|September 25, 1994
TO: Mr. Desmond Peacock
Chris Leydon miraculously finished my Amilcar C6 with CO/MCO engine a couple of days before the Colorado Grand, so we decided to put the car to the grueling test of 1.100 miles (1.775 kms) through the Colorado mountains.
The event finished yesterday, and the little Amilcar acquitted itself well indeed by finishing the event with no trouble other than two flat tires and both tachometers deciding to quit--while carrying two adults the entire distance. Mechanically, the car ran absolutely flawlessly--testimony to Chris Leydon's considerable engineering talents. The sound of the engine is fabulous.
The Colorado Grand took the Amilcar to altitudes as high as 12,300 feet with most of the run at least at 8,000 feet. We drove through sunshine, rain, sleet, and snow over four days of the event. I wonder if a six cylinder Amilcar has ever before reached such altitudes under its own power, and I wonder how many six cylinder Amilcars have ever done a 1,100 mile tour?
The Amilcar was a big hit with everyone on the tour. Everyone appreciated the advanced engineering of the car. In fact, most people were amazed, as they had never seen a six cylinder Amilcar before. In fact, most did not even know Amilcar fixed head engines had been built.
During the first two days we limited revs to about 3,200 rpm. After that we ran as high as 4,500 revs. The engine does not begin to develop meaningful power until 3,000 rpm, and it feels like it is just starting to become really happy at 4,000. We plan to run the car in a vintage race event in two weeks, at which time we will be more brave with the rev limit.
The engine should be good for at least 7,000 rpm, as the crankshaft is a billet unit from Phoenix, the rods are from Carillo and the pistons from Cosworth. Chris Leydon converted the crankshaft to plain bearings (other than the rear ball bearing main) in the interests of serviceability and longevity. The only thing we are afraid of is the valve fingers (original) which look less robust.
The only thing I found a problem is the pedal placement--which we must change before we can race the car. My feet (and I think almost anyone's) are simply too big to operate only one pedal at a time with any ease. We think the best solution is to considerably shorten the central accelerator shaft so that the clutch pedal pad can be placed closer to the firewall without one's left foot also depressing both the clutch and the accelerator when only the clutch is desired.
We are still hoping someone can enlighten us as to the early history of this car. We know it was brought to the USA about 1950 from southern France or northern Spain by a Mr. Jackson. The car was sold to Philadelphia collector Otto Linton a few years later. Mr. Linton disassembled the car but never got it back together. The car went to Bob Rubin in the mid 1980s and on to me a few years ago.
The engine is one of the fixed head 1,100 cc CO/MCO units of 56 x 74 mm. While we do not absolutely know this is the engine with which the car left the factory, there is no evidence of the engine having ever been changed. Additionally, we know that Vernon Ball advertised a "super supercharged" version of the C6 as available from the factory with the fixed head, roller crank engine in 1928 or 1929. Perhaps my car is one of these--maybe the only one built. Can anyone add to this?
The engine carries no numbers at all. We know were to look on the CO/MCO engines, but there is no evidence that my engine ever had a number. Nor is there evidence that the steering box ever had a number. On the other hand, many chassis parts and the coachwork (original and in steel) carry the number 39--suggesting to us that this is C6 90030. Again, any additional information will be greatly appreciated.
The next time there is an important Amilcar gathering in Europe, we will bring the car over from the USA. I am anxious for knowledgeable enthusiasts to see the car. In the meantime, any interested person traveling in the USA is invited to see the car and have a ride.
E. Dean Butler
(The letter was published the following year in The Amilcar Register, newsletter 46, January 1995.)