The Swindler Austin V-8

I had heard rumors of this engine, two Austins put togetheer in a V-8, but it wasn't until I was browsing through some old Road and Tracks that I came upon this fascinating article. Think about it as you look at the homebrewed "Hormone 8". Condisder the photo below beside say a '33 Austin Roadster which would have been a contemporary! This guy was a forward looking individual indeed.


"The Harris FWD Speedster"
(An exerpt from a Road and Track interview of Ben Harris of Champaign, Illinois describing the construction of his very original and forward looking roadster "The Hormone 8" (!) which he completed in 1936 . Despite it's age of 16 years the car won a first prize in 1951 in the custom division of the Indianapolis 2d Annual Custom Car Show)

"Originally I had a standard four cylinder American Austin engine with Warner Gear transmission. I decided however that I needed more power, but something small enough so the crankcase wouldn't drag the ground, and yet not so powerful that I'd tie my universal joints in knots. I heard that Mr. H.M. Swindler, of Swindler's Garage (Boy, WHAT A NAME!!) in Dayton, Ohio had built a V-8 engine using almost all standard Austin parts. Mr. Swindler had designed and engineered this engine, but had never gotten it into production, or been able to interest Austin in it to the point of going ahead. I contacted him, and purchased one of the two engines in existence. It was necessary to make a number of changes in the set up as I got it from Mr. Swindler to adapt it to my car, but the design and credit should go to him in its enirety. The engine has a special aluminium crankcase on which are mounted two standard four cylinder Austin blocks in "V". It uses special connecting rods which are of the articulated type with one rod linking off the side of its mate thus resulting in full con-rod bearing area and not requiring off-set blocks. The "front plate" casting is special and carries two fittings for the two distributors driven by two camshafts. The only othr special parts are the starter mounting and water pump castings. All the other parts are standard Austin, though the crankshaft has two Timkin tapered roller bearings. I uses a Long clutch and a standard Austin Warner-Gear transmission."

Road and Track
March 1953
Vol. 4, No. 7
Pages 38,39,44

 Front of car is to the left...