The Coventry Climax company in England is likely the greatest accidental racing engine builder history. After becoming successful making engines for things like pumps, generators, and forklifts, Coventry Climax was thrust into the racing realm when a newly designed, lightweight engine for a water pump was examined by racers and they immediately freaked out and started begging the company to make one that they could bolt into cars. The very light mill made good power and they knew it would be a killer car engine. Their begging did not fall on deaf ears and the company decided to to start building engines for cars. The rest is history.
The motor you are going to see below is a 1.5L (90i V8) FWMV Featherweight Marine V(8). It made 171hp stock and it makes about that right here at something like 8,500 RPM. The thing we really love about this video is listening to the little dual overhead cam engine. Two valves per cylinder and a combustion chamber that was hemispherical. At the low end and again at the higher end of the pull the thing does not sound like the V8 engines that we love. Through the middle of the pull though? You cannot miss the sound, it is there and it is strong. Ok, strong being a relative word in these scenarios. The engine makes 171hp. Sounds like nothing and no, it is not much but when you think about when this engine was made and the application it was in, the power makes more sense.
Like all good racing engines this one had its day in the sun before being pushed off for more advanced design. From right around 1960 through the end of the 1965 season this baby racked up lots of wins and podium finishes. Jimmy Clark was one of the guys who had the most success with this design and he liked it for obvious reasons!