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oldvinyl
10-23-2005, 01:36 AM
Has anyone been up close to any of the Novi engines???? I would like to hear from anybody that has any info, It would be a great thing to hear or see old footage of these famous indy cars. The Novi put out upwards of 800 H.P. Ed Iskenderian built a set of Hemi heads W/ twin cams for his Stude????? Anyone have pictures???? thanks Tom.

11SecAvanti
10-23-2005, 09:08 AM
I have heard of the term "Novi" but did not know it was built around a stude short block. Curious myself. Oldvinyl, send me a pm when you get a chance.

Start and Stage Your Studebakers

oldvinyl
10-23-2005, 10:53 AM
The Novi Race Engines were Indianapolis engines, there were 4 or 5 cars built. I beleive that one exists somewhere back east in a studebaker museum. these engines were equipped with twin overhead cam Hemi heads, and paxton charger. Built and run at Indy around 62-thru-65. I just dont have too much info, They were very loud apparently., and fast.

gordr
10-23-2005, 11:03 AM
I'm wondering if there isn't some confusion here between the Novi engines and the J.C. Agajanian Indy engine of the early '50s, that was indeed built on a Studebaker block. It did have hemi heads, with dual overhead cams driven by spur gears. I think it has been wrttten up in TW at least once.

I have an old magazine article that describes it, with a very nice illustration.

I don't think it has any connection to the Novi, but I sure could be wrong.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

Alan
10-23-2005, 12:02 PM
I will be having lunch with Ed Iskenderian tomorrow and will ask him about it.

Dan White
10-23-2005, 12:26 PM
The Novi engine/cars had nothing to do with the Studebaker Corp. or its engines. However Andy Granatelli did run them for a couple of years at Indy, prior to his ill fated turbine adventur, so there is some distant connection. Rumor has that it was designed with secret funding help from Henry Ford Sr., and built in Novi MI. It raced from 46 to 65. One of the reasons for the noise was that they ran a flat crank making the firing a bit odd. Here is one write upon the Novi:

By Wayne E. Moyer

No other car ever promised so much, delivered so little, and won as much fame at Indianapolis as the Novis. From 1946 through 1965, Novis set the fastest qualifying speed four times and led many of the races, but they never won the Indianapolis 500 or any other major race. The scream of the twin-cam, supercharged V-8 was unlike the sound of any other engine ever to run at Indy, apparently so unforgettable that the Novi's are the only Indianapolis racers to be known by the name of their engine. Wilbur Shaw's "Boyle Special" was really an ex-Formula 1 Maserati, Bill Vukovitch won in 1953 and "54 driving the "Fuel Injection Special", a Kurtis chassis with an Offenhauser engine, and Parnelli's "Willard Battery Special" was a Watson-Offy. Talk about the "Grooved Piston Special" or the "Hotel Tropicana Special" and you"ll get blank looks while "1948 Novi" or "1963 Novi" draws instant recognition.
In fact, virtually all of the cars from the front-wheel-drive 1946-"54 cars through the rear-wheel-drive 1963 "Hotel Tropicana" cars were Kurtis chassis while the 1964-"65 "Studebaker-STP" cars were 4-wheel-drive Ferguson chassis. Front, rear, or all-wheel drive, the Novi-powered cars were fast but either fragile or exceedingly unlucky.
After Lew Welch, who built the Novi engines in the town of Novi, Michigan (originally "mile post No. VI", the story goes) made a small fortune out of a larger one, Andy Granatelli bought the cars, engines, and tools for a song in 1962. Finally realizing that the 1956 Kurtis chassis was obsolete in comparison to the newer Watson"s, Andy had Kurtis build two new "KK500K" cars with widened engine bays to accept the blown V-8 for the 1962 race. Depending on whose story you choose to believe, either Kurtis was late in delivering the cars or Granatelli was late in paying for them; neither of the brand-new cars was able to work up to qualifying speed in the few days they had available.
Jim Hurtibise qualified the Day-Glo Red "Hotel Tropicana" #56 Novi in the middle of the front row and led the first lap, but retired in mid-race. Bobby Unser's Day-Glo Yellow #6 "Hotel Tropicana" car crashed on the second lap. As always, the Novi's were fast but exceedingly unlucky.

Dan White
64 R1 GT
64 R2 GT

wagone
10-23-2005, 07:17 PM
The J. C. Agajanian car referenced above by Gordy had an engine based on a Studebaker V8 block (as noted) and was designed and built by one Willie Utzman of California. It was supposed to run at Indy in 1953. Does anyone know how it faired in the race? The engine is supposed to reside in a museum in Lincoln, Nebr. I had intended to visit that musuem this summer, but somehow never got around to it.
wagone and the cursed one

DEEPNHOCK
10-23-2005, 07:43 PM
The engine exists and is at Speedway Motors in Lincoln, Nebraska.
"Speedy" Bill Smith not only has the engine, but has all the molds for it. There is supposed to be a side tour to his place during the SDC International Meet in Omaha late next summer.
(BTW... There is little, if any, parts that interchange between this engine, the NOVI engine(s), and the Studebaker V8 engine(s)...
Jeff[8D]



quote:Originally posted by wagone

The J. C. Agajanian car referenced above by Gordy had an engine based on a Studebaker V8 block (as noted) and was designed and built by one Willie Utzman of California. It was supposed to run at Indy in 1953. Does anyone know how it faired in the race? The engine is supposed to reside in a museum in Lincoln, Nebr. I had intended to visit that musuem this summer, but somehow never got around to it.
wagone and the cursed one


DEEPNHOCK at Cox.net
'37 Coupe Express
'37 Coupe Express Trailer
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DEEPNHOCK
10-23-2005, 07:44 PM
[navy]The engine exists and is at Speedway Motors in Lincoln, Nebraska.
"Speedy" Bill Smith not only has the engine, but has all the molds for it. There is supposed to be a side tour to his place during the SDC International Meet in Omaha late next summer.
(BTW... There is little, if any, parts that interchange between this engine, the NOVI engine(s), and the Studebaker V8 engine(s)...
Jeff[8D][/navy



quote:Originally posted by wagone

The J. C. Agajanian car referenced above by Gordy had an engine based on a Studebaker V8 block (as noted) and was designed and built by one Willie Utzman of California. It was supposed to run at Indy in 1953. Does anyone know how it faired in the race? The engine is supposed to reside in a museum in Lincoln, Nebr. I had intended to visit that musuem this summer, but somehow never got around to it.
wagone and the cursed one


DEEPNHOCK at Cox.net
'37 Coupe Express
'37 Coupe Express Trailer
'61 Hawk
[img]http://community.webshots.com/photo/42559113/426827941Lsvfrz
http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock

Dick Steinkamp
10-23-2005, 07:50 PM
quote:Originally posted by wagone

The J. C. Agajanian car referenced above by Gordy had an engine based on a Studebaker V8 block (as noted) and was designed and built by one Willie Utzman of California. It was supposed to run at Indy in 1953. Does anyone know how it faired in the race? The engine is supposed to reside in a museum in Lincoln, Nebr. I had intended to visit that musuem this summer, but somehow never got around to it.
wagone and the cursed one


Here's the Agajanian motor...

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/ddstnkmp/detail?.dir=a9dc&.dnm=1a73.jpg&.src=ph

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/ddstnkmp/detail?.dir=a9dc&.dnm=1a73.jpg&.src=ph

I have not heard of Novi being involved in any Studebaker related project, but I have been wrong before <g>.

An Agajanian motor is indeed in Lincoln at the Speedway Motors Museum.

scroll to the bottom of this page...

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/smi_aboutus.aspx

If you're ever within 100 miles of Lincoln, this museum is a must see.

-Dick-

Jeff
10-23-2005, 07:53 PM
The Utzman twin cam Stude engine never saw the Indy track. It broke a crank the first attempt to start it at Indy. The Novi engines were designed by Leo Goossen, Harry Miller's designer, and were essentially two Miller (or Offy) 4 cyls on a common crankcase to make a V8, with centrifugal blower.

jeffrey holmes

Transtar60
10-23-2005, 08:15 PM
Heres the pic.

http://us.a1.yahoofs.com/users/41b3644fz4b9b7856/a9dc/__sr_/1a73.jpg?ph9kDXDB4LMTwN_H

oldvinyl
10-23-2005, 08:56 PM
Thanks For the information, The picture was great!!! From what I have heard these engines really made power, but due to other associated driveline problems the cars were not able to complete or win any Indy races. I never heard of crankshaft breakages.????? Tom.

Dan White
10-23-2005, 09:24 PM
Tom:

There are two engines being discussed on this thread, one is the Novi which has nothing to do with Studebaker (see my previous post), and the other is the J.C. Aghajanian Studebaker V8 based Indy Engine, again nothing to do with the Novi engines! Here is a write up by Ted Harbit about the Aghajanian engines, note the problem with the crank, which is a real shame! It would have been a hellva runner:

By Ted Harbit

The Holy Grail!

The Stude "Cammer" engines are safe and sound!

I got interested in the "mysterious" overhead cam engine(s) that I was hearing about from other Stude folks. Try as I might, I couldn't get very much information about it, nobody had all the parts to the story. I kind of just let it go, but I don't need to tell you that an engine like that IS the holy grail for a Stude racing nut like myself.

Well, as luck would have it, I was cruising the 'Net and came across an old article about it. Wow! That lit the fire under me again. I was determined to find out all I could scrape up about it, so here's what I have........

Studebaker had a long and distinguished role at Indy since the 30's. In 1953 J.C. Agajanian Sr. decided he wanted a new racing engine. He funded, (for $15,000.00 1953 dollars), an experimental engine program based on Studebaker's new  V8 block. The engine was built with a set of Leo Gossen -designed 4 valve, DOHC cylinder heads, Spulding cams, Scintilla Vertex magneto, either I-beam, (Cadillac), or tube connecting rods and Hilborn injectors. 

This Clay Smith-tuned 269-inch hybrid put out 372 horsepower at 7100 RPM. However trouble with the starter motor input shaft kept it off the track during qualifying. Everything was later sold to Lindsey Hopkins for his 1956 Indy car and it is unknown what the outcome of that deal was. 

Workmanship on this ultra-rare beauty  is said to be incredible, (except for one major deviation). Three of these engines were built and it was unknown for the longest time what fate had befell them and all of the tooling used to produce these beauties. Now, as Paul Harvey says, "The rest of the story"........

The engines are safe and sound, in fact two are in almost pristine condition with the third serving as a parts bin. All of the tooling has survived in tact as well. A long-time racer and businessman named "Speedy Bill Smith" has them sequestered and on display at his racing museum, "Speedway Motors", in Lincoln, NE. 

Yep, the great part was that "Speedy" is 74 but still as sharp as a tack and I got to chat with him about the engines. Speedy says he "had one hell of a time finding the engines". He had to drive about 25 miles into the backwoods of Oregon to "some hippy's house" to retrieve them. He said that judging by the condition of the engines and tooling when he found them, "It wouldn't have been long before they were lost forever".

Of the three engines he has, two have been restored and the third engine is there but was not put together because "It was originally just a parts engine anyway". Even the original tooling and molds are there but not on display. Speedy Bill thinks he has enough tooling there that could be used to build another engine.

I asked him what he thought about the capabilities of the engine and he said
that it was "Way ahead of it's time", and "It would have been competitive for at least 10 years", (a long time for all out racing engines). 

He says the ONLY problem with the engines was that after all the money that was spent to develop it, they needed a good crank lathe to do the crank work and they made a fatal error, they tried to scrimp. They wouldn't spend the money for the right crank lathe. A lathe that was too short was purchased and was used anyway. 

The bad news was the newly minted crank casting had a snout that was too long to fit the lathe. Their fix was to cut the snout off to get it in the lathe! Yep, after the crank work was done, they welded the snout back on. With the new engine mounted in the car on qualifying day at Indy, (you guessed it), the external, 24 volt starter use

Jeff
10-23-2005, 10:14 PM
More on the Stude twin cam at Indy here:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel/images/PM_May1956/stude_indy2a.jpg&imgrefurl=http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel/indy.html&h=1404&w=915&sz=99&tbnid=kZZ4mqa21CUJ:&tbnh=150&tbnw=97&hl=en&start=13&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dstudebaker%2Bindy%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DN

jeffrey holmes

oldvinyl
10-23-2005, 10:32 PM
Thanks Fellas, That answers all my questions., Wouldnt It be awesome to see a few of these engines back in action!!! How did these engines get through the cracks and end up in the backwoods in some hippies care??? And did he have gumboots on, cornpipe,,,,, ?? Tom.

oldvinyl
10-23-2005, 10:45 PM
Alan, No joke,, Ed Iskenderian may have built the cams for the twin cammer, all I know is that he had something to do with a twin cam Stude V8. Iam trying to recall my 1970 memory banks, and when your as old as me your crank may be broken too. Its kinda like having your feet stuck in your gumboots, just cant seem to pull it off. Tom.

Alan
10-23-2005, 11:48 PM
The guys name was James J. Parker, P.O. Box 14336, Portland, Oregon 97214. Phone: 503-234-4715. The reason for the P.O. Box was he was out of town aways. He was an investor in Studebaker and was also a partner in COHO Industries which specialized in building off shore racing speed boats. In 1963-64 period they equiped some of those boats with genuine Avanti R2 power. The engines were modified for marine use upon instalation but as recieved from South Bend in the crates were Avanti R2 modles with blower, carb., distributor complete with stainless loom shrouds, alternator and fitted with bellhousings and stick shift type flywheels with ring gear and starter. There were 80 available in the crate and he was selling them for $1,250 F.O.B. Portland. June 1972.

oldvinyl
10-24-2005, 09:10 AM
Alan, Wow, I work in the marine industry, A few months ago I heard that there was some stude engines in the Seattle area , but couldnt quite believe my ears that they were put in boats, doubt that any of them are still around.?????? Tom.

Alan
10-24-2005, 03:18 PM
Saw Ed Iskenderian today, told me that the only heads he ever played with were Fontinac F heads for flatheads they had exhaust valves in the head and the intakes were in the block like stock. He bought them in 1947 going to high school and put them on his T roadster made some valve covers in shop at school that had his name ingraved on them. As for Novi or Stude stuff he said he did some grinding for Joe Grannatelli but never any heads.

64Avanti
10-26-2005, 02:28 AM
The description of the person in Oregon with the DOHC Stuedbaker engine being a hippie is not exeactly accurate. The person was Chris Banke who was my partner in STU-V back in the early 70's.

David L

oldvinyl
10-26-2005, 08:56 AM
Hi David, That goes to show you how frail humans are, We should atleast juice up the stories in accuracy. Tom.