Sunday, September 12, 2010

One of the Oddest Crosley-Based Engines

The Crosley CIBA (Cast-Iron Block Assembly) engine, successor to Crosley's post-WWII CoBra, enjoyed quite an extended lifespan after Crosley Motors went under. (For those who may not be familiar with the Crosley engines, both the CoBra and the CIBA were four-cylinder powerplants.)

There were several variations, the most familiar being a marine version, vertically-mounted (flywheel down) for speedboat racing. This was built by the companies that bought the rights to the engine after Crosley Motors went under in 1952, Aerojet-General Tire, and, later, Fageol.

This was not a huge departure from the basic four-cylinder plant, though a number of adaptations had to be made.

More interesting were the 8-cylinder models of the CIBA, again manufactured by companies other than Crosley Motors. Fageol experimented with an opposed twin-CIBA called the "Flat 8." It developed 88 hp. Another was built by John Peek, known for his hydroplane racing engines. Shown here, the "Dragon Inline 8" was essentially two Crosley blocks joined tail-to-tail with a single flywheel. The engine powered an L-Class hydroplane named "Dragon."

Peek also built a Crosley eight called the "Wildcat, Sr." This 80+hp, 88-cid unit consisted of two CIBA blocks mounted side-by-side. The engines had a synchronized firing order of 1-3-4-2, and drove a 4-1/2" driveshaft connecting to them through a special gearbox. Image from a 1948 issue of Yachting.