1935 Alfa Romeo 16C Bimotore
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History of the car
In 1935, to compete with Mercedes Benz and Auto Union, Enzo Ferrari (Race team manager) and Luigi Bazzi (Designer) built a racer with two 3.2 (3.165 litre) engines, one in the front and one in the rear, giving 6.3 litres and 540 bhp (403 kW).
The drivetrain layout was unusual. The two engines were connected by separate driveshaft to a gearbox with two input shafts, and two angled output shafts, so each of the rear wheels had its own driveshaft. It could never quite succeed against the Mercedes W25 B of Rudolf Caracciola, and was hard on fuel and tyres. The gain in speed was offset by increased pit times. On May 12, 1935, two were entered in the Tripoli Grand Prix driven by Nuvolari and Chiron who finished fourth and fifth.
Louis Chiron managed a second at the following 1935 Avus race. On June 16, 1935 Tazio Nuvolari drove a specially prepared Bimotore from Florence to Livorno and set a new speed record 364 km/h (226 mph) with an average speed of over 323 km/h (201 mph). After that it was sidelined in favour of the Tipo C. It was the first racer to use the Dubonnet independent trailing arm front suspension. The V12 was under development, but was not race ready. It was noticed that the Bimotore had a traction advantage on rough ground, so a version of the Bimotore chassis with the independent Dubonnet front end, and a new independent rear with swing axles with radius rods and a transverse leaf spring was used for the Tipo C 3.8s.
Configuration Straight 8
Location Front and rear, longitudinally mounted
Displacement 3.165 liter
Bore / Stroke 71.0 mm 100.0 mm
Valvetrain 2 valves / cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feed 2 Weber Carburettors
Aspiration Twin Roots-Type Superchargers
Power 270 bhp / 201 KW @ 5400 rpm
BHP/Liter 85 bhp / liter
Chassis body on ladder frame
Front suspensionlive axle, trailing arms, transverse arms, coil springs
Rear suspensionlive axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs
Brakes drums, all-round
Gearbox 3 speed Manual
Drive Rear wheel drive
Weight 1030 kilo / 2270.8 lbs
Length / Width / Height 4200 mm / 1510 mm / 1290 mm
Wheelbase / Track (fr/r) 2800 mm / 1380 mm / 1380 mm
Combined Power 540 bhp / 403 KW
Power to weight 0.52 bhp / kg
Top Speed 321 km/h