1912/1918 S.C.A.T./Rolls-Royce Hawk Aero-Engine Project Car Engine no. Series R no.444
Societa Ceirano Automobili Torino was headed by Giovanni Ceirano who came from an affluent Italian family and had a passion for the new-fangled motor car. Recognising the publicity value to be obtained from active participation in motor sport, S.C.A.T. cars were to be seen on the starting line at Europes major races, S.C.A.T. fielding a team in the 1908 Tourist Trophy Race on the Isle of Man and later going on to be all-conquering in the gruelling Italian Targa Florio in 1911, 1912 and 1914. Rolls-Royces Hawk engine is one of the rarest and most sought after of their Edwardian engines. It was in production between 1915 and 1918 and it is thought that only 201 were built. It was designed primarily to power the British-built Submarine Scout Zero airship. The Hawk was a six-cylinder, in-line engine with bore and stroke of 4 x 6, displacing 7.4 litres. The cylinders were separately cast and mounted on a rigid aluminium dry sump crankcase. The overhead camshaft operated two inclined valves per cylinder. The engine was designed for reliability and power output was progressively developed from 75hp in 1915 and by the end of 1918 developed 105hp. Rolls-Royce commissioned Brazil Straker of Bristol, whose technical director was Roy Fedden, to build the Hawk engine and in service they enjoyed a reputation second to none. This project car forms the basis of an aero-engined special. The Hawk engine is of Series R, and numbered 444, and is of 1918 manufacture by the Cosmos Engineering Co. Ltd. of Bristol. It is complete with distributor, water pump, coil and carburettor. The running gear comprises a S.C.A.T. chassis, firewall and radiator dating from c.1912 and the project also includes steering column and box, front axle, rear axle with internal expanding and external contracting brakes, a Rolls-Royce Phantom I gearbox, six straight edge wire-spoked wheels and an exhaust system and silencer box. The body frame currently fitted is simply a mock-up to demonstrate the potentially elegant and sporting lines of an Edwardian-style racer. Edwardian aero-engined cars are well catered for in Vintage Sports-Car Club competitions and this project, when completed to the satisfaction of eligibility scrutineers, will be a worthy addition to the grid as well as being an exhilarating road car.