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Thread: OMC’s 4-Rotor Wankel Racing Engine - The Real Story

  1. #101
    Team Member WharfRat's Avatar
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    Wayne, there it is in your post, it was the Conroe race I was at, I was working the pits for Rick Clausen at that race

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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Seems to answer where Scott. I didn't go to Conroe in 1973, but that must be where you saw them.

    Great info Rotary John. I remember how deep the transoms were at Galveston. I didn't pick up on the photo with the empty motor and how the boat floated much higher until you mentioned it. Some good inside stuff.



  3. #103
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    Random EMAILS from John Sheldon,

    I am posting as they were sent to me. This is very cool stuff & gives a tiny insight on the OMC Rotary program.

    Ken:
    I already talked to BRP. They have no objections. In fact when BRP bought OMC they did not buy any rights to the rotary engine. OMC had sold everything they had to Moller International. Go to his web site. I know Paul Moller well, and in fact have worked with him on rotaries. He has all of OMC drawings, machinery, inventory etc. Paul has spent over $40 million dollars over the last 25/30 years further developing the basic 538cc OMC engine, along with prototyping several other new displacements. He now has a water cooled version of the 538cc engine producing in excess of 80hp and meets the California emissions requirement for "ultra low" designation. He is also
    collecting anything made powered by a rotary engine. He would give his left nut to get one of the 4 rotor racing engines for his collection. If I ever get time, I'm thinking about writing the history of the complete rotary program at OMC. We had put rotaries in everthing from golf carts, to chainsaws, to secrect government drones, in addition to snownmobiles, inboard/outboards and outboards. There is so much the world doesn't know about OMC's rotary program and how far advanced OMC was on rotary technology at the time. They were eons ahead of Wankel GMBH, Madza or anyone else for that matter. One story I didn't tell in my article was the US Defense department insisted OMC make and sell the 4 rotor power plant to the government. At 300HP and 137 lbs. there was not any other power plant in the world at the time with that power to weight ratio. OMC refused and was threaten with government intervention. It never happened thou. If you send me your mailing address I will send you all the pictures and info I have with your promise you will return them after you copy them. I could go on for hours about rotaries, but enough for now. John

  4. #104
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Some amazing info there. The inside stuff is very interesting.

    Here is an article from the February 1972 Powerboat. While it is about marine application of the Wankel RC, it does mention in a couple of places about the OMC development. It was a year later that the OMC RC's showed up on the race course.
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    Ann Strang's column in the December 1973 Propellor

    ADD: I finally figured how how to size smaller section from the same publication. But I guess I should have just copied the whole page because the beginning of the column landed exactly where it was in Propellor. Oh well.....at least there's a little bit of progress.
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    Last edited by Master Oil Racing Team; 05-27-2009 at 09:00 AM. Reason: additional comment



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    Default Ann Strang

    Quote Originally Posted by Master Oil Racing Team View Post
    Ann Strang's column in the December 1973 Propellor

    ADD: I finally figured how how to size smaller section from the same publication. But I guess I should have just copied the whole page because the beginning of the column landed exactly where it was in Propellor. Oh well.....at least there's a little bit of progress.
    Hey!!! Ann Strange finally firgured out who I was.

  7. #107
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    I don't know which strange people he was hanging out with, but it appear mine and Joe's esteemed editor from Motorsport was on to something. I found this in Mel Zikes column from the June 1973 Powerboat.
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  8. #108
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    Wayne, you are amazing.

    Do you have editorial available through any of your boating magazines on the Rotary racing & results from '73 to '76. Anything you may have or anybody else would be invaluable in this Rotary info thread.

    FYI I have many of the "Powerboat Mags" ' 70'71'78''87'88'89'97'98'99' '03 if you are looking for articles.

    Ken

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    I quickly scanned through a few issues of the 1973 Powerboats last night before heading off to high school graduation ceremonies Ken, and that's where I found the Mel Zikes column. I missed this little piece though. I plan to thoroughly go through all the Powerboats of those days as well as Motorsport. Our little regional magazine lasted only a couple of years, but it was a very high quality publication in regard to content. The fuel shortages and all the bad racing publicity doomed it, but Joe Rome and I had a great time going to events with editor Harry Echols. If we could ever track down Harry there would be an abundance of OMC rotary photo, plus whatever notes he had (if it all hasn't disappeared) If Harry is still around though, I am sure he still has the negatives of "The Girls of Motorsport".
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  10. #110
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    This the the July 1973 Powerboat article covering the Galveston Speed Classic. I don't know who covered the race. They didn't give credits or a byline. Carl Asmus was publisher and Bill Ames editor then.
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