• Jul 31st 2006 at 8:04PM
  • 42
These beautiful 1/4-scale engines are the creation of aptly-named Replica Engines, a small company run by the Warner family of Gulliver, Michigan. The company recreates famous internal combustion engines in scale models that are fully operational. That means real four-cycle operation with spark ignition and fully-functional valve trains, oil pumps, water pumps and fuel pumps.

The engine pictured above is Replica Engines' latest - a recreation of the racing version of the Oldsmobile Aurora V8 that General Motors built for the Indy Racing League. Without access to engineering drawings, the model motor was painstakingly reverse-engineered from a full-sized unit.

More after the jump... The miniature aluminum block V8 displaces 3.8 cubic inches, with a .915 inch bore and a .723 inch stroke, and features dual overhead cams running four valves per cylinder, a 15:1 compression ratio, mechanical fuel injection and a dry sump oiling system. The engine runs on methanol, just like the original.

In order for the scale engine to be fully operational, some of the internals are not to scale, such as the Aurora engine block's internal oil passages, which would be too small to flow enough oil at their true scale diameter of .063 in. But functionally, the engine is faithful to the original design, with oil feeding through the engine block to the crankshaft and to the four overhead camshafts. The hollow camshafts pass the oil through while feeding oil to the cam-bearing surfaces cast into the heads. Oil then siphons to the bottom end.

The laws of physics also intervene in scaling down the ignition system, where the model engine's twin distributors are slightly larger than scale to prevent high-voltage arcing across the terminals. (By the way, the distributors feed handmade steel and ceramic spark plugs.)

Other model auto engines built by the Warners' company include a 1940 Offenhauser, a 1937 Harley "Knucklehead" V-twin and a 1937 Ford 60 flathead V8. (Videos of the Offy and the Harley - running - are here.)

The Aurora V8 is being built in a limited edition of 100 units, with a complete engine setup, with test stand, chrome headers and ignition coil, running just under $10,000.

[Sources: Replica Engines, Machine Design] Thanks for the tip, Gary!

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Rodrigo - The WHOLE point is that it's miniature. Uh, like, nobody's going to drop this into a Beetle, bro, so the whole point is that it's miniature.

      I think you complainers probably don't understand how difficult a project like this would be. You don't just scale everything down. All the parts scale up and down in different ways. Personally, I'm amazed it works at all. It would take an immense amount of prototyping to get one of these things working. So if you don't like it, don't frigging buy it.
      • 9 Years Ago
      This is a cool design and all, but I am with Rodrigo and the LS7 for $4k extra it is the real deal!
      Pol Pot Pie
      • 9 Years Ago
      Couldn't you just buy an original, full-size engine, and then build a giant desk and chair to put it on?
      • 9 Years Ago
      I think these are very trick!

      Here's a guy from my hometown that creates similar engines - including scale blowers!


      • 8 Years Ago
      OMG!!! that is the most awsome thing i have ever seen in my life!!!!

      Dude..... Go-Kart V8. you could be rich.

      you could revolutionize gokart racing all over the world!!!
      • 9 Years Ago
      "It is like a piece of art!"

      I am not positive about the art, but it is cool.

      A Honda NR 500 or 750 might be art, but a basic V-8?

      "Maybe because it probably took them about a dozen years to get the prototype working correctly."

      Are you speaking about GM, Ford or this company?

      None the less, this is a cool scale model.


      • 9 Years Ago
      Ok so it runs. What exactly is someone going to do with it? You can't start it up and run it on your desk, unless you are a fan of carbon monoxide. And at $10 grand, I doubt anyone would use it in any device.
      • 9 Years Ago

      Nice. But. I'm waiting for the 4X version - You know. The one that fills your living room?


      "Lysdexics of the world Untie!"
      • 9 Years Ago
      "That is not a flat plane crank V8? What a crock."

      Yep, it's just not a proper engine post without at least one comment from MikeW about the firing order.

      • 9 Years Ago
      I'd love to have one on my desk, what a conversation piece!
      • 9 Years Ago
      $5500 for the initial run of 25 engines, and $7500 for the remaining 75 produced is a lot less than "just under" $10,000. If I had to guess, a lowly blog author doesn't toss around three grand like petty cash.

      This topic deserves a link to a fully functional 1:3 scale Ferrari 312PB. And apparently the guy is working on three others. These models not only have running engines, everything else works, too. Brakes, gearbox, lights, even the dash instrumentation.

      • 9 Years Ago
      "Yes, people make models of Hemi's because it's a famous engine, who really cares about the Aurora V8 used by the IRL. The only reason why it ever won an Indy 500 was because it was the only engine available." RickDom

      It actually won FIVE Indy 500's. And there was always competition, both Infiniti and Oldsmobile competed in the IRL at the time. The same motor won a sixth time with the Chevy nameplate on it against motors from Honda and Toyota as well.

      It was also used in the Cadillac LMP900 in ALMS racing, though that car never seemed to get it together as a total package.

      If you doubt the racing pedigree of the Aurora V8, go lookup the results from practically any IMSA GTS-1 or World SportsCar race during the 1996 season. See who they had as competition back then...
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