Grand Prix Exhaust Systems

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The problem of taking air into a Grand Prix engine is fairly straightforward, most people using Weber double-choke carburetters, giving one choke to each cylinder. Ferrari is the only variant on this carburetter theme, using Solex carburetters on his Lancia V8 engine, Vanwall alone having complete control of fuel injection.

Having passed the air through the engine, ideas on how to get rid of the waste gases show great variety. B.R.M. (top left) use an ungainly bunch of pipes into a double tail pipe, which ends in a large single one. Maserati (top) have two variations on their six-cylinder Grand Prix engine, double pipes and single pipe, never being really consistent about their use, though in each case the bottom pipe is fed by the first three cylinders and the top pipe by the rear three. Ferrari (above) made three attempts to get gases out of the Lancia V8 engine, left being the original long single tail pipe to each bank of cylinders, centre shows four megaphone-ended pipes in a row, and right, the final bunch of megaphones, there being one pipe to each cylinder.

Below left is the Vanwall system, sunk into the bodywork and giving good heat dissipation, while centre the Bugatti has all its heat under the bonnet, having four pipes feeding into an expansion box with a single tail pipe, there being an indentical system for each four-cylinder assembly. Connaught (right) use a simple and efficient double pipe, fed by cylinders 1 and 4, and 2 and 3, with a single tail pipe. At the bottom of the page we see Gordini variations on an eight-cylinder theme, showing 2, 4 and 8 pipe systems applied to the 2½-litre Grand Prix engine.