1916 Sturtevant Romano Special

1916 Sturtevant Romano Special
All info from owner provided show board at Races.

Full Gallery at Zenfolio Cam Hutchins

Number 18 Brian Blain Visalia CA 1916 Sturtevant Romano Special

Best lap time at  Weathertech Raceways Laguna Seca 2018 2:13.816  

Chassis- 1916 Auburn – Auburn Indiana

Engine: 1916 Sturtevant Aeroplane, Boston Mass 555 cu. in. Aluminum V8

Horsepower: 220hp @2000 rpm – supercharged.

Transmission: 3 Speed Brown & Lipe

Body Aluminum (front) aircraft wood 7 fabric (rear)

Weight- 2200 lbS.

History –

The B. F. Sturtevant Co. was best known as the world’s largest industrial farm manufacturer. While the first World War was raging in Europe, the Sturtevant Aeroplane Co. (1915-1918) was formed by the parent company to develop military aircraft. They used their knowledge of blower technology to build some of the first supercharged engines in the world.

Sturtevant produced a number of aircraft for both the Army and Navy, but during an official test flight in fron of Army officials in March 1917, the pilot crashed prompting a cancellation of the contract. the Armistice brought a swift end to Sturtevant Aeroplane and the subsidiary was liquidated by February 1919.

At the end of production, Sturtevant had hundreds of engines in inventory. Some of those surplus engines found their way into boats, planes, dirigibles and even race cars such as this one. Their lightweight and high horsepower made them attractive alternatives to the automotive engines available at the time.

 

Eugene J. Romano- of Seattle Washington was a brilliant designer and engineer who built several aircraft engine-[powered racecars the most famous of which won the first pikes peak hillclimb in 1916. Romana had previously designed and built an aircraft called the Romanoplane in 1910.

 

This car

Romano typically built his cars from stock chassis and surplus aircraft engines It

is likely that this car was built from surplus parts around 1918-20, when surplus WWI aircraft engines were plentiful and cheap. With only 5 engines known to exist and all but 2 in museums, acquiring and restoring this engine took many years.  The only record of the car in competition is a third place finish at Hastings Park in Vancouver Canada in 1925 driven by Fred Hirsch.