Ferrari V12 would have to be a good sound...

as for road cars... Alfa's V6 on full song makes a hell of a sound... so does the little GTA engine.

#29 green-blood

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 12:26

good boy glad we concur, you wouldnt mind posting your little black number over for a testdrive by the way???????????? no, ah well had to ask

#30 Alfisti

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 13:27

well.. the new engine has a total of 200Km on the clock... can't wait until she is bedded in... can't wait to drive it hard.... extractors make the car sound great... injection means it is so smooth.. i love the twin spark engine.. very nice so far.

Soon i will post on the BB again... this time with bumpers, new steering wheel and badges.. looks a LOT better.



#31 green-blood

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 14:29

I hate you, really I do. I'll give you, hmm lets see what have I got here right now, whats that in AUS$, eemmm about $40dollars for it, and you dont even need to get it serviced, have we a deal, well do we..............

#32 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 15:17

What primitive carriage are you using now, greeny?

#33 gunner

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 15:29

Hmmm.

Another one bites the dust at least it isn't Ray and Gunner this time

Gunner[p][Edited by gunner on 06-29-2000]

#34 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 22:06

Racing cars? - has to be the BRM V16. Sounds like someone ripping calico amplified a zillion times. Only trouble is, it lasts about as long as it takes to rip a strip of calico too.

As aircraft have crept into the discussion, I agree the Rolls Royce Griffon creates quite a nice racket, especially if there are four of them hauling a heavily laden Avro Shackleton off the deck at full throttle, what a roar, contra rotating props throbbing as the engines resonate. However, my favourite aircraft piston engines are any of the Bristol sleeve valve air cooled radials designed by Roy Fedden. The Centaurus in particular makes a lovely swooshing noise at full power. It can still to be heard today an surviving Hawker Sea Furies. It makes a Pratt & Whitney radial sound like tin cans rattling in a barrel.

#35 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 22:17

Eric, you would enjoy desmo's threads in Tech forum about 'oddball engines' - there are two of them. The one that grabbed me was the 37-litre (or was it 42-litre?) flat 12 Nomad engine, built just after the war and not ever put into much use because of the onslaught of the gas turbine stuff... have a good look at that one.. wonder what it sounded like... you'll have to go back perhaps two months to find it. Use search and put in 'diesel' as a key word... that'll do it for you.

#36 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 29 June 2000 - 22:26

Ray

I've just been reading Bill Gunston's book "Piston Aero Engines" (I actually read most of it on a coach journey in Portugal a few weeks ago) and he mentioned the Nomad, but mainly in passing and the fact that it arrived at just the wrong time.
Gunston has great admiration for Roy Fedden. Many of his excellent designs were ignored by the British Air Ministry because they believed no air cooled radial engine could ever match an in-line liquid cooled engine. They changed their minds rapidly when the first Focke Wulf Fw190 fell into their hands.
Bill Gunston is aviation writing's answer to Nigel Roebuck - opinionated but honest, and I can't help myself agreeing with many of his views.

#37 Leif Snellman

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Posted 30 June 2000 - 07:18

Formula 1 engine : The Matra V12

Racing engine: The Mercedes-Benz M25 and M125 in the mid 30s before they rebuilt the supercharger/carburettor systems in 1937.

Any engine: Saab 37 Viggen/Pratt & Whitney JT8D with full afterburner on. It's more like opening a giant furnace than any engine noice. You don't hear it, you FEEL it.


#38 iota

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Posted 30 June 2000 - 13:51

I am reminded of the Lamborghini F1 engine of the early 90's....that thing had such a penetrating note that it caused really sharp pains in my head as i sat in the Chicane stand at Adelaide.....it forced me to use earplugs for the first time, normally i don't because it spoils the experience.

BTW Is there a greater thrill than hearing an F1 engine shriek into life and go Wailing and Barking off into the distance as the first untimed session starts at Albert Park....I wait all year for that moment

#39 Roger Clark

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Posted 30 June 2000 - 18:40

The Vanwall was noted for its quiet engine note, by racing standards.

At Monza, in 1957, Enzo Ferrari was paying his annual visit. Tony Vandervell wandered along to the Ferrari pit: "Too much power there" he said pointing to the eight megaphone exhausts of a Lancia/Ferrari, " and not enough there", pointing to the rear wheels.

With that he wnadered off, no doubt convinced he had won on points over his old rival, even though Ferrari spoke not a word of English.

He did win on the track and the Vanwalls dominated in practice and the race; see one of the pictures don posted on another thread.


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#40 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 June 2000 - 21:53

Top points for old Tony, but what did the screaming Italian spectators think?
We know the answer to that, don't we... their desire is to outscream the engines (I recall this from Monaco, 81,when Gilles took the lead, the tifosi everywhere on the cliff faces), and there's no fun in that unless it's a challenge!

#41 Huw Jenjin

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Posted 01 July 2000 - 11:46

Any multiple of three sounds great, a multiples of four when they are screaming over 6000.
There must be some science to this. Anyone an Acoustics expert?

#42 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 July 2000 - 12:51

Must be something to do with the overlapping of the firing.

#43 pinchevs

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Posted 01 July 2000 - 16:58

Stuck in traffic 1 mile outside the Monza park in 1994 for the first practice on saturday, I just listened to the engines scream down the front straight and felt my blood boil each time the V12 Ferraris passed.

#44 green-blood

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Posted 03 July 2000 - 10:47

Alfisti;

Currently - very humiliating this, a 94 Skoda Favorite. Its a apoxy machine but in Ireland if you are under 50 anything with over 1 litre will cost you the cars worth in insurance, the robbing b..... anyhow it is very amusing in the wet, it doest just understeer, actually it doesnt steer, straight or stop, thats about it. So it is fun getting the thing sideways around corners, sort of. As I said I'd love a 1300 junior and its on the way.

For Modern day road engines the vtec and mivec Hondas and Mitsubishis take some beating 8500 RPM from 1600 cc, mad and screaming.......

#45 OssieFan

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Posted 03 July 2000 - 13:50

The 1995 Ferrari V12. I heard and saw it in Adelaide that year, it still sends a shiver down my spine.

#46 Huw Jenjin

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Posted 03 July 2000 - 14:24

Green blood you are not alone in appreciating the delights of rear engined Skoda dynamics, although I would falter at describing the noise as memorable. To get the feel of a 911 at a third the speed and without the aural pleasure it makes a reasonable substitute, it has the advantage that chucking it aganst a wall would cost you the same as the depreciation driving a 911 out of the show room.
You need to be pretty thick skinned to drive a Skoda, but you will have the last laugh. Did you hear the one about.........

#47 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 July 2000 - 21:52

Reminds me of myself and Simcas in the late sixties. Arondes and Elysees, cheap cars for the impecunious at that stage, and that was me... Got me to Lakeside once, though... and broke a rod the next week!
Not long after that I commenced using up the dregs of Peugeot 203C bits lying around the Western suburbs of Sydney.. more fun, more reliable...
None of these had the 911 vices, however, nearest I ever got to that was a 40hp VW pickup.

#48 green-blood

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Posted 04 July 2000 - 06:55

sorry to dissapoint you but its not even the rear engined thingy but a front wheel drive front engined eurobox. Its at the same level as poxy nissan and toyota run abouts only not as well trimmed, thats why I hinted at the chronic understeer, I swear you can get round a corner in the wet and go 100/150 yards up the road straight but with full lock on just pushing the front wheels - brutal.

#49 DJS

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Posted 04 July 2000 - 12:07

kzKiwi mentioned the sound of a single rally car out on the course, while I've never heard the BDA Escort (how I'd love one of those!!) I am one of the stage marshals for Rally Australia. Last year I was on the Serpentine West (or South?? I forget) and the sound of the top dozen or so cars going by was just unbelievable. From my position you could here the cars from the start, through just about half the stage. Now I haven't driven the stage, but I understand that it is rather scary, not trully flat out, but with lots of elevation changes and many blind corners. Out of the top dozen there were two drivers who were several seconds faster than anyone else over this stage: Carlos Sainz and Tommi Makkinen. In the whole time that I heard them on the course, never once did I hear the throttle lift for either driver... AWESOME.[p][Edited by DJS on 07-04-2000]

#50 Huw Jenjin

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Posted 05 July 2000 - 13:19

Thats right about the sound of a rally car from far away.The sound of the ferrari engine in the back of a Lancia Stratos after along silence in Wykham forest is music to your ears.
Even better was a long silence followed by the bellow of Tony Pond's TR-8, followed by distant cheering. then the Red Rumbler comes blaring past you on full oppo lock. whilst you chear yourself (out of surprise that he got this far)and protect your face from the large boulders he showers into you as he dissappears. You can still hear the whistles and the cheers as he races through another distant fire break in the forest. EEh them wer't days.