Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ed Winfield, the father of hot rodding and inventor of the 3/4 race cam, is being inducted in the Motorsports Hall Of Fame

image from http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2011/06/17/a-hobbs-ian-choice-david-hobbs-to-host-motorsports-hall-of-fame-induction-ceremony/
above photo from http://theoldmotor.com/
According to the recollections of Harvey Crane Jr., Winfield began experimenting with his own camshaft designs in 1919, when he built his first camshaft grinder. Soon after, his mother gave him the money to purchase a used grinding machine that he then converted into a camshaft grinder and set up in his mother's garage to regrind Model T camshafts.
"Ed told me he first made only two masters, a semi race grind and a full race grind," Crane wrote. "He later made a third master that was more duration and lift than the semi but less than the full. He then used the full race master as an intake and the new master as an exhaust. He called this new reground camshaft a three-quarter race cam. Ed said, 'It was three-quarters of the way to a full race cam.' "
Winfield found his largest degree of success in carburetor designs for the aftermarket. Thus, the Winfield Carburetor Company formed in 1924 to build, market and sell the carburetor designs, and Winfield carburetors soon dominated Indianapolis 500 racing. Pete DePaolo's Duesenberg won the race in 1925 using two of the carburetors, and by 1930, all but one entry in the race used a Winfield carburetor.
About this time, Winfield built another Model T with a revolutionary 180-degree crankshaft, which made the best use of the two siamesed intake ports of the Model T engine. Winfield called it the two-up, two-down engine, increased its compression ratio to 6:1, fitted it with a roller camshaft and proceeded to dominate the Southern California dirt track and dry lake racing scenes.
That is, until he retired from racing in 1927 and became a recluse.

Winfield continued to experiment with fuel systems and engines, developing what's widely regarded as the first harmonic balancer, new carburetor designs, a continuous-flow fuel injection unit in 1934, along with overhead-valve heads and high-compression heads for Model T four-cylinders. He also continued to grind camshafts, mostly for race engines, until not long before he died in 1982.

information from, and read about his life and accomplishments at http://www.hemmings.com/mus/stories/2008/02/01/hmn_feature17.html

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