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The Novi - where are they now?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by indyrjc View Post

    He got all of the parts that were left just as you said. I believe his Ed Pink Racing Engines Co has put together at least one Grantelli era Novi engine from the parts he bought for his own use. There were never very many Novi engines around at any given time. I don't know for sure but through the entire Lew Welch era there may have only been 3 (or maybe 4) engines built. The Granatellis may have had a couple of more built and they certainly did build some new design cylinder blocks with different valve configuration and cam designs. It's been said that the Granatelli era Novi engines sounded very different (with more of a roar) than the Lew Welch era engines which screamed due to the supercharger being run at higher RPMs and with different cam timing. At any rate if I had to bet right now there may have only ever been about a half dozen complete Novi engines ever built.

    Right now the 1941 Miller front drive Novi actually runs as does the post war front drive of Hepburn/Miller. I can't remember the year for sure but the Ferguson Bobby Unser Novi was run at Michigan International Speedway in exhibition sometime back in the 1980s/early '90s on a CART race weekend. The last I heard that car was on display in a library in Novi, Michigan.

    Andy Grantelli apparently donated Bobby Unser's 1963 configuration Kurtis Novi to the Unser Museum at some point saying that the engine was in running condition. A friend of mine asked Unser about this and he confirmed that the engine was supposed to be complete but he also said that the engine had never been started and there weren't any plans to try to start it.

    The Novis (Nalon and Hurtubise) in the IMS Museum don't run at all as apparently the engines aren't complete.

    If anyone here has additional information I would love to hear it. Thanks!

    https://www.edpink.com/engine-gallery/
    Great info. The Ferguson was moved to the Novi, Michigan Civic Center sometime in the past 5 years. I saw it in late 2020.
    Real drivers don't need fenders!

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    • #32
      Originally posted by indyrjc View Post

      He got all of the parts that were left just as you said. I believe his Ed Pink Racing Engines Co has put together at least one Grantelli era Novi engine from the parts he bought for his own use. There were never very many Novi engines around at any given time. I don't know for sure but through the entire Lew Welch era there may have only been 3 (or maybe 4) engines built. The Granatellis may have had a couple of more built and they certainly did build some new design cylinder blocks with different valve configuration and cam designs. It's been said that the Granatelli era Novi engines sounded very different (with more of a roar) than the Lew Welch era engines which screamed due to the supercharger being run at higher RPMs and with different cam timing. At any rate if I had to bet right now there may have only ever been about a half dozen complete Novi engines ever built.

      Right now the 1941 Miller front drive Novi actually runs as does the post war front drive of Hepburn/Miller. I can't remember the year for sure but the Ferguson Bobby Unser Novi was run at Michigan International Speedway in exhibition sometime back in the 1980s/early '90s on a CART race weekend. The last I heard that car was on display in a library in Novi, Michigan.

      Andy Grantelli apparently donated Bobby Unser's 1963 configuration Kurtis Novi to the Unser Museum at some point saying that the engine was in running condition. A friend of mine asked Unser about this and he confirmed that the engine was supposed to be complete but he also said that the engine had never been started and there weren't any plans to try to start it.

      The Novis (Nalon and Hurtubise) in the IMS Museum don't run at all as apparently the engines aren't complete.

      If anyone here has additional information I would love to hear it. Thanks!

      https://www.edpink.com/engine-gallery/
      I think you gave about all there is. It was always my understanding there were never very many Novi's built to running status, in the half dozen range and I thought Granatelli upgraded existing power plants.
      "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal".

      John Kennedy at American University 1963

      "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"

      A. Lincoln

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      • #33
        Engine variations as researched by George Peters & Henri Greuter:

        Type 1: The original engine built in 1941 under the prevailing 183 c.i. rules for supercharged engines.
        Type 2: The two engines built in 1947. The only difference from the original engines built before the war was that these two later engines had their spark plugs slightly inclined in the block while the first engine had the plugs mounted in a straight line.
        Type 3: The rebuilt engines used in 1948. They were reported to have used several parts from the older engines with some minor changes in specifications. The new registration given is for that reason.

        At this point, it appeared that Welch had built 3 engines: the original pre-war Novi, and then a pair built in 1947 that were rebuilt/modified for 1948.

        Type 4: The version introduced in 1950 with the new bore and stroke dimensions, making them even more oversquare.
        Type 5: The version used from 1953 on; but now without the intercooler.
        Type 6: The engines used in the rear drive roadsters from 1956. The crankcases were redesigned to accommodate the rear drive line.
        Type 7: The version used in 1957 with the shorter stroke for the new 171 c.i. maximum capacity rule for blown engines.
        Type 8: The version using the double ignition system introduced in 1958.

        Granatelli years to follow, but looking at this, how many engines were built? Maybe just 3? Were the 1947 engines just modfied/upgraded every year?
        Real drivers don't need fenders!

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        • #34
          Mac Miller's website page about the famous Novi engine auction won by Tom Malloy lists five engine blocks, ten cylinder heads, twenty-five crankshafts and a whole lot of other parts:

          https://indyroadsters.webs.com/apps/...5-a-fish-story

          Since, apparently, the various Novis mentioned in this thread were in existence separately from the stash sold at the auction, there has to be more like 15-16 engines, or most of the parts for that many, in existence.

          Comment


          • #35
            According Peters & Greuter, Andy Granatelli told them that there were parts for up to 10 to 12 engines but rarely more than 6 of them were built up at the same time due to shortage of certain parts.

            As for the list in post #33,

            As far a s I can work this list out, There were at least three engines built during the FWD era. Then I think it is most likely that new crankcases were introduced when the roadsters were introduced but cylinder blocks being carried over. But new cylinder blocks were introduced from 1958 on when dual ignition was introduced.


            Reading the link posted by Gurney36 we can conclude that:
            When Malloy got the engines there were certain parts and engines not within his posession, being:

            The shell engines in the two IMS Museum cars and in the Unser Roadster. (photos of the engine bays within these cars exist and suggest they have at least shell engines, using original components)

            The running engines in:
            1) the "Hepburn&Miller death car" currently in Jacksonville,
            2) the 1941 Miller-Ford chassis shown in the pictures within this thread
            3) the 1964 Ferguson car, also mentioned in this thread

            1) and 2) must be using examples of the earlies built crankcases, the ones built for the FWD cars. Given the fact that these crankcases still existed and could be used for those cars, I think it is safe to assume that they were indeed retired for use in cars once the roadsters were taking over and not been modified for further use in the Roadsters anymore. A third FWD crankcase is most likely used within the Nalon Novi No 54 in the museum. Since this car was built up while still owned by Lew Welch and donated to the Museum by him, I think it is safe to assume that it uses one of the original FWD crankcases.
            1) and 2) and the IMS Nalon Novi are also using single plug cylinder blocks.

            In all likelyhood, at least one engine has been wrecked beyond salvation in 1961 in the practice crash of Ralph Liguori. Since the crankshaft of the engine was found on the track, think about what must have happened with the crankcase of that engine in order to make that possible.


            The question remains about what can be found in the bay of the car at Talladega.


            So it appears that most of what Malloy obtained must have been primarily hardware used from 1956 and 1958 on.

            That is what I can contribute to the discussion

            Comment


            • #36
              When I was young, and that was a long time ago, we lived about 10 miles east of the Speedway. When the wind was from the west, I could hear when the Novi took to the Track. I finally got to see one race in 1956, and Paul Russo led the Race for about 25 laps until hitting the turn one wall. I was in old Grandstand D in the south short chute and the impact with the wall was almost as loud as the Novi engine itself. I was 12 years old and I was hooked!
              Have a very blessed day!

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              • #37
                As seen at the Unser Family Racing Museum - July 2018

                4C9518A1-3D08-4D3E-84D7-691E637499BB_1_105_c.jpg

                33773231-A0F2-4804-893A-973B42EEB337_1_105_c.jpg

                DA145366-AB72-4CE3-BF5E-DA21D9452032_1_105_c.jpg

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