For all you out there who like big, honking V-8’s and screamin’ V-12 engines, check out these tiny versions that you could run on your workbench or kitchen table. These models were built by craftsmen the same way the big ones are made--by machining billet stock and castings--but in miniature. These are not just models that look like engines; they are real, running engines. Some of these photos were taken from the Joe Martin Foundation Craftsmanship Museum web site at www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com, but many more images can be found elsewhere on the web, and engines like these can be seen in person at model engineering shows around the country. Here are some really nice examples.
The late Lee Root built this ¼ scale Corvette engine. The major components were machined entirely from solid billet aluminum that has been bead blasted to look like castings, and it will turn 18,000 RPM! The Corvette valve covers are just 4-1/2" long, and the miniature spark plugs are commercially available.
Here’s a V-8 and a half--a ¼ scale Ferrari V-12 by Jeron Classic Motors. It has double overhead camshafts, burns methanol on glow ignition and is equipped with two oil pumps for dry sump lubrication. All six carburetors function and are linked together for smooth operation. The heads and block are about 7-1/4" long. Only a few of these were made before the company went out of business, so it’s pretty rare. The coin you see in the photo below for size reference is a US Quarter. Like many of the engines you see here, it is on loan to the Craftsmanship Museum courtesy of Paul and Paula Knapp and their Miniature Engineering Museum.
This scale 426 Hemi V-8 by Roger Butzen was made by using parts of a plastic model kit for reference. This one, however, is all metal and it RUNS! Only the air cleaner decal from the plastic kit made it to the final running version.