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Pitbox 2021

Nordec Special Series II:

The first three photos reveal the significance of this engine and its true identity. The  Special Series II was announced in 1950 and its most obvious feature was that unlike all the previous engines from the North Downs Engineering Company, this one has a monoblock crankcase, rather than separate cooling fins. This was serious attempt by designer, workshop manager and speed flyer John Wood to produce a motor that could compete with the McCoy. Peter Chinn tested this engine in Model Aircraft, reporting that it was certainly the most powerful Nordec so far. He also stated that production versions could revert to the separate fins. What remains a mystery is whether this version ever got beyond the pre-production prototype stage.

So far, this is the only confirmed example to have been discovered and in strange circumstances. It has been resident in a Dooling F car since the early 1950s, hence the flywheel for a dog bone coupling. The car was originally owned by Hans Waeffler, first President of the Swiss Model car Club so the engine had not been long out of the factory before it found its way into the car. The trimmed exhaust would indicate that it had seen service in a speed model before being transplanted, and the yellow paint on the rear cover screws gives us a realistic and intriguing possibility that this was John Wood's own engine as the paint matched his Little Rocket plane exactly. Wood also built a Series III but so far that only exists as a small scan from a magazine in the early 50s.

A true 'sleeper' and an important discovery so thanks to Christoph Zaugg for spotting what it might be and supplying this super set of photos.                                                               January 2021