|From: John Kendall
Date: December 11, 2006
To: Chris Leydon
Thanks for the very graphic and illustrative e-mail concerning my Maserati 8C engine. With the best of intentions it went off to you to get "freshened up" for New Zealand and not to present you with another whole range of problems that were the legacy of a "marque specialist" who shall remain nameless.
While I admit to knowing very little about internal combustion engines, I was very impressed with the thoroughness with which you tackled the project and the care, evident in your photos, with which you started to re-assemble the engine.
I was particularly impressed by the fact that you spotted improper pistons and also oversized connecting rods. How you would know to check these components and then to find the proper ones for replacements is again outside my experience.
The lessening of rotating weights by over three pounds again I only dimly understand --except the part about getting more horsepower!!! That outcome will be greatly appreciated, as well as giving us renewed confidence that we can, once again, fuel the Maserati with alcohol without fearing a mediocre engine rebuild resulting in a blown up engine. Needless to say I look forward to having a chance, once again, to drive that marvelous old warhorse.
Cancelling the New Zealand trip was a decision taken with great reluctance and many regrets-there was, however, a silver lining to that big black cloud. Last weekend we went to Roebling Road Raceway in Savannah, Georgia, to close out the season.
Roebling Road has just been resurfaced and is a joy to run --- even if sub Arctic cold had descended upon us and made the early morning runs a test of endurance.
Rather than run whatever race cars were still left in the barn, I was able to run the Maserati 6CM and the Alfa Monza --- both cars recently equipped with Chris Leydon Engines, and both cars prepped by Dave George for New Zealand. They ran without a hitch!!!
Although I did not know it at the time, our practice sessions on Friday were to be used to construct handicaps for the big race on Saturday. As it turned out, I ran the Monza in the qualifyer and the 6CM in the race itself. Although Dave George called it "sand bagging" it did result in my very first win! On the front straight, an old landing strip, the little Maserati would hit 6700 rpm in fourth gear which must be close to 120 mph --- and with what I am told was a very satisfying exhaust note.
As we parted last evening, after a wonderful weekend, Dave George and I agreed to try to schedule a visit to his shop, Longwood Gardens, and your shop sometime before they turn off the Christmas lights at Longwood. It will be very nice to see you and your crew once again, even if we do not return with breathless tales of New Zealand racing.
With very best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season, and kind regards to all,