1926 Fiat Type 406 - Cut Short of Glory
1925, Fiat began designing a new car and engine for the International GP (specifically the “1.5 liter racing formula”). The new engine was two 750cc inline 6 motors spliced together to create a U-12 “Type 406”. This new engine was a dual crankshaft motor with three camshafts. Two outer camshafts operated each sides exhaust valves while one center camshaft shared the operation of the intake valves for both sides of the motor.
The two crankshafts were geared together on the end into one output shaft. This uniquely designed motor performed well for its day. To help feed the Type 406’s was a Roots-Type Supercharger. Only weighing 381 lbs the engine churned out a healthy 187 bhp at 8,500 rpm. The engine in Fiat’s 806 racing car was capable of 149 mp/h (240 km/h). The Type 406 was a thirsty engine getting about 7 mpg on average.
Unfortunately the Type 406 only took part in one race (which it won). This was due to in 1927 Fiat cut the racing program and called for destruction of the all four cars. After losing many drivers to crashes the GP series was ending. This intricate yet successful engine was cut short of glory and remains an unknown relic to even most gear-heads. #Blogpost