Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Lockhart's intercooler, a separate invention on influenced by?????

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    If you know, you don't like me
    Posts
    155

    Lockhart's intercooler, a separate invention on influenced by?????

    Now this might be a tough one.

    Frank Lockhart and his crew are credited with introducing the intercooler within US racing and at Indy.
    reading Mark Dees' Miller bible (my all time favorite book about Indycar history) tells you he more or less invented it.

    Did he?

    Because: back in 1925 the FIAT company of Italy built supercharged 2 liter GP cars which had a crude intercooler already. One such car appeared at Indy in 1925, Pietro Bordino finishing 10th with it.

    Had Lockhart ever heard of the FIAT's using such a device?
    Or is this just indeed another case of several inventors developping the same thecnology, without knowing about another.


    BS: this is no attack on Lockhart. I love "Indy's golden era" very much and Lockhart's achievements make me wonder what we would have seen had ne not gone for that LSR project. But I just wonder if he had any influence by others after all.

    Regards
    Indyot

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    1,518
    Hey Indyot,

    According to George Peters & Henri Greuter in "Novi", Lee Chadwick began fooling with racing superchargers in 1907 but soon discovered "packing" the fuel/air mixture into the intake manifold created a great amount of heat, so the idea did not catch on.

    "Fifteen years passed before the innovation was taken seriously by others. Then FIAT in Italy adopted the innovation"

    Other companies soon followed Fiat and Mercedes entered two supercharged cars in the 1923 Indianapolis 500, which finished eighth and eleventh.

    Duesenberg entered three blown Duesys in 1924 and L.L. Corum and Joe Boyer drove one of the blown Duesenbergs in to Victory Circle, the first win for win for a supercharged engine.

    No mention of any date for the introduction of the intercooler.
    Dick Ralstin www.dickralstin.com

    Satisfaction guaranteed or your Monkee returned

  3. #3
    Insider tcsparky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Centennial CO
    Posts
    1,471
    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Ralstin
    Hey Indyot,

    According to George Peters & Henri Greuter in "Novi", Lee Chadwick began fooling with racing superchargers in 1907 but soon discovered "packing" the fuel/air mixture into the intake manifold created a great amount of heat, so the idea did not catch on. .
    I remember reading a story about Lee Chadwick showing Thomas Edison is odometer invention. When Edison asked about how tire wear would effect the device, Chadwick explained how his compensator accounted for that. The article (from an Old Horseless Carriage??.. it was long ago) said Edison was impressed with Mr. Chadwick.

  4. #4
    Been at Indy since 1956! ZOOOM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Plainfield, Il.
    Posts
    4,442
    In Griff Borgeson's book "The Golden Age of the American Racing Car" he tells the story of Frank Lockhart and the intercooler. He says that the supercharger was used on some airplanes before Lockhart but that Lockhart met a fellow called John Weisel while working on his Miller at Millers plant in 1926.
    Weisel was a young Cal Tech student working summers for Miller. Lockhart wanted some modifications to his car and Miller was NOT interested in hearing about them.
    Lockhart asked Weisel to do the mods.
    Weisel set up a gearbox on Lockharts Buick to test superchargers at racing speeds. They both noticed that the air pushed out of the blowers was VERY hot. Weisel suggested that he could design a radiator (intercooler) to reduce the temperature of the discharge. They put one on Lockhart's Miller and never opened the hood (when anyone was arround) for the whole season.
    Lockhart first tried the device at the Culver City board track in March of 1927, and set a world's record for a closed course, 144 MPH!
    Lockhart ran away with the season. After the season he took the Miller '91 to Muroc Dry Lake and set the second highest speed for the land speed record.... 171 MPH. The only thing faster was the world speed record holder (about 30 times the engine size)!
    and the rest (as they say) was history............
    Yes, it appears Lockhart/Weisel designed the first intercooler..............
    ZOOOM
    "Doc, just set them fingers sose I can hold the wheel"
    James Hurtubise, June, 1964

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    If you know, you don't like me
    Posts
    155
    I consulted Dees' Miller Dynasty, (my all time favorite Indy history related book) and that more ar less tells the same, though less detailed as Zoom wrote.

    Should look it up in details but if my memory is correct, FIAT quit racing about 1927 so they never went on as extensively to test intercoolers as Lockhart did. And other European companies like Mercedes, Auto-Union, Maserati and Alfa appeared not have done much with them. Maybe because of the Roots blowers they used not providing the boost levels (and thus the heat) as the `snails` on the American Speedway cars?

    I still think it to be a fascinating subject to read about: the origins of supercharging, turbocharging etc. And for sure that the US racers did quite a lot and quite well in this during the 20's. Lockhart in particular.
    I love those late 20's at Indy for a technical point of view. Those Millers were fantastic engines and cars and absolutely highlights in race car engineering.


    Indyot

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •