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.

 

Engine (2x)

Configuration Straight 8

Location Front and rear, longitudinally mounted

Displacement 3.165 liter 

Bore / Stroke 71.0 mm  100.0 mm 

Compression 7.0:1

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

 

Drivetrain

Chassis body on ladder frame

Front suspensionlive axle, trailing arms, transverse arms, coil springs

Rear suspensionlive axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs

Steeringworm-and-sector

Brakes drums, all-round

Gearbox 3 speed Manual

Drive Rear wheel drive

 

Dimensions

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 

 

Performance figures

Combined Power 540 bhp / 403 KW

Power to weight 0.52 bhp / kg

Top Speed 321 km/h 

Photo Gallery

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