Making a Marque – Rolls-Royce Motor Car Promotion 1904-1940

by Peter Moss and Richard Roberts 2021 review by Professor Peter Fawcett The plethora of texts appearing in recent...

ASTON MARTIN & LM10

by Jonathan Wood 2021 review by Anders Ditlev Clausager This I am told is definitely Jonathan’s last book, and...

Aspects of Motoring History # 16

Published June 2020. 94 pages, colour cover, nearly 60 black & white illustrations and charts and 28 full-colour images,...

Aspects of Motoring History # 15

Published June 2019. 118 pages, colour cover, over 85 black & white illustrations and charts, softbound, and 15 pages...

A Salmson with an unusual engine

Just as we were leaving the excellent VSCC Prescott hillclimb on Sunday 6th August, we saw this lovely little French Salmson in the car park.  We recognised it as an AL model – designed by Emile Petit before his famous twin-cam, and built at the Billancourt factory from around 1921.

The unusual engine has only a single pushrod per cylinder, that actuates both inlet and exhaust valves.  It pushed to open the exhaust valve, and springs open the inlet valve.  This cost-effective design saved complexity and manufacturing cost but made valve overlap impossible – which significantly hampered efficiency.

Nevertheless, 10,000 cars were made by Salmson with this engine between 1921 and 1927.

We were especially delighted by the determination of the owner to display the unique aspects of the engine.  Not only did he have the bonnet raised, but he’d also removed the rocker cover to show the workings of Petit’s system.  He, like us, was convinced that the engine of a vintage car is often its most interesting element – and should be shown.

We show a few more images below – we hope you enjoy them.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × three =