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best sounding engine ? - Steve G
Would be interested to hear your opinions on the best sounding car.
Personally i like any Alfa Romeo with a V6.
But probably the best is a Diablo V12.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Mustapha Wazz
Ohhh.....ever heard a Morris Minor 1000 on the overrun? ........sheer bliss.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Andy P
Ferrari F40...sounds more like a jet than a car. Magnifique!!

Re: best sounding engine ? - Dwight Van-Driver
You 'young ones' will never have heard it but the best:-
Merlin engine in a Spitfire.
Re: best sounding engine ? - THe Growler
I was going to say a 351 Windsor in a Mustang, but you have to be right about the Merlin. 4 of the blighters in a Lancaster, as I recall.
Re: best sounding engine ? - THe Growler
No, sorry, changed my mind. Nothing like a Hog on open pipes dragging off everything else at the lights.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Paul Robinson
I did have a weakness for the throb of a Rover 3.5V8, but the fuel bills almost cured me.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Dan J
You beat me to it Growler, without doubt, it has to be American V8 muscle and where better than in the Mustang...
Re: best sounding engine ? - David Millar
Or even the Merlin engine as fitted in a road car ie the Rolls special built by auto transmission specialist John Dodds (I think that's right). I saw it being used at Silverstone to set a world record for towing a caravan (he was a bit eccentric) at something around 130 mph from a 25-year-old memory.

best sounding engine ? - AFM
Without a doubt, any engine you've just rebuilt when it first starts.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Brill
Was passed by an A-M Vanquish recently, yum.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Richard Hall
BRM V16 - a glorious British failure. Astonishingly complex engine for 1950 - 16 cylinders, four camshafts, a supercharger and only 1500cc. I have only ever heard it once - Nick Mason demonstrated his car at a historic race meeting a few years ago, but it died after one lap. However I have a book ('Into the Red' - big glossy coffee table book) which came with a CD recording of the various cars featured in it. The highlight of this CD is Mason's BRM doing 3 laps of Donington. It was recorded from a fixed point in the pits, and you can hear the car all the way round the circuit. The book is worth buying for this alone.

The Japanese make 250cc four cylinder bikes which rev to 20,000 rpm. I am tempted to buy one just to hear what an engine sounds like at that speed.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Paul Robinson
The scream of an Audi Quattro is quite something! Most 5 cylinder Audis will do a pretty good impression.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Ian (cape town)
I remember Larry Perkins driving a BRM at Kyalami in 1977. Coming stone last, but REALLY sounded good!
Re: best sounding engine ? - Peter
An engine that starts and runs first time on a winter's day!

The sights and sounds of a Shackleton's four Rolls-Royce Griffons at full bore taking of into the evening equatorial sun takes some beating. Very happy days.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Ian (cape town)
My friend Roy (ex RAF) works on the sole-flying shackleton based here in Cape Town (are their any more flying anywhere on earth?).
The airframe is down to its last few hours now, unfortunately, but those griffons...
Re: best sounding engine ? - Peter

As far as I know, several of the last Shackletons were sold either to a USA concern and two possibly three to a Cypriot business man who I believe sold them onto the Americans. I assume they flew there, possibly within the last year.

I worked on them in the RAF whilst in the Far East hence the need to employ maximum power to take off in hot conditions, if memory serves me right they also used water-methanol to increase power for take off. Whatever, it was a grand sight on a par with a Lighting F6 taking off. I understand a few of those also gravitated to South Africa.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Ian (cape town)
A few??? - they were operational until about six years ago! (sanctions, embargos, and all that ...)
Re: best sounding engine ? - Peter
I recently read a British aviation magazine that had an article about an organisation in South Africa which bought some ex-RAF Lightnings, several twin seater MK 5s, and F3s/F6s. They use them for display purposes and the T-birds are used to give rides to those who fancy the idea. The CAA are very wary of allowing ex-miltary aircraft onto the civil register and I assume Southh Africa proved more friendly. There is a web site dedicated to the aircraft and shows all the current locations. IMHO a scrapyard is the most obvious place.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Ian (cape town)
Thunder City - the guy has an EE Lightning, a couple of Bucaneers, strikemaster, hunters etc.
Also had a canberra, but it pranged a few years ago.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Tony
Subaru Imprezza STi with a big exhaust,70s Kawasaki 2 stroke triples,just great.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Dave Y
Nothing can beat a Merlin - possibly sounds best with the pair in a Mosquito - think theres some resonance with the wood - fantastic noise, sadly now no longer heard in the UK since the last flying version crashed several years ago.
Anyone enjoying this sort of thing should go to Duxford in early July where as many as 9/10 Mustangs and even more Spitfires can be seen as they should - in the air
Re: best sounding engine ? - David W
Dave Y,

I love seeing/hearing the Spitfire at the Shuttleworth Collection in Bedfordshire.

Flying from that grass strip and hurtling in a curve round the spectators standing within the L-shaped runways....unique.

Re: best sounding engine ? - Peter Mason
Ahhh...Merlins!- Lovely sound.. I was watching a tape of '633 Sqn'. a few weeks ago, horrified to notice that they actually destroyed at least 3 Mosquitos in crash scenes during the making of the film,- probably cheaper than making mockups at the time. But best sounding engine? Probably the 27 litre airship engine fitted to the Mephistopheles racing car I saw and heard at the inaugural meeting of Thruxton Race Circuit in the 60's - I counted about two exhaust beats a second at 60 mph..sounded like somebody slowly beating a bass drum!
Re: best sounding engine ? - Dave Y
David W

That's the clipped wing mark V isn't it?
Haven't been to Shuttleworth for a very long time. Remember going there in early 70's I think when very few people used to turn up and watching them starting up the Sopwith Pup, standing by with fire extinguishers ready - wonderful copper blur when the rotary was running. Good to watch the Bristol fighter being started with the Hucks starter - basically a Model T with a dirty great shaft mounted and driven (I think) by a belt.
They tried to take the Bleriot off but once it remained stubbornly tied to the ground by time the bottom of field was reached you knew it wasn't going to make it.
Sounds & sights for the gods.............
Re: best sounding engine ? - Ian (cape town)
Our local airshow has a few Mach2 jets giving it laldy this year - 1000 car alarms set off simultaneously in the carpark!!!
Re: best sounding plane engine ? - Kev
Erm, dont quite know about the best, but aan Avro Vulcan takes some beating for sheer noise.
Spitfire & USAF Phantoms - David W
Yes a clipped wing Mk.Vc. I like the restored but worn running order look of it, not too highly polished like some.

Other end of the scale.....

Used to work as a civilian contracts supervisor on RAF Alconbury years ago when they flew Phantoms (USAF).

Their take-off method was to sit in pairs at the end of the riunway, fire up the afterburners (each jet was twin engined) while holding on the brakes and then release to thunder down the runway.

We used to try and time our runway crossings in the car so that we got to the appropriate spot just before take-off when the traffic lights would prevent you using the roadway that crossed the runway just behind this hold position.

It was magic in the dark of a late winter afternoon to sit in the car about 100ft from these beasts as they fired up. As the afterburners lit they produced a cone of orange/blue "flame" and then the noise was intense. Wearing ear defenders in the car was a sensible option but we used to wind the windows down and soak up the experience.

Re: best sounding engine ? - Alyn Beattie
Hi Peter

Was it not the Shacklton that flight crews described as "1 million rivets flying in loose formation"
Re: best sounding engine ? - bert fegg
has to be a Wartburg Knight with an expansion chamber fitted.Steve G wrote:
> Would be interested to hear your opinions on the best
> sounding car.
> Personally i like any Alfa Romeo with a V6.
> But probably the best is a Diablo V12.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Tomo
Nobody has mentioned Cricklewood Bentleys, or Bugattis. You can still hear them at classic race meetings.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Moosh
Yes good to hear but not to look at, belching blue smoke.
Wern't they 2 stroke?
Re: best sounding engine ? - Rebecca
A quiet one.

It's a girl thing.

(well this girl anyway)
Re: best sounding engine ? - Ian (cape town)
Rebecca, ever considered that men like loud engines so that they can drown out the woman's constant yapping?

(straps on tin helmet, and waits for the blast)
Re: best sounding engine ? - Brill
Good god Ian, you're either very brave...or....
Re: best sounding engine ? - Rebecca
Ian, you'll get no blast from here, as I'm definitely not a yapper and you may have a point there.


I can be a bit of a back-seat driver when my Husband drives (odd French driving habits as discussed here previously, so I've got an excuse). I can tell what speed we're doing by the engine noise, so I do that pretending-to-be-asleep thing until a reprimand is needed. He puts the car in 'Sports' mode at that point, because I haven't got the noises for that sussed yet...but I will, soon enough.
Re: best sounding engine ? - Dan J
Funny that - my other half does the "pretending-to-be-asleep" thing whilst on the motorway although soon awakes for "reprimands" if I drop down a gear for any reason!

I have, however, solved the problem of several rattles, the missus' singing and hearing some of the quieter reprimands by installing a high output stereo :~)
Re: best sounding plane engine ? - pugugly
Yes, I remember the Vulcans being flown at around 60 feet over the local moors
in the 70s that was bloody wicked.
Re: best sounding plane engine ? - Andy P
Try standing three hundred yards from an SR-71 when the afterburners kick in...

Re: best sounding plane engine ? - mark ansell
back to cars; the straight six Triumph engine in a TR5 or early 6 is superb. Especially with the roof off and driving between buildings or in a tunnel.
Re: best sounding plane engine ? - Julian Lindley
I live a few miles north of Westhampnett airfield (Goodwood) which was the satellite airfield for Tangmere during WW11. The Merlin often makes an appearance there, in a Spitty or sometimes a Mustang (Packard built Merlin)

The irony is not lost when I pass the new Rolls Royce car construction site being erected by BMW about a mile from Westhampnett, during my occasional visits to Chichester. It was a BMW engine installation in the Focke Wulf 190 fighter that demoralised pilots of the MKV until the MK1X arrived with the two stage supercharger developed by RR's Sir Stanley Hooker! Sir Stanley and RR were later to take over the developement of Whittles jet engine design. Developement engines at that time being built by Rover cars.

The song of the Merlin is sheer ambrosia, but the Griffon engined Spitties though larger in engine capacity, is rather ordinary.

Re: best sounding plane engine ? - alvin booth
Have studied all your choices before making my decision and think I would come down in favour of a tie between the merlin and the Vulcan.
For sheer sound and vision it must be the Vulcan appearing at the airshow in particular at Woodford when it would appear miles away sliipping down the sloping fields towards the runway. Halfay down the runway at about 100 feet it would open the engines to full power and stand on its tail.
The resulting blast of sound and smoke was a sight to behold and the echos were still booming around the airfield after it had disappeared into the clouds.
Incidentally a friends son used to pilot one of these during the cold war and told the story of operational procedures in which they used to set out with a Russian target as their destination and were recalled automatically quite early.
However one night they weren't until they were getting close. He insisted that was why he was prematurely grey haired.
Incidentally I was expecting Chris to put in a claim for the best sound and it would have been Russian made. Then remembered he was now cured.
Re: best sounding plane engine ? - David W

I know Chris W is like a son to you so I know you will want to alerted to slippage in the therapy success.

The last post I noticed showed him to be in the money again having given up college and the MOT testers job to be a field sales representative. Given the depression in farming that can't be a very secure future for a youngster.

You should speak to him.

Re: Spitfire & USAF Phantoms - alvin booth
Who would buy a field from Chris.
If therapy dosn't work its got to be back to the stair rod from his Dad.
Re: best sounding car engine ? - Lee H
A bit sad really, but I love the shriek of an F1 engine, and I think I'll be deaf two years early thanks to those Panoz racers that ran at LeMans a couple of years back (98?). Not so much a sound as a mobile earthquake.

Probably my favourite was the quiet whistle of the Mercedes CLK-LM around Donnington in 1998.

I'm assuming I can quote race cars.

Worst sounding car? Boy racers and other idiots who fit a drainpipe where the exhaust should be. Not sure the extra 3bhp is worth the racket....
Re: Spitfire & USAF Phantoms - Bill Doodson
If you realy mean engine on the road in a road legal vehical then I would put up my Honda CBX 1000 6 cylinder. Coming over the mountain on the TT circuit with an open mega at full chat then dropping down to Cregg N Barr from Kates Cottage deliberatly changing down and keeping the revs high, 10000 rpm, ohh god what a wail.

Re: best sounding engine ? - Adam Going (Tune-Up Ltd)
Alfa Romeo definitely. Tipo 159, F1 circa 1950. The ONLY time I have worn ear defenders whilst working on race cars was when I was running a Lola T70 in Birminhgham at a "try out" meeting before they started racing on the streets there. The "paddock" was an underground car park, and we were parked next to the 159. MAGIC.

Regards, Adam
Re: best sounding engine ? - Darcy Kitchin
I'm suprised no one has mentioned the unique sound of the TVR engines which I think have an unusual firing order.

Why is it that most motoring programs play pop music over the sound of the exotic cars they are testing?
Re: best sounding engine ? - Colin M
I liked one of Clarksons comments where he compared the sound of a Ferrari engine to "Tom Jones bending over to pick up the soap in Strangeways".

Re: best sounding engine ? - richard turpin
A big 6 cylinder on full song is great. Gives you goose pimples. E type, TR6, Austin-Healy 3000, and my 328 does it too. Quiet growl with some induction noise, on full throttle in 3rd. Pressed back in seat. Orgasmic. Must go to bed now. Night night all.
Re: best sounding plane engine ? - Honest John
Ferrari 550 Maranello, Maserati 3200GT manual, AC Superblower, most Alfa V6 with manual boxes and here are the surprises: Volvo C80 D5 and Kia Magentis manual (sounds like an Alfa V6). Most horrible: any Mercedes 4 cylinder and my Mondeo.

Re: best sounding plane engine ? - Ian (cape town)
I'm sure all the BackRoomers will chip in to buy you a stainless steel exhaust extension for Xmas!
Re: best sounding plane engine ? - Steve G
Glad to see Alfa V6 mentioned several times , just a shame Alfa have stopped making RWD cars.
I forgot TVR Cerbera in my original post - just awsome on the overrun.
Re: best sounding plane engine ? - Jonathan Shaw
Not car but bike:
Ducati 900SS through carbon pipes - amazing noise through rev range and throttle positions, twisty roads -bella bella bella and you don't even have to be going silly speeds. At a stand-still the dry clutch making sounds like a washing machine full of plates and horrified looks from Honda-turbine owners ;)
916 definately looks better but the water jacket kills some of the engine clatter.

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