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Studebaker Novi cylinder heads

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  • Studebaker Novi cylinder heads

    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.

  • #2
    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
    Start and Stage Your Studebakers

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    • #3
      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.

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      • #4
        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
        Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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        • #5
          I will be having lunch with Ed Iskenderian tomorrow and will ask him about it.

          Comment


          • #6
            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
            Dan White
            64 R1 GT
            64 R2 GT
            58 C Cab
            57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

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            • #7
              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

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              • #8
                [img]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
                '61 Hawk

                http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock
                HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                Jeff


                Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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                • #9
                  [img][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

                  http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock
                  HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                  Jeff


                  Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                  Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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/ddstnk...73.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-
                    Dick Steinkamp
                    Bellingham, WA

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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

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                      • #12
                        Heres the pic.

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            Dan White
                            64 R1 GT
                            64 R2 GT
                            58 C Cab
                            57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              More on the Stude twin cam at Indy here:

                              http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...lr%3D%26sa%3DN

                              jeffrey holmes

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