View Full Version : Soriano

03-30-2008, 06:02 PM
There should be a lot more on BRF about the racing outboards built by Paul Bonnemaison and his patron Ricardo Soriano here on BRF.

Soriano was a Spanish nobleman with a passion for racing and some cash for investing. Looking at an add on Marc Hammer's http://www.soriano-outboard.com/ website shows outboards and motorcycles among other things being sold under the Soriano name.

Bonnemaison was a successful French outboard racer in the 1920's.

Bonnemaison and Soriano got together with one thing in mind ... to build the ultimate racing outboard at the time when the fastest speed ever achieved by an outboard was still less than 50 mph.

The first version was a 4 stroke 4 cylinder opposed motor like the old air cooled VW motor or if you are thinking 21st Century ... a Subaru car motor. To get good power to weight ratio Bonnemaison used overhead valves and overhead cams and a Rootes type supercharger.

The 4 cylinder Soriano was just over 40 ci (just over 650cc's) and made an amazing 65 hp.

The actual production of the Soriano motors was contracted to a company in Spain with experience in casting steel and aluminum ... OSSA. The same OSSA that would later be famous for dirt bikes with monster power and advanced suspension. If you are familiar with OSSA's logo you will recall the cloverleaf looking emblem in the middle of the O ... the O with that is supposed to represent a film reel, the cloverleaf looking thing are the spokes of the reel. Motion picture projectors were their original main product :eek:


03-30-2008, 06:58 PM
The 4 cylinder Soriano did indeed set the new world speed record, but it was evident that the record would not stand long. Bonnemaison's next assignment was to enlarge the successful motor to overtake the motors that threatened to steal the speed record away from them.

They decided to simply add 2 more cylinders to make the racer a flat 6.

It is the many variations of the 987cc 6 cylinder motor that are most famous.
Here is Yachting World's cutaway drawing of an early version of the 6.

03-30-2008, 07:24 PM
Great footage as usual, Sam. FYI, i rode an Ossa, then later Bultacos. The plonker as OSSA called it wa sa 360 cc beast, with cylinder vertical. In 4th gear, you could loop the bike from the torque if you had your weight to far back....

03-30-2008, 07:31 PM
If you are a student of world history you know that Spain was not a good place to be in the 1930's. Civil war broke out and Soriano ended up moving his operation to France and selling it to Jean Dupuy, son-in-law of the enormously wealthy Spreckles sugar family in 1934.

Bonnemaison stayed on and increased the power of the 6 by developing a new double overhead cam version. The original single overhead cam 6's put out 85 hp, the new versions with the new heads and improved carb and supercharger made 102 hp.

03-30-2008, 07:43 PM
The reason I started this thread today was to tell you about the following detail that Marc recently revealed on the http://www.soriano-outboard.com/ web site. The funny looking thing below the motor at the back is an auxiliary oil tank that was added and later enlarged to help with cooling. As you browse thru Marc's collection you will notice several different oil tanks on the backs of the 6's.

03-30-2008, 08:03 PM
Was this any relation or perhaps the owner of the Mercier car company that dominated at Indy just prior to the reign of Miller race cars in the 30's?

03-30-2008, 08:44 PM
Was this any relation or perhaps the owner of the Mercier car company that dominated at Indy just prior to the reign of Miller race cars in the 30's?
No relation at all to any car raced in the US