The recent articles on the two Weslake V12 engines brought back nostalgic memories. I served my apprenticeship with Weslake during the Dan Gurney days and recall the beautiful sound of that engine, which could be heard sometimes into the night and from miles away. There was also the odd occasion when an Eagle was tested on the public road outside the works.
A minor correction, though: the Ford-Weslake project was not sold to Terry Hoyle, but to my company at the time, Lynx Engineering. We were heavily involved in the preparation of historic racing cars — especially the Jaguar D-type — and in the building of our D-type replica.
It had always been a dream for me to construct a Le Mans car, and that is the fundamental reason behind our purchase of the Weslake engine project. We thought we had a backer for this idea but, like so many dreams, it remained just that. The money could not be raised. In actual fact, there were some important drawings and pattern equipment missing from the project, so apart from the half-dozen or so semi-complete engines and a large quantity of parts, it would have been quite problematical to start again.
In the end, we sold the project to Aston Martin, who doubtless at the time also held dreams of a Le Mans car. It is a strange irony that Aston Martin are now owned by Ford, original backers of the Weslake engine. Presumably the V12 project is gathering dust at Newport Pagnell to this day.
We did keep an engine and installed it in a Lynx D-type — I seem to recall it went rather well! I gather that this engine was later removed from the car and may well have gone to Terry Hoyle. I am not entirely sure because I left cars for the world of aviation and Rolls Royce V12s — a different, but equally evocative sound.
I am, Yours etc,
Guy Black, Rye, East Sussex