Monday, January 13, 2014

In the Shop: 1934 Offenhauser Midget Racer

by Willy Vinton
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

Since the weather has been in winter mode, I have procrastinated on working on this project. That's because as soon as our Offy midget racer is ready, I will want to fire it up and see how it runs. Come on, spring time!

This is the piston and rod configuration of the little racer.  As you can see, it is of the highest quality of the time, and as good as most today in the performance line.

This is the gear drive for the front of the engine that drives both camshafts, oil pump, and the magneto.

It's interesting to note that there is no timing marks on any of the gears from the beginning, but one would think that over time someone would have marked them for convenience of quick assembly if needed. I find it to be a very high quality set of gears, and tolerances are great.

One of the problems we found is the near valve seems to be either different from the others, or the keeper is not seated properly, so it will be removed along with the others to make sure they are all seated and installed as they should be.

This shows the crankcase with the openings that give access to the crank, rods, and the fasteners that hold the block to the crankcase. The block on the right shows the cylinders with the water jacket covers off. At this time the crank is fitted and two rods installed, so watch for it this spring, as it should make just a little noise when it fires up.

You can learn more about our Offenhauser midget racer in this video.

Coming to Fairbanks to see the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum and other area attractions? Support the museum by staying right here at Wedgewood Resort. All guests receive half-price admission to the museum!

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