Many people are shocked to find out that there have been diesel engines in airplanes before. Particularly diesel radial engines. Germany used them and they were also used in America. While they were not all that common they existed. In the same breath lots of people have forgotten that radial engines powered things like tanks as well. That brings us to the weirdest and most interesting engine for sale on eBay right now which is this Guiberson T-1020. This is a nine cylinder, air cooled radial diesel and it is one big boy. While this one never powered an airplane it did power a tank, an M5 Stuart to be exact.
With a displacement of over 1,000ci, a dry weight of 650lbs, and a rating of 250hp this was a damned impressive piece in its day. We have never heard one of these things run before but as calamitous as it sounds when a gasoline burning radial is running we can only imagine how gnarly this one sounds.
The engine is complete and the seller believes that it could be restored for use in a tank, display in a museum, or even more insanely, used ins a car project of some kind. How awesome would be be to see this thing mounted into the bed of a diesel truck and driving it down the road? Yeah we know we’re weird, sorry.
The other plot twist in this story is the fact that Guiberson engineered and sold these engines but they were actually manufactured by the Buda Engine Company. The story of Buda is a whole different kettle of fish but during their heyday the company was a leading manufacturer of many different types of engines. This had to have been one of the most interesting projects that they worked on.