Several items in the February issue of your always interesting publication attracted my attention.
The accomplishments of Connaught in racing car design and engineering were well portrayed in your excellent series. I don’t believe that it will belittle the Connaught name to state that the 288 bhp they generated from a single engine did not in fact surpass the power level achieved by Mercedes-Benz during the 2.5-litre Formula One era. The typical output of the Mercedes-Benz engine in 1955 was 290bhp at 8500rpm.
The subject of Mercedes-Benz is also raised by DSJ in his letter on speed and various manifestations of it. In spite of my enthusiasm for the Wankel engine I have to record that this was not used in the Mercedes-Benz that set the record speed of 251.02mph at Nardo. That car was powered by a modified 450-series V8 engine with twin turbochargers.
Remaining on the subject of V8 engines, I have to shoot down the canard that the BMW V8 “was subsequently sold to Buick”. I was very familiar with the GM example during my period of employment with that company and I can state with confidence that no such arrangement was made. The Buick V8 (like its Oldsmobile counterpart) was developed entirely internally by GM.
KE Ludvigsen, London W1